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MEDIA CONTACT: Mandy Simon, [email protected]

NEW YORK – Responding to reports that President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate General James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense, Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International USA’s Security with Human Rights Program, released the following statement:

“General Mattis’ murky and conflicting views on human rights raise serious questions that must be answered during his confirmation process.

“If confirmed, General Mattis would wield tremendous power, including the ability to order torture and flood Guantanamo with new detainees held without charge. General Mattis has said that those at Guantanamo should be held indefinitely – even though nearly all have been held without charge for more than a decade. However, he is reported to have rejected torture as a useful method of interrogation in conversations with President-elect Trump.

“The U.S. cannot hold moral high ground and will never be seen as leader on human rights if it returns to torture and continues to hold people indefinitely without charge. During the confirmation process, General Mattis must clarify these contradictory statements and commit to safeguarding human rights.

“We have real concerns about human rights in a Trump Administration, and we will demand that the Senate press General Mattis about his specific views and positions.”

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Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.