FIDH opposes the creation of a military tribunal in the United States to judge terrorists

FIDH is very concerned by the decree taken by George W. Bush on 14 November that sets in place a special military commission to judge the individuals "suspected of participating in terrorist acts or of supporting terrorism".

Being an exceptional jurisdiction, the military commission raises many issues such as its functioning, its composition and thus its independence and impartiality.

The due process of a trial requires transparency of proceedings and respect for the fundamental rights of the defence. These conditions are not fulfilled in this case. This unilateral initiative, which does not require Congress’ approval, may undermine the legitimate right of the victims to be represented.

In order to safeguard the exemplarity of the repression of the authors of terrorist attacks, due process of law has to be guaranteed; this cannot be carried out by a military jurisdiction.

Justice must overcome the temptation of revenge

FIDH recalls that although it is necessary to sanction the perpetrators of terrorist acts, any such repression must respect the universal principles of protection of human rights and the framework of international legality.

This must be done through the arrest and trial of the authors of the 11 September terrorist attacks by an independent and impartial jurisdiction of common law.

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