For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Brenda Bowser Soder / 202-370-3323

Human Rights First Responds to President Obama's National Security Speech

WASHINGTON - Today, Human Rights First's Chief Executive Office Elisa Massimino responded to President Obama's national security speech, stating:

"Today, the President rightly recognized that our values are our best national security asset; however, his specific proposals undermine the vision he presented. If the President really wants to ‘enlist the power of our fundamental values' he will turn to our federal courts and away from the flawed military commissions system, and he will abandon the misguided plans for indefinite detention of individuals without trial. By continuing to treat these prisoners as warriors, President Obama misses the opportunity to delegitimize them and shift the focus from our flawed procedures to their own heinous conduct.

"The decision yesterday to send a Guantanamo detainee to the United States to stand trial was a step toward rebuilding trust in our institutions. If repeated, this demonstration of confidence in our federal courts will make our country more secure."


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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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