For Immediate Release: October 22, 2009
Washington, DC Human Rights First called today’s Senate passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2009 as part of the Department of Defense authorization bill an improvement on existing law, but noted that the new procedures still fail to meet U.S. constitutional and international law fair trial standards. The group noted that no amount of change will purge the taint caused by the second-class system of justice that military commissions have come to represent. The final bill, which the House passed two weeks ago, will now go to the President for signature.
“This bill improves upon procedures that were put into practice after passage of the 2006 Military Commissions Act, but it does not erase or address the problems that are inherently related to these proceedings,” said Human Rights First Advocacy Counsel Devon Chaffee. “Military commissions lack the legitimacy of regular federal criminal courts and their continued use threatens to perpetuate the legacy of failed trial and detention policies at Guant