Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

15 May 2009

Return of Guantánamo military commissions would not serve justice

Return of Guantánamo military commissions would not serve justice
President Barack Obama would be "short-changing justice" if he revives the military commissions to try Guantánamo detainees, Amnesty International has said.

"You cannot revamp a system that is, in essence, unfair," said Rob Freer, US Researcher at Amnesty International. "The US has a functioning civilian criminal justice system that is used to dealing with complex trials. This is the system that the US administration should be using for any Guantánamo detainee it decides to prosecute."

"Military commissions were conceived and developed as part of an unlawful detention regime, to facilitate convictions while minimizing judicial scrutiny of the executive’s treatment of detainees," said Rob Freer.

"No amount of tinkering with their rules can fix this discredited system. The commissions – which President Obama has himself described as an 'enormous failure' – should be scrapped."

Amnesty International has been calling on the new US administration to abandon the military commissions, withdraw all charges under the Military Commissions Act (legislation which, as a Senator, Barack Obama, voted against) and to transfer to the US mainland any Guantánamo detainee who is to be charged.

These detainees should be brought before a civilian judicial authority, and promptly charge him with specific offences under applicable federal law.

Read More

USA: Any return to unfair trials must be rejected: Time to take military commissions off the table (Public document, 7 May 2009)

Issue

Detention 
Prison Conditions 
Torture And Ill-treatment 
Trials And Legal Systems 

Country

USA 

Region

Americas 

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Security with Human Rights 

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