AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Amnesty International Vows to Push for Clarification on Detainee Legislation
(Washington, DC) Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director, issued the following statement in response to President Bush signing the “Military Commissions Act” earlier today:
“Now bad policy has become bad law. The administration can now hold people indefinitely, without charge or without trial, with Congressional authorization.
“The president this morning stated that the legislation would allow the CIA program to continue and that the new legislation satisfied ‘both the spirit and the letter of the law.’ If, in making such a statement, the president is asserting that the CIA can continue to detain people in secret prisons and use interrogation techniques that amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, such an assertion is outlandish. Enforced disappearance is a crime under international law, and there is no legal interpretation of U.S. treaty obligations that would sanction secret detentions.
“By cutting off avenues for judicial review, the legislation puts people in detention at substantial risk. A person’s ability to challenge his detention and invoke fundamental rights in court is a critical protection against abuses by any government. By striking down these rights, this legislation is an historic step backwards and creates a fertile breeding ground for violations to continue.
“Amnesty International will to continue to push the administration and Congress to provide clarification. We’re not giving up. We’re fighting back and we’re fighting back hard.”
As background. PLG recommends the October 17, 2006 Progressive Magazine article by Matthew Rothschild: “Bush Betrays Democracy and Truth in Signing Military Commissions Act.”