For Immediate Release
January 5, 2005
KUWAITIS DEMAND ‘YES OR NO’ ANSWER FROM GONZALES ON GUANTANAMO IMPRISONMENT
Attorney General Nominee Should Be Aggressively Questioned About the Illegal Policy He Created
Jan. 5, 2005 – Washington, DC – The families of 12 Kuwaitis imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay and deprived of due legal process are now demanding that Congress aggressively question Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales about a policy that violates American law in general and fails to honor U.S. Supreme Court decisions in particular.
Recent reports that the Bush administration is considering indefinitely detaining these men dramatically increases the need to determine where Mr. Gonzales actually stands on this issue, and what specific steps he will take to ensure that the government complies with the law. As White House Counsel, Mr. Gonzales played a crucial role in shaping this policy, which violates both U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions.
“I cannot believe that Congress will allow a man who does not respect the concept of due process to become the Attorney General of this great country,” said Khalid Al-Odah, speaking on behalf of the 12 families. Mr. Al-Odah, whose son Fawzi is one of the prisoners held without trial for over three years, founded the Kuwaiti Family Committee, which seeks due process and fair trials for the Guantanamo prisoners.
“Mr. Gonzales cannot be approved as Attorney General of the United States if he created and continues to support a policy that violates the human and legal rights of so many innocent people,” said Tom Wilner, the attorney who represented the Kuwaitis before the Supreme Court.
“During his confirmation hearings, Mr. Gonzales must assure the American people that, if confirmed as our nation’s top legal officer, he will immediately comply with the law and the Supreme Court’s ruling of last June and either charge these prisoners in Guantanamo or release them.”
“My son is not a terrorist,” said Mr. Al-Odah. “My son admires America and its tradition of fair play and full legal rights for all – or at least he used to, before he was abducted by bounty hunters and sold to the U.S. Congress must force Mr. Gonzales to say if he truly supports the idea of justice for all.”
Both Mr. Al-Odah and Mr. Wilner are available to speak with reporters and answer questions.
This press release is distributed by Levick Strategic Communications on behalf of the International Counsel Bureau. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
CONTACT AND FAMILY INTERVIEWS:
Levick Strategic Communications