United States: Abandoning Federal Trials for 9/11 Suspects is Shameful Political Compromise, Says Amnesty International

Press Release
April 4, 2011

United States: Abandoning Federal Trials for 9/11 Suspects is Shameful Political Compromise, Says Amnesty International

Amnesty International Media Release
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 4, 2011

HOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT ABANDONING FEDERAL TRIALS FOR 9/11 SUSPECTS IS SHAMEFUL
POLITICAL COMPROMISE, SAYS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 202-509-8194, fitzgerald@aiusa.org

(Washington, DC) -- Tom Parker, policy director for Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Human Rights at Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement in response to the decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military commission in Guantanamo Bay:

"The announcement today by Attorney General Eric Holder that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged co-conspirators in the 9/11 attacks will face trial before a military commission rather than a federal court represents yet another shameful political compromise by the Obama administration.

President Obama came into office pledging to restore America’s reputation by closing the detention facility at Guantanamo and doing away with the widely discredited kangaroo court system cobbled together by the Bush administration. That pledge finally was resounding revoked today.

Federal courts are not only an “unparalleled instrument for bringing terrorists to justice,” as the attorney general said today in his remarks, they are the only credible instrument. Real justice comes from real courts. Given the obvious resistance from many in Congress, the president and other administration officials should have been out in public fighting to ensure that the proper venue for these trials was used. Instead there has been a deafening silence from the White House."

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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For more information, please visit: www.amnestyusa.org.