secret proceedings

secret proceedings

From a March 8, 2007 article by Andrew Buncombe in The Independent:

Campaigners have condemned the Bush administration’s plan to proceed with secret proceedings [Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT)] against 14 “high-value” terrorism suspects currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. The suspects include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of organising the 11 September 2001 attacks.

The military tribunals, scheduled to begin tomorrow, will take place behind closed doors and away from the scrutiny of the media. Hundreds of previous hearings held to determine the formal status of the prisoners have been open to reporters. None of the suspects will be able to have a lawyer present …

Wells Dixon, a lawyer with the New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights, which represents one of the men due to go before a CSRT, Majid Khan, said: “This is a system designed to obtain a pre-determined result.”

Mr. Dixon said that Mr. Bush had admitted the 14 men had been subjected to “enhanced interrogation” techniques which he said was a euphemism for torture. He added that under the CSRT rules the government could use information obtained under torture. He added: “You don’t know what is true until you have given them a fair trial.”

Secret proceedings, no lawyers, “enhanced interrogation techniques” …… “High-value” suspects or not, this is no recipe for justice, and no recipe for winning the hearts and minds of the international community which is the key to winning the war on terrorism! If we want to win that war, we must show we are committted — truly committed — to justice for its own sake, and to the rule of law as a matter of principle, not just when it happens to suit our purposes or serves to protect those we choose to protect.

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