NEW YORK - A US judge blocked enforcement of a recently enacted law's provision that authorizes indefinite military detention for those deemed to have "substantially supported" Qaeda, the Taliban or "associated forces." US District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan ruled in favour of a group of civilian activists and journalists who said they feared being detained under a section of the law, which was signed by President Obama in Dec 2011. "In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more," the judge said. The judge prevents the US govt from enforcing section 1021 of the NDA Act's "Homeland Battlefield" provisions.

A spokeswoman for the Manhattan US Attorney's office, which represents the government in this case, declined to comment on the ruling.

During day-long oral arguments in March, Forrest heard lawyers for former New York Times war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and others argue that the law would have a "chilling effect" on their work.

"Can Hedges and others be detained for contacting Qaeda or the Taliban as reporters?" Forrest asked the government at the hearing.