UN rights experts urge civilian trials for 9-11 suspects

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin on March 9 urged the Obama administration to hold civilian trials for accused 9-11 conspirators, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Scheinin called the military commissions system “fatally flawed” and said that reforming the system would not help. Meanwhile, UN Special Rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak also argued that the suspects should face a civilian trial.

A White House official said March 8 that while a civilian trial for Mohammed may no longer be a realistic option, the Obama administration is working with lawmakers to allow for civilian trials for other suspected terrorists. On Sunday March 7, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, imploring President Barack Obama to fulfill his pledge to try suspected 9-11 terrorists in federal courts.

From Jurist, March 9. Used with permission.