AAN is among 22 media companies, trade associations and journalism organizations that joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in protesting the secrecy of a case known in court records as M.K.B. v. Warden, et al. The case involves Mohamed Kamel Bellahouel, an Algerian waiter in Florida who was among those rounded up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.
Bellahouel, whose name was revealed only because of a clerical error made by a federal appeals court, objects to the U.S. government’s secret detention of him as well as the secrecy surrounding his case. Lawyers for the media coalition filed a motion on Friday asking the Supreme Court for permission to intervene. If the motion is granted, the petitioners will seek access to all filings and proceedings in the case that involve unclassified information. They also want the court to make public all its future and past findings in M.K.B’s case justifying the need for secrecy.
“As media organizations committed to coverage of judicial proceedings generally and those associated with the government’s post-September 11 detentions especially, movants have an obvious, strong interest in this case,” attorneys for the coalition wrote. In response, the U.S. Justice Department has asked the Supreme Court to keep paperwork and deliberations secret while the case is under appeal.
Click here to download a PDF of the coalition’s Motion to Intervene.