January 7, 2010

Terrorism Suspects Should Be Tried In Federal Courts, Says ACLU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – The Obama administration will try another Guantánamo detainee in the military commissions system, according to news reports today. The detainee, who goes by the name Obaidullah, has been held at Guantánamo since 2002. He is the sixth prisoner referred to the military commissions by the Obama administration. 

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project:

"It's disappointing that the administration has chosen to prosecute another Guantánamo detainee in a discredited system that is designed to ensure convictions rather than fair trials. While Congress recently improved the military commissions system in certain respects, the system still fails to provide the procedural rights that are guaranteed by U.S. and international law. The military commissions system is also unnecessary, because the federal courts are well-equipped to handle complicated terrorism cases and protect classified information without compromising the rights of the accused.

"The military commissions have contributed to Guantánamo's image as an icon of injustice, and the Obama administration should not be perpetuating them. If Guantánamo detainees have committed real crimes, they should be prosecuted in real courts."

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