USA: Double standards or international standards? Crucial decision on 9/11 trial forum "weeks" away

Report
April 28, 2010

USA: Double standards or international standards? Crucial decision on 9/11 trial forum "weeks" away

Document - USA: Double standards or international standards? Crucial decision on 9/11 trial forum ‘weeks’ away

USA: Double standards or international standards? Crucial decision on 9/11 trial forum ‘weeks’ away

28 April 2010

AI Index: AMR 51/034/2010

As part of our commitment to the principle of universality of human rights, the United States commits to working with our international partners in the spirit of openness, consultation, and respect and reaffirms that expressions of concern about the human rights situation in any country, our own included, are appropriate matters for international discussion

US Human Rights Commitments and Pledges, April 20091

The next few weeks may be the last opportunity to influence whether five Guantánamo detainees accused of involvement in the attacks of 11 September 2001 (9/11) are tried in US civilian court or in front of military commissions.2Over more than eight years, Amnesty International has called for anyone responsible for the 9/11 attacks to be brought to justice in fair trials in accordance with international standards.3The organization would consider any decision to use military commissions for these trials to be an unjustifiable U-turn by the US administration and a serious setback for human rights.4

On 13 November 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that five detainees held at the US Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba and previously charged by the Bush administration for trial by military commission would be transferred for prosecution in civilian federal court in New York. He said that “After eight years of delay, those allegedly responsible for the attacks of September the 11thwill finally face justice.”5 An accompanying Justice Department press release asserted that “the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense understand and share the concern of the victims of terrorist attacks about the length of time it has taken to bring the perpetrators to justice. Justice has been delayed far too long.”6