IJNetwork Press Release (html)
Statement of Tina Monshipour Foster, Executive Director of IJNetwork, in response to the Obama Administation's decision to appeal last week's ruling by a federal court judge that several detainees held in the U.S. Air Base in Bagram, Afghanistan have the right to challenge the legality of their detention in U.S. courts:
The Justice Department's announcement today that it intends to ignore the court's ruling and continue the Bush administration's policy of denying any semblance of due process to civilians held in U.S. custody for more than 6 years represents a particularly dark day in American history. Last January, we watched in awe as President Obama was sworn in with a solemn promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and to recommit our nation to the rule of law and the international obligations that the prior administration had willfully disregarded.
Today, we must express our serious dismay, as President Obama disregards the law, tosses aside people's human rights, and wields an illegitimate power to seize citizens of other nations from anywhere in the world, render them to foreign countries against their will, interrogate them indefinitely without charge, and deny them access to lawyers or any court of law. Though he has made many promises regarding the need for our country to rejoin the world community of nations, by filing this appeal, President Obama has taken on the defense of one of the Bush administration's unlawful policies founded on nothing more than the idea that might makes right. In what now must be considered his own policy on detention and rendition, President Obama follows directly in the footsteps of his predecessor in claiming the right to assert unconstitutional and unchecked powers.
The time has long since passed for issuing platitudes about ending torture, rendition, and indefinite detention . President Obama today becomes complicit in the unjust and illegal detention of our clients -- who deserve better.