For Immediate Release: March 7, 2013
New York City – Human Rights First today praised a decision to bring Sulaiman Abu Ghaith – Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law – to justice in U.S. federal courts, a venue the group notes has a track record of successfully handling terrorism cases. Abu Ghaith is an alleged al Qaeda member and spokesman who is expected to appear in federal court by the end of this week.
“Our nation’s track record of successfully prosecuting alleged terrorists in federal court is second to none,” said Human Rights First’s Raha Wala. “Federal prosecutors chose to bring Mr. Abu Ghaith before a federal court because they know this is where this case belongs. That decision underscores the confidence Americans should have in our tried and true system of justice and its ability to handle these complex cases.”
Federal courts have completed nearly 500 cases related to international terrorism since 9/11. Of those, 67 cases have involved individuals captured overseas, according to Department of Justice data obtained by Human Rights First in a Freedom of Information Act request.
Meanwhile, military commissions have convicted only 7 individuals since 9/11. Two of those convictions were recently overturned due to legal problems in securing jurisdiction.
“Federal courts are ready to handle this case. We cannot say the same of the military commissions system that has bungled and needlessly delayed so many high profile terrorism prosecutions,” Wala noted. “Americans deserve justice. Thankfully, in this case, they will have the chance to get it.”
For more information about prosecuting terrorism cases, please see Human Rights First’s fact sheets Federal Courts Continue to Take Lead in Counterterrorism Prosecutions and Myth v. Fact: Trying Terrorism Suspects in Federal Court. For more information about Human Rights First’s plan for closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, please read the organization’s blueprint How to Close Guantanamo.
To speak with Wala, contact Brenda Bowser Soder at email@example.com or 202-370-3323.