Obama to keep military tribunals at Guantanamo

May 16th, 2009 - 1:03 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, May 15 (DPA) US President Barack Obama announced Friday that he would keep the Guantanamo military tribunals for trying terror suspects but would enact new rules to enhance their rights.
Obama suspended the proceedings shortly after taking office in January pending a review of the process. Days later he announced his administration would close the prison facility at Guantanamo within a year.

But he said Friday he would seek a further delay in ongoing cases to implement new rules before continuing with the controversial commissions established by former president George W. Bush.

“These reforms will begin to restore the commissions as a legitimate forum for prosecution, while bringing them in line with the rule of law,” Obama said in a statement.

Civil rights groups urged Obama to bring the cases into federal courts and believe the Bush-era system is irreparable.

“We’re profoundly disappointed” with Obama’s decision, Stacy Sullivan of Human Rights Watch said. “We’ve been calling for terrorism suspects to be tried in US federal courts for a very long time.”

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