Here’s a heads up on another very important proceeding happening this week that stands to have a big impact on our legal system and the Constitution. After more than a year, the military commission hearings will resume tomorrow in Guanatanamo Bay. Avi Cover from Human Rights First will be posting daily reports and analysis that can be found at www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/detainees/gitmo_diary/. More information is below.
Military commission hearings will commence in Guatanamo Bay tomorrow, Wednesday, January 11th. Avi Cover, Senior Associate of the U.S. Law and Security Program at Human Rights First, will be monitoring the trial and posting reactions on a blog on the Human Rights First web page.
In advance of the proceedings, Avi has been providing insight and commentary from Guantanamo on the key issues raised by the establishment of military commissions. You can follow his commentary at www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/detainees/gitmo_diary/.
The military commissions – which are inconsistent with the laws of war, human rights laws and the U.S. Constitution – resume for the first time in over a year since a federal district court ruled them unlawful. The legality of the commissions is now before the Supreme Court with oral arguments expected in March. The military commissions suffer from a variety of flaws: they are under the complete control of the President, without independent judicial review; they may allow for evidence to be used against the defendant without his ever being apprised of the information; they include charges for offenses that do not exist under the laws of war; and they fail to preclude the use of evidence obtained through torture.
The two detainees coming before the commissions are 19-year-old Canadian citizen Omar Khadr and a 37-year-old Yemeni named Ali Hamza-Al-Bahlul. Khadr is charged with murder, attempted murder, aiding the enemy and conspiracy to commit offenses trialable by a military commission. Bahlul has been charged with conspiracy, namely creating propaganda for al Qaeda.
Please check Avi’s blog regularly to get the latest on the proceedings at www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/detainees/gitmo_diary/.
Human Rights First