Human Rights First Calls for the US Government to Respect the Limits of the Hamdan Sentence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2008
6:15 PM

CONTACT: Human Rights First
Krista Minteer (212) 845-5207

 
Human Rights First Calls for the US Government
to Respect the Limits of the Hamdan Sentence
 
NEW YORK - August 7 - Today the panel of U.S. military officers who presided over Salim Hamdan’s trial sentenced him to 66 months imprisonment. With the judge in the case having decided yesterday that Hamdan is entitled to five years credit for time already served, Hamdan will complete his sentence within six months. Human Rights First calls for Mr. Hamdan to be released and repatriated upon completing his sentence.

“This sentence – which is far less than the thirty-years-to life sentence the prosecution sought – does not erase the fundamental flaws in the military commission system. But the panel has spoken, and the U.S. government should respect the limitations of the sentence,” said Deborah Colson, Senior Associate of Human Rights First.

“Continuing to detain Mr. Hamdan as an ‘enemy combatant’ after serving his sentence would be inconsistent with American and international standards of justice,” said Colson. “It would only further diminish the legitimacy of these proceedings.”

Human Rights First has attended nearly every military commission hearing, including the Hamdan trial, since they began in 2004. From the inception, Human Rights First has raised concerns over a commissions system that falls far short of fundamental standards of justice.

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