9/11 Family Members Express Profound Disappointment at Reports White House Will Increase Use of Military Commission to Try Guantanamo Detainees

For Immediate Release

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Contact: 

Shonna Carter or David Lerner, Riptide Communications 212-260-5000
Talat Hamdani, Peaceful Tomorrows, 631-655-8781

 

9/11 Family Members Express Profound Disappointment at Reports White House Will Increase Use of Military Commission to Try Guantanamo Detainees

Relatives Say Military Commissions Undermine the American Justice System

NEW YORK - September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a membership
organization representing over 200 victims' families released the
following statement in reaction a report in the New York Times that the Obama
administration is preparing to increase the use of military commissions to
prosecute Guantanamo detainees. The following statement can be attributed to
Peaceful Tomorrows spokesperson, Talat Hamdani. 

We
are deeply concerned by the recent reports that the Obama administration is
planning to increase the use of military commissions to prosecute Guantanamo
detainees.

As
family members of victims of September 11th we have waited nearly 10
years for the  trials of  those accused of killing our loved ones.
Military commissions have been embroiled in a series of legal challenges and we
fully expect that this inadequate alternative to our well-tested federal court
system will continue to delay our desire for justice to be served.

Despite
the creation of new draft regulations for conducting the commissions, unresolved legal questions such as whether
evidence obtained from torture would be admissible remain. Peaceful Tomorrows
absolutely rejects the notion that evidence gleaned from torture can be used in
an American judicial process, it undermines our Democracy.

We
believe in the values our nation stands for - our historic commitment to
justice and the rule of law; and we believe in the strength and competence of
our federal legal system. Hundreds of suspected terrorists have been
successfully prosecuted in the federal courts and there is no reason to believe
our system will not continue to function effectively.

We
understand that there are obstacles to closing Guantanamo. We were heartened
when President Obama first took office and made a commitment to shut its doors;
however we are deeply troubled that this promise has not been kept. We also
call on Congress to stop undermining this effort
and place their trust in the
constitution that defines our way of life. 

Members
of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a national organization of
more than 200 relatives of victims of the 9/11 attacks, have been outspoken
supporters of holding civilian trials for Guantanamo detainees, including
alleged 9/11 master mind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. The group has made public
appeals to both Eric Holder and President Obama including a video letter
created by the group to President Obama, please see the video here: http://vimeo.com/10559231
The group has also met with several members of Congress and reinforced their
support for civilian trails.

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