Amnesty International Welcomes Obama's Decision to Hold Civilian Trial for Somali Terrorism Suspect but Very Concerned about Detention Aboard Ship

Press Release
July 6, 2011

Amnesty International Welcomes Obama's Decision to Hold Civilian Trial for Somali Terrorism Suspect but Very Concerned about Detention Aboard Ship

Contact: AIUSA media relations, 202-509-8194

(Washington, DC)  Tom Parker, policy director for terrorism, (counter) and human rights for Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement in response to news reports that Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a Somali terrorism suspect, was captured in the Gulf of Aden by the U.S. military and interrogated for two months aboard a U.S. Navy ship:

"Amnesty International welcomes the Obama administration's decision to charge and prosecute Warsame's case in U.S. federal court. The United States' criminal justice system is the most appropriate and best equipped venue to adjudicate such cases.

"However, the organization is greatly concerned by reports that Warsame spent more than two months in military detention on a U.S. naval vessel undergoing extrajudicial interrogation before his transfer to the United States.
 
"Warsame was not detained on a battlefield nor was he captured during combat. He should have been handed over to law enforcement officials at the earliest opportunity, not held as a military prisoner.  
 
"Warsame's detention on board a U.S. naval vessel has unfortunate echoes of the Bush administration's practice of using U.S. Navy ships as black sites in which to hold ghost detainees. That fact alone will inevitably cast a long shadow over this case."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.


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