Military Commissions Appellate Court Reinstates Unfair Tribunals for Guantánamo Detainees
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK – A military appeals court last night reinstated charges against Canadian citizen and Guantánamo detainee Omar Khadr. The decision by the newly formed court reversed a June ruling by a military judge which found that the tribunal system created by Congress to prosecute certain prisoners held at Guantánamo lacked authority to try detainees not previously determined to be “unlawful enemy combatants.” Monday’s decision found that the commissions themselves can designate a suspect an “unlawful enemy combatant.” Khadr was 15 years old when he was captured.
The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project:
“This ruling may be a step forward for the military commissions but it’s a step backwards for the rule of law. While there are prisoners at Guantánamo who should be tried for war crimes, they should be tried under rules that are fair and that will be perceived as fair. The current rules fail this test. They permit the use of secret evidence, allow the introduction of coerced evidence, limit the right of defendants to be represented by counsel of their choosing, and fail to provide any guarantee that proceedings will be completed within a reasonable time. A ruling that allows these tribunals to move forward is nothing to celebrate.”
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in National Security
ACLU Acknowledges Improvements to DOJ Racial Profiling Policy, But Says Far More is Needed
ACLU Applauds Court For Allowing Case Challenging FBI’s Wrongful Prosecution of Chinese American Physics Professor To Move Forward
Shen v. Simpson
Chinese Immigrants Sue Florida Over Unconstitutional and Discriminatory Law Banning Them From Buying Land
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About National Security
The ACLU’s National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.