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March 5, 2010
2:42 PM

CONTACT: Amnesty International - USA

AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302,
Laura Spann:


Amnesty International Outraged at President Obama’s Possible Flip Flop on Detainee Trials

Human rights organization appalled at administration’s reported decision to try detainees in military courts after proclaiming they would be tried in federal courts; sends wrong message to friends and foes

WASHINGTON - March 5 - Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA executive director, issued the following statement in response to news reports that the Obama administration is considering to try 9/11 detainees in military commissions after stating that the men would be tried in federal courts.  A final decision is expected within the next two weeks:

"Hope and change will not rectify the damage today to the United States’ international reputation. Change requires more than hope; it requires action and resolve.

“Unfortunately when it comes to resolving Guantanamo, action and resolve seem currently absent in the White House.

“Military commissions were created to consider evidence too inadequate to submit to a valid court.  The commissions do not conform to the due process standards established under international law and do not have legitimacy in the eyes of the global community.
“The United States is just beginning to restore a measure of its credibility as a champion of human rights on the international stage. In one stroke, President Obama could reverse that hard-won progress.  
“The hypocrisy shown by this possible decision has no bounds. The administration is scheduled to release the U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on Tuesday, March 9, assessing human rights around the world.  It is rather difficult to criticize the human rights records of other countries while the U.S. government still continues its absurd process of trying some detainees in kangaroo courts and holding others indefinitely.”
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.



We are people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.

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