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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2009
2:04 PM

CONTACT: Human Rights First

Brenda Bowser Soder /
bowsersoderb@humanrightsfirst.org /
202-370-3323

Rights Group Opposes Reconstituted Military Commissions

NEW YORK - May 15 - Elisa Massimino, CEO and Executive Director of Human Rights First, today issued the following response to President Obama’s announcement that he intends to reconstitute military commissions to try suspected terrorists:

“Tinkering with the machinery of military commissions will not remove the taint of Guantanamo from future prosecutions. The president should listen to the many dedicated military lawyers who both defended and prosecuted cases in the commissions at Guantanamo who have said that the commissions are irredeemable. We cannot achieve justice by reverse engineering a process to enhance the likelihood of convictions. That’s not how we do things in this country. The federal criminal justice system has credibility and a proven track record of prosecuting terrorism cases without compromising national security or our Constitution’s values. President Obama should use it.”

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Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. Human Rights First believes that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.


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