Nashiri Military Commission Case Indefinitely Suspended
Washington, D.C.—Following the indefinite suspension of the military commission proceedings against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Rita Siemion issued the following statement:
“Today’s decision is a confirmation of what we have known for a long time: that terrorism suspects cannot—and should not— be tried in military commissions. The commissions are untested and have a poor track record of success—a stark contrast to our federal court system, which has convicted individuals in over six hundred terrorism cases. Military commissions are ineffective at delivering justice and closure to victims’ family members, and betray our American ideals. Instead of allowing this farce to continue, President Trump should bring all future terrorism cases to federal courts.”
Human Rights First notes that federal courts have proven much more effective at obtaining convictions of terrorist suspects than military commissions. Since September 11, 2001, military commission trials have resulted in only eight convictions, three of which were reversed or overturned entirely and one partially. Meanwhile, federal courts have produced more than six hundred terrorism-related convictions in the same period, including 108 in which the defendant was captured abroad. Human Rights First urges Congress to allow the current military commission defendants to be tried in federal court.
National security leaders and former government officials—including president George W. Bush, and other officials who helped set up the detention center—have supported closing Guantanamo because they’ve determined that it’s operation is contrary to the national interest. Human Rights First urges President Trump to continue efforts to close the facility.