April 21, 2016, New York – In response to reports of proposed new rules for the controversial military commissions system at Guantanamo, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents men in all three categories of remaining detainees at the base – cleared men, “forever prisoners,” and those charged in the military commissions – released the following statement:
The Pentagon’s legislative proposals are an attempt to change the rules of the military commission system after more than a decade in order to stymie the defense and afford the prosecution a greater chance to win these cases. We know from experience that concepts like “efficacy,” “flexibility,” and “better management” will mean fewer rights for the men we represent, and in particular are a response to the government’s poor track record of prosecuting military commission cases. If the commission system is not working, or costs too much, it should be abandoned for federal courts.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for more than 14 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country, ensuring that nearly all the men detained at Guantánamo have had the option of legal representation. Among other Guantánamo cases, the Center represents the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking justice in international courts.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.