Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni national, has been convicted by a panel of six US military officers of “providing material support for terrorism”, but acquitted of “conspiracy”. The Pentagon had, however, confirmed yesterday that he would remain in indefinite detention as an “enemy combatant” regardless of the verdict.
Amnesty International believes that the conviction under procedures that do not meet international fair trial standards compounds the injustice of his more than five years’ unlawful detention in Guantánamo.
“We have consistently called for justice and security to be pursued within a framework of strict adherence to international law; however the US government has systematically failed in this regard,” said Rob Freer, Amnesty International’s researcher on the USA.
Amnesty International has said that the entire military commission system is fundamentally flawed and that the tribunals should be abandoned in all cases. The organisation continues to campaign for trials of Guantánamo detainees to be held in ordinary civilian courts in the USA, without resort to the death penalty, and for the Guantánamo detention facility to be shut down.
The sentencing hearing is due to begin today. He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.