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Beyond Guantanamo

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Beyond Guantanamo is a policy declaration, coordinated by Human Rights First and the Constitution Project, about the steps to be taken with terror suspects once the Guantanamo Bay detention camp closes. Its signatories span a wide ideological spectrum. [1]

Its key points are:

  • "Civilian federal courts are the proper forum for terrorism cases." They have, in the past, demonstrated the ability to handle complex terrorism cases, such as the trial of the defendants for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Africa. The War Crimes Act explicitly gives federal courts jurisdiction to try certain war crimes.
  • "Terrorism suspects should be criminally tried, not detained without charge. We believe it is unconstitutional to detain indefinitely terrorism suspects in the United States without charge, either for the purposes of interrogation and intelligence-gathering or solely on the basis of suspected dangerousness..There are limited times when preventive detention, subject to required procedural protections, is appropriate in the context of armed conflict. However, the continued detention without charge of the detainees remaining in Guantanamo is not appropriate and is contrary to American values."
  • "Indefinite detention without charge is counterproductive and harms the U.S. reputation globally" It would cause long-term damage to the ability of the United States to promote a policy of human rights and interfere with alliances, and create resentment that actually increases the threat to American citizens

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