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Jewish groups rally for detainees’ rights

Jewish groups joined a rally and lobbying day in Washington aimed at repealing the Military Commissions Act.The Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and tThe Shalom Center joined the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International-USA and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture in a “Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice.”Organizers said thousands of activists rallied Tuesday to demand the restoration of full habeas corpus, the right of a detainee to appear before a court. Last year’s Military Commission Act, passed by Congress after intensive White House lobbying, suspends that right in some terrorism cases.The rally also called for an end to torture and abuse in secret prisons, an end to rendering suspects to nations that practice torture, and for the detention center at Guantanamo Bay to be shut down. Bush administration officials say the “robust” interrogation techniques it employs fall short of torture.Rabbi Gerry Serotta, the senior rabbinic scholar-in-residence at the RAC, said: “It is time to replant the seeds of American justice,” noting that Israel is an example of a country that has banned torture.