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Terror Trials Condemned By Europe

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  • ummyakoub
    US TERROR TRIALS CONDEMNED BBC, 7/4/03 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3044278.stm There are at least 680 people being held at Guantanamo Bay Human rights
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 7, 2003
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      US TERROR TRIALS CONDEMNED
      BBC, 7/4/03
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3044278.stm

      There are at least 680 people being held at Guantanamo Bay Human
      rights groups have expressed outrage at the planned use of military
      tribunals to try terror suspects being held in Guantanamo Bay.

      There are at least 680 suspected al-Qaeda and Taleban members at the
      US naval base in Cuba.

      President Bush decided on Thursday that six of them, including
      Britons Moazzam Begg and Feroz Abbasi and Australian David Hicks
      should face trial in a military tribunal rather than in a regular
      court.

      But the decision has been criticised by human rights group who say
      the tribunals are a "legal black hole".

      Neil Durkin, a spokesman for the human rights organisation Amnesty
      International said the detainees could not have a fair trial.

      "It is being done outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
      without the protection of the US constitution," he told BBC News
      Online.

      "They will have no entitlement to lawyers unless they, or their
      governments can afford them. It's irregular, improper and
      concerning…"

      Stephen Jakobi, director of the British pressure group Fair Trials
      Abroad, said his concerns over the use of tribunals related to the
      most fundamental concepts of international law.

      "After 18 months, six people out of over 600 are to be tried and the
      rules have to be fixed, otherwise there might be no convictions," he
      said.

      "The US Department of Defence will appoint the judges and
      prosecutors, control the defence and make up the rules of the trial.

      "It appears to have only one objective - to secure a conviction.

      "If they were prepared to take these people to American soil and try
      them under normal US prosecution, the evidence wouldn't stand up."

      SEE ALSO:

      US AND EUROPE SET FOR CLASH OVER TERRORIST TRIALS
      Jimmy Burns, Jean Eaglesham, Hugh Williamson, Financial Times, 7/4/03
      http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?
      pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1054966681755&p=101257
      1727088

      The US faces another damaging diplomatic row with Europe over its
      decision to try six suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in secretive
      military tribunals.

      The European Union's executive commission warned on Friday that
      applying the death penalty to any of the suspects detained at the US
      base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba would risk undermining international
      support for the US-led war on terrorism.

      "The death sentence cannot be applied by military courts as this
      would make the international coalition lose the integrity and
      credibility it has so far enjoyed," said spokesman Diego de Ojeda.

      The UK, America's closest ally in the war on terror, said it would
      raise its objections with the US government at the "highest level"
      after it emerged that two of the six are British citizens.

      Foreign office minister Baroness Symons said London would pursue
      a "very vigorous discussion" to satisfy its concerns that US
      procedures may not guarantee a fair trial. "I think there are issues
      about the principle of using military commissions," she told BBC
      Radio…

      Human rights lawyers said the military process was discriminatory as
      US detainees can be tried by ordinary civilian courts. Those accused
      in the tribunals, which will take place behind closed doors, will
      have no right to appeal outside the military…

      ---

      BRITONS COULD FACE DEATH SENTENCE
      Sean O'Neill and David Rennie, Telegraph, 7/5/03
      http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?
      xml=/news/2003/07/05/nguan05.xml

      Two British al-Qa'eda suspects could face the death penalty at the
      American detention camp in Guantanamo Bay after President George W
      Bush ordered that they should stand trial before a secretive military
      tribunal.

      The Foreign Office promised yesterday to hold "very vigorous
      discussions" with US authorities to ensure that Feroz Abbasi, 23, and
      Moazzam Begg, 35, received fair trials.

      Lady Symonds, the Foreign Office minister, expressed "serious
      reservations" about the military commissions that will try Abbasi,
      Begg and four other Camp Delta detainees.

      The Pentagon has insisted the hearings will be "full and fair" but
      refused to say what the Britons will be charged with or how the
      trials will be conducted.

      They will be defended by lawyers who are required to be US citizens,
      must have security clearance and are part of a team headed by a US
      air force colonel. The cases will be decided not by a jury but by a
      military panel.

      Officials in Washington indicated that the first inmates to be tried
      may be encouraged to plead guilty in return for a measure of
      leniency. The US authorities believe they have strong evidence
      against the two Britons and the four others to be tried…



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