Amnesty International Denounces Passage of Defense Authorization Act Prohibiting Prosecution of Guantanamo Detainees in Federal Courts

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Amnesty International Denounces Passage of Defense Authorization Act Prohibiting Prosecution of Guantanamo Detainees in Federal Courts

WASHINGTON - Vienna Colucci, Amnesty International USA senior policy advisor, issued the following the statement in response to the passage of National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 6523) by the U.S. Senate and House. The Act blocks prosecution of Guantanamo detainees in U.S. federal court.

"Today's vote will only serve to further erode the U.S. government's human rights record and hamper the administration's ability to bring terrorism suspects to justice.

"U.S. federal courts have and can continue to handle the prosecution of terrorism suspects, through fair trials that protect public safety and promote public confidence.

"This law will also effectively prevent the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, prolonging a human rights scandal whose closure national security and foreign policy experts agree is essential to improve U.S. counterterrorism efforts and mend the international standing of the United States.

"The United States should hold fair trials in U.S. federal courts for Guantanamo detainees charged with crimes and release the others."

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