U.S.: Amnesty International Denounces New Policies on Guantanamo

Press Release
March 7, 2011

U.S.: Amnesty International Denounces New Policies on Guantanamo

Amnesty International Media Statement
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 07, 2011

Amnesty International Denounces New Policies on Guantanamo

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 202-509-8194

(Washington) –Tom Parker, Amnesty International policy director for (counter) terrorism and human rights, issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s executive order issued today outlining new policies for detainee cases at the U.S.-controlled detention center in Guantanamo Bay:

“With the stroke of a pen, President Obama extinguished any lingering hope that his administration would return the United States to the rule of law by referring detainee cases from Guantanamo Bay to federal courts rather than the widely discredited military commissions.

“His original executive order, issued only days after his inauguration, was welcomed around the world for moving quickly to restore the United States’ role as a positive force for human rights in the world.

“The executive order he issued today completed his embrace of Bush area counterterrorism policy. For the new Periodic Review Boards (PRBs) are little more than a cosmetic rebranding of the much derided Combatant Status Review Tribunals that operated in Guantanamo during the Bush administration.

“The PRBs fall short of offering detainees an opportunity to mount a robust defense and to challenge the government’s position regarding their detention. After two years of indecision and delays, the Obama administration has finally come up with a ‘new’ policy that changes very little and amounts to little more than an elaborate shell game."

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