U.S. rights groups say the government jailed scores of U.S.-based Muslim men without charges after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
A report issued Monday by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union says the arrests were carried out under a law that permits brief detention of "material witnesses" considered likely to flee, and believed to have important information about a crime.
The rights groups say, after a year of research, they have confirmed that of 70 men detained as witnesses following the attacks, "a handful" were charged with crimes related to terrorism. About half were never called to testify, and the government apologized to 13 men for wrongful detention.
The report says a vast majority of detainees were of Middle Eastern or South Asian origin, several were U.S. citizens and only one was non-Muslim.
U.S. officials have yet to comment on the report.
Some information for this report provided by AFP.