Guantanamo trial of 2 Yemenis unfair [Archives:2004/767/Front Page]

August 26 2004

Human rights activists in Yemen condemned the USA's military trial in Guantanamo Bay of two Yemenis. The trial of four prisoners, also including a Sudanese, and an Australian started on Tuesday and is being widely criticized throughout Yemen for not meeting the minimum standards of a fair trial.
“How can we expect the trial of Guantanamo prisoners to be legal if evidence is not shown, and defendants are not given the opportunity to hire lawyers?” asked Khalid Al-Anisi of the National Organization for Defending Rights & Freedoms (HOOD) in Sanaa.
“We have been working closely with international human rights organizations throughout the world to come up with a solid statement denouncing such actions done in the name of justice. What justice is this?”
This comes as the USA paradoxically insists that the tribunals are fair, and are the appropriate way of dealing with the prisoners that President George Bush describes as “killers” and his Attorney General, John Ashcroft calls, “uniquely dangerous”.
The condemnation of Yemen's human rights organizations has been part of a global protest by many human rights groups and legal campaigners, who have condemned the hearings and called them “unprecedented and unfair”. They also all agree that the tribunal contravenes not just of the Geneva Conventions but several other international laws.
It is expected that pro-human rights organizations in Yemen will continue their protests, especially in coordination with other organizations in the region and the world.