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A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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Holder Announcement Abandoning Federal Trials for 9/11 Suspects Is Shameful Political Compromise, says amnesty international


Tom Parker, policy director for Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Human Rights at Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement in response to the decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military commission in Guantanamo Bay:

"The announcement today by Attorney General Eric Holder that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged co-conspirators in the 9/11 attacks will face trial before a military commission rather than a federal court represents yet another shameful political compromise by the Obama administration.

President Obama came into office pledging to restore America's reputation by closing the detention facility at Guantanamo and doing away with the widely discredited kangaroo court system cobbled together by the Bush administration. That pledge finally was resounding revoked today.

Federal courts are not only an "unparalleled instrument for bringing terrorists to justice," as the attorney general said today in his remarks, they are the only credible instrument. Real justice comes from real courts. Given the obvious resistance from many in Congress, the president and other administration officials should have been out in public fighting to ensure that the proper venue for these trials was used. Instead there has been a deafening silence from the White House."

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people - no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world's largest grassroots human rights organization.

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