Fair Trials

Military Commissions

The military commissions set up by Presidents Bush and Obama at Guantanamo do not meet international standards for fairness and must be abandoned.

Military Commissions have been specifically crafted to enable the U.S. authorities to circumvent protections that defendants would enjoy in a civilian courtroom. The fact that they have undergone multiple statutory and procedural revisions suggests that they fall short of the “regularly constituted court” standard required by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Amnesty International has long called for any Guantanamo detainee whom the USA intends to prosecute to be promptly charged and brought to fair criminal trial in an independent and impartial tribunal applying fair trial standards, such as a U.S. federal court.

Military Commissions

The military commissions set up by Presidents Bush and Obama at Guantanamo do not meet international standards for fairness and must be abandoned.

Military Commissions have been specifically crafted to enable the U.S. authorities to circumvent protections that defendants would enjoy in a civilian courtroom. The fact that they have undergone multiple statutory and procedural revisions suggests that they fall short of the “regularly constituted court” standard required by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Amnesty International has long called for any Guantanamo detainee whom the USA intends to prosecute to be promptly charged and brought to fair criminal trial in an independent and impartial tribunal applying fair trial standards, such as a U.S. federal court.

In April 2011 Attorney-General Holder announced that he had dropped plans to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other alleged 9/11 co-conspirators in federal court. It is likely there will be no further federal trials of Gunatanamo detainees.

Federal courts successfully prosecuted 523 terrorism-related defendants between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2009. The present conviction rate is 88%. To date Military Commissions have convicted less than 1% of the inmates who have passed through GTMO.

President Obama accurately denounced Military Commissions as "an enormous failure" on the campaign trail. That remains every bit as true today as it was then.

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