Friday, April 10, 2015

Summary of shadow reports for US Universal Periodic Review

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has prepared a useful summary of the shadow reports that NGOs and individuals have submitted in connection with the upcoming United States Universal Periodic Review. The summary can be found here. Paragraphs 48 and 50 may be of interest to readers of Global Military Justice Reform:
48. JS2, HRW [Human Rights Watch] and PHR [Physicians for Human Rights] recommended the closure of the Guantánamo prison. AI [Amnesty International] recommended the release of all detainees still held in Guantánamo, unless they are to be charged and tried without further delay in ordinary federal civilian courts. HRW recommended that the US transfer the remaining detainees home or to third countries, unless they have been charged with a credible criminal offense. JS43 recommended taking all necessary measures to end the practice of indefinite detention, including opposition to any efforts to broaden the practice of indefinite detention beyond Guantánamo Bay.
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50. Regarding military commissions at Guantánamo, AI stated that trial of civilians by military tribunals is inconsistent with international standards, especially when civilian courts are available. JS32 noted that the US military justice system systematically fails to prosecute cases of sexual violence against its service members. JS3 recommended that the US bring all aspects of its military justice system into compliance with the ICCPR, that under no circumstances civilians be subject to trial by court-martial, that court-martial jurisdiction be confined to military offenses and exclude human rights violations. [Emphasis added; footnotes omitted.]
Full disclosure: "JS3" is a group submission by Amnesty International USA, the International Commission of Jurists, Nancy Duff Campbell of the National Women's Law Center, Prof. Elizabeth L. Hillman, and the Editor.

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