Observers Concerned at Denial of Access at Guantánamo Bay

Representatives from Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights First and Human Rights Watch voiced concern that the denial is impeding their ability to effectively assess the proceeding’s compliance with international fair trial standards. Representatives from these organisations arrived at the base over the weekend to observe the commission trials starting on Tuesday.

Defense officials yesterday declined a joint request by the groups to meet the presiding officer, prosecution attorneys, military commission translators and law clerks.

Officials also barred the observers from accompanying 53 members of the national and international press who were granted access to visit detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay. Invited observers had received clearance to participate as courtroom observers when military commission proceedings begin.

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