(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In response to allegations that the FBI sought to recruit an informant from the defense team in the 9/11 military commission, Anne FitzGerald, Amnesty International's observer at this week's pretrial motion hearing at Guantanamo, issued the following statement:
"If true, this would be the latest in a string of attempts to undermine the ability of the defense to represent their clients – one of the hallmarks of a fair trial.
"Under international standards, the authorities must respect the confidentiality of communications and consultations within the professional relationship between lawyers and their clients. Governments must ensure that detainees can consult and communicate with counsel without delay, interception or censorship.
"This week's hearing was expected to cover whether one of the defendants is competent to stand trial. The bigger issue is that Guantanamo is not competent to deliver justice. The 9/11 defendants should be prosecuted fairly in U.S. federal court."
Anne FitzGerald, Director of Research & Crisis Response at Amnesty International, is available for interview from Guantanamo.
For more on Guantanamo, please see Amnesty's report "A Decade of Damage to Human Rights."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members 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.