[JURIST] Amnesty International urged the US to abandon the military commission system [press release] and try Guantanamo Bay detainees in the federal courts in a report [text] released Thursday, just days before the US military is poised to begin military commission proceedings against David Hicks [JURIST news archive]. Amnesty's report - Justice delayed and justice denied? Trials under the Military Commissions Act - outlines perceived problems with the military commission system set up to try Guantanamo Bay detainees:
The military commissions will operate in something approaching a legal vacuum. Defendants cannot turn to international human rights law, the Geneva Conventions or the US Constitution for protection. The military commissions are part of a universe absent of judicial remedy for detainees and their families. Even if a detainee is acquitted, he may be returned to indefinite detention as a so-called "enemy combatant".Hicks was charged last month with providing material support to terrorists [JURIST report] and will be the first of ten detainees tried by a military commission [JURIST news archive]. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday. Amnesty also asked the UK government to protest the commissions [BBC report].
Guantanamo detainees are challenging provisions of the Military Commissions Act which prevent federal courts from hearing detainees' habeas corpus petitions. The US Supreme Court, however, has so far refused to grant expedited review [JURIST report] of the cases.