Amnesty Blasts 'Show' Gitmo Trials

Amnesty International blasted on Thursday, March 22, the US military trials of terror suspects held in Guantanamo as shameless shows lacking the basic principles of independence and impartiality of the court.

Amnesty Blasts 'Show' Gitmo Trials

Amnesty International blasted onThursday, March 22, the USmilitary trials of terror suspects held in Guantanamo as shameless shows lacking thebasic principles of independence and impartiality of the court.

"After more than five years of holding hundredsof prisoners in a virtual legal vacuum the US authorities are now adding insultto injury by pressing ahead with grossly unfair trials," said Kate Allen,Amnesty's United Kingdom director.

Launching its report, "Justice delayed andjustice denied?", the London-based human rights group insisted that the US militarytrials do not meet international standards of fairness.

"Military commissions are a complete travestyof justice -- no more, no less," Allen insisted.

"The military commissions will be convenedfollowing a trail of illegality, with those to be tried arbitrarily detainedand ill-treated for years."

The 116-page report highlighted the limited right ofappeal and the risk of so-called "enemy combatants" being returned toindefinite custody even if acquitted.

It said likely defendants were victims of secretdetention, secret transfers from country to country, torture or cruel, inhumanor degrading treatment.

"We want to see the USgovernment abandon these shabby show trials and transfer Guantanamocases to proper civilian federal courts on the US mainland."

The USis preparing to resume military tribunals on Monday with Australian Guantanamodetainee David Hicks, a 31-year-old Muslim convert who faces charges of"providing material support for terrorism."

Unlike the military commissions that hear war crimescharges, the UScombatant status tribunals offer minimal procedural protection and are notrecognizably judicial.

Instead of having access to a lawyer, "enemycombatants" are represented at the hearings by a military officer.

More Breaches

Amnesty also urged foreign governments, including Britain, toresist US requests for cooperation with the military commissions in recognitionof their deeply unfair nature.

It scolded the Tony Blair government's position onthe notorious camp, where the UShas been holding detainees for years without pressing charges against them.

"Recently we've begun to hear relatively strongcriticism from the UK Government about the 'affront to democracy' that Guantanamo represents,"Allen said.

"Now we want to see that backed byaction."

At least eight men with UKresidency rights are among the approximately 370 detainees currently held at Guantanamo.

They include 37-year-old Omar Deghayes, who has beenheld there since his detention in Pakistan in 2002.

Deghayes, whose family are officially recognizedrefugees from Libya, hasbeen tortured by Guantanamoguards.

"It's frightening that my brother's ordeal at Guantanamo could nowinclude a sham trial before an unfair military court," said his sisterAmani.

She urged the Blair government to help her brother.

"We want the UKgovernment to stop sitting on its hands and to help him and the other UK residents.

"The family has always said that we're notlooking for special favors for Omar - only justice."

Click hereto read the report infull.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16