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UN human rights expert to observe Guantanamo military commission hearings

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin [JURIST news archive] will attend military commission hearings at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] beginning Wednesday, according to a statement [text] by Scheinin on Tuesday. Scheinin said that the United States invited him to attend hearings as a follow up to an earlier visit to Guantanamo in May. Scheinin expects to observe an evidentiary hearing for Yemeni Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [TrialWatch profile; JURIST news archive]. The US Supreme Court [official website] in October declined to review [JURIST report] an appeal by Hamdan challenging the constitutionality of the military commission system. Hamdan, allegedly a driver for Osama bin Laden, last year successfully challenged President George W. Bush's military commission system when the Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that the commission system as initially constituted violated US and international law. Hamdan now faces trial [JURIST report] under the subsequently passed Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text; JURIST news archive]

In October, Scheinin called on the US to quickly prosecute or release terror suspects [JURIST report] detained at Guantanamo so that the detention center can be closed. In May, he said that the US has committed human rights violations [JURIST report] in its interrogations of terror suspects and by putting questionable restrictions on immigration. The UN News Centre has more.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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