For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Brenda Bowser Soder at or 202-370-3323

House Defeats Amendment to Realign Counterterrorism Policy with American Values

WASHINGTON - This morning, the House of Representatives failed to pass the Smith-Amash amendment to the 2013 Fiscal Year’s defense authorization bill, a measure that would have modified controversial provisions of the 2012 Fiscal Year’s defense authorization act to ban indefinite detention in the United States and repeal mandatory military custody for foreign terrorism suspects. Human Rights First said the vote was a missed opportunity for the House to realign counterterrorism policy with American values.

“It’s a shame that the House of Representatives has turned its back on our nation’s security and the rule of law,” said Human Rights First’s Raha Wala.  “Last year, Americans of all political persuasions were dismayed when politicians approved indefinite detention that could extend here in the United States.  Today, the House missed opportunity to change course and realign counterterrorism policy with American values.”

The defense authorization bill will be considered in the Senate Armed Services Committee next week and is expected on the floor of the full Senate shortly thereafter.


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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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