Press release International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
July 2, 2006.
29 June 2006 -- On the day that the United States Supreme Court decided that trial of Guantamano Bay detainees by military
commissions violates US law and US obligations under the Geneva Conventions, the ICJ called for the closure of Guantanamo Bay and
for anyone suspected of committing criminal offences to be brought to trial without delay before an ordinary criminal court.
"This is the third time in two years that the US Supreme Court has shone the light of the rule of law onto the legal black hole of
Guantanamo Bay", said Nicholas Howen, ICJ Secretary-General.
"President Bush said he was waiting for this ruling before deciding the future of Guantanamo. The US Administration can now move
swiftly. The flawed military commissions must not be replaced by another form of military tribunal with a different name", added
The ICJ said that the decision should pave the way to the Guantanamo detainees now being released or, if they are suspected of
having committed recognisable criminal offences, being tried without delay under ordinary US criminal law before ordinary US
civilian courts, with all the usual fair trial guarantees.
"The Supreme Court decision is about the military commissions. But releasing or trying the detainees before ordinary civilian
courts, in a credible process with a clear timetable, would restore confidence in the rule of law", said Nicholas Howen.
The Supreme Court confirmed in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that any prisoners held in Guantanamo who are alleged to have committed criminal
offences must be brought to justice before regularly constituted courts providing guarantees of a fair trial. The ICJ recalled that
that unless detainees are accorded prisoner of war status, international law requires that they are brought before ordinary civilian
courts providing all guarantees of a fair trial.
For further information, please contact Gerald Staberock, +41 (0)22 979 3800, firstname.lastname@example.org.