For Immediate Release
Obama Breaks Major Campaign Promise as Military Commissions Resume, Says Amnesty International
Human Rights Organization Reiterates Call for Detainees to be Tried in US Federal Courts
WASHINGTON - In response to President Barack Obama restarting the military commissions at the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Amnesty International's executive director Larry Cox issued the following statement:
"President Obama is reinstating the same deeply-flawed military commissions that in June 2008 he called an 'enormous failure.' In one swift move, Obama both backtracks on a major campaign promise to change the way the United States fights terrorism and undermines the nation's core respect for the rule of law by sacrificing due process for political expediency.
"Whatever revisions the Obama administration has made to the commissions do not change the fact that the commissions do not provide an adequate standard of justice for the detainees nor the victims of terrorism--they merely mock the U.S. Constitution, international laws and undermine fundamental human rights standards.
"What happened to President Obama's confidence in the U.S. justice system's ability to try detainees? He himself said that 'we need not throw away 200 years of American jurisprudence while we fight terrorism.'
"U.S. federal courts are a perfectly sound system to try any and all detainees. They have brought other terror suspects to justice, and there is no reason why these courts cannot continue to do the same."
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