World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

USA: It is time for the legal limbo to end


USA: It is time for the legal limbo to end

The possibility of the US administration suspending legal proceedings against UK nationals held in Guantánamo Bay raises more questions than it answers, Amnesty International said today, while reiterating its absolute opposition to the USA's proposals for trials by military commissions.

"Suspending legal proceedings against people whose legal rights have already been suspended for over a year would leave a continuing legal limbo," Amnesty International said.

On 3 July 2003, the Pentagon announced that President Bush had named six foreign nationals - currently in US custody - as the first people to be subject to the Military Order he signed in November 2001 providing for indefinite detention without charge or trial of people suspected of involvement in "international terrorism" or trial by military commissions. These executive bodies will have the power to hand down death sentences against which there would be no right of appeal to any court. It emerged that two of the named prisoners were UK nationals, Moazzam Begg and Feroz Abbasi, causing huge concern in the United Kingdom.

No charges have yet been levelled against any of the six detainees, and no military commissions appointed.

"We call on the US government not just to suspend its plans for military commissions, but to rule out such unfair trials altogether, once and for all," Amnesty International said. "We stress that such proceedings should not just be ruled out in the case of UK nationals, but for any of the hundreds of foreign nationals held in US custody in Guantánamo Bay, in Bagram Air Base, and in undisclosed locations around the world."

Amnesty International repeated its call for all those held in US custody to be given access to legal counsel and to be able to challenge the lawfulness of their detention in a court of law. If suspected of crimes, they should be charged with recognizably criminal offences and brought to trial within a reasonable time, in proceedings which fully meet international standards for fair trial and without recourse to the death penalty, or else they should be released.

Yesterday, President Bush said of the Guantánamo detainees that "the only thing I know for certain is that these are bad people".

"By once again showing utter disregard for the presumption of innocence, President Bush has shown why justice will neither be done nor be seen to be done if the trials by military commissions go ahead," Amnesty International stressed, pointing out that the executive, led by President Bush, completely controls the commissions and takes the final decision on any verdicts handed down, including on whether a condemned defendant lives or dies.

"It is time for this legal limbo to end, and for the USA to admit it took a wrong turning with the November 2001 Military Order," Amnesty International continued. "International security is best served by full adherence to international law and respect for fundamental human rights standards".

Guantánamo Bay: Urge the USA to guarantee fair trials for all! Take action by visiting http://amnesty-news.c.tclk.net/maabheaaaZkMtbb0hPub/


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC