Amnesty International welcomes temporary halt of military tribunals

Amnesty International welcomes President Obama’s first act in office: the call for a temporary halt and review of all military tribunals. This is an important signal of recognition by the new US administration that trials taking place under the Military Commissions Act are deeply flawed and fall far short of international fair trial standards.

Amnesty International urges the new administration to build on this first step by undertaking a swift and thorough review and abolishing completely military commission trials, and bring all the pending cases to trial in an ordinary civilian court with appropriate recognition of the age at the time of the alleged crime, of all those involved.

The EU should follow up on this important first sign by helping to bring an end to this chapter of human rights violations in the context of the “war on terror”. EU foreign ministers should use the next GAERC to secure a political commitment to provide international protection to Guantánamo detainees who will not be charged with any crime but cannot be returned to their countries of origin for fear of torture or other serious human rights violations.