FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Tucker Graves, HCCLA President 713-225-4273, email Tucker Graves
HCCLA Condemns Guantanamo Judge’s Actions
Houston, Texas – November 6, 2017 – On behalf of our former member Ms. Rosa Eliades and the other attorneys representing those at the Guantanamo Military Tribunals:
The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association (HCCLA) condemns in the strongest possible terms this abuse of power by the military tribunal judge Colonel Vance Spath in Guantanamo. The notion that the military will not only violate every acceptable norm of a fair defense and then compel the defense attorneys to participate in what they know to be a sham by threat of incarceration is as fundamental a threat to the Constitution as one could find. The threat of incarceration against civilians for exercising their right of protest at the military tribunal’s continuing efforts to conduct flawed trials is a serious and grave breach of due process and the right to counsel. If the military can compel lawyers to violate their oaths as attorneys or face imprisonment, then who is next?
The defense counsel for Mr. Al Nashiri should have their orders of confinement and appearance vacated at once. The government should either find new counsel for this man or acknowledge that it has no business trying these individuals and turn them over to a proper federal court for a real trial. We salute the Marine Brigadier General Baker, Rick Kamen, Ms. Eliades and all the others striving to provide a real trial to those held unlawfully in Guantanamo and elsewhere in the world.
The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association is the largest local criminal defense bar in the United States with more than 700 active members.