PHR Calls on President Obama to Veto National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 (NDAA)

PHRtoday calls on President Barack Obama to veto the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012(NDAA). On December 12, the House and Senate issued their conference report onthe NDAA, which authorizes but is not essential tofunding for most Defense Department operations. The House and Senate conferencereport does not fix fundamentalflaws found in the provisions regarding treatment of terrorism suspects. President Obama had previously threatened to veto the defensebill over the detainee provisions, and PHR calls on him to honor that promise.

The latest version of the NDAA continues to authorize theindefinite detention without charge or trial of individuals suspected ofterrorism and does not make an exception for US citizens or legal residents. Itcontinues to mandate military detention for most terrorism suspects, makingtraditionally civilian law enforcement activities subject to military authoritywithout regard for due process protections.   

The new bill also extends the severe restrictions on thetransfer of detainees from Guantanamo to their home or third countries although,more than half of the 171 men at Guantanamo have been cleared fortransfer.  These restrictions willcontinue to keep Guantanamo—a symbol of detainee abuse—open well into thefuture.

“The President must veto this bill and stand in defenseof our Constitution and basic human rights,” said Kristine Huskey, Director ofthe Anti-Torture Program at PHR. “The rights of citizens and our country’slong-standing human rights protections are what make us, as a nation, strong. Wecannot continue to undermine those rights and the rule of law.”

PHR calls on the President to stand up for due process andreject the false choice between our ideals and security, as he promised in his 2009inaugural speech. 

About Physiciansfor Human Rights

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses theintegrity of medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe humanrights violations against individuals. We are supported by theexpertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40countries around the world, including Afghanistan, Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, theUnited States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe:

  • 1988 First to document Iraq’s use ofchemical weapons against Kurds
  • 1996 Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans
  • 1996 Produced critical forensic evidence ofgenocide in Rwanda
  • 1997 Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for theInternational Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 Warned of health and human rightscatastrophe prior to the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 Documented and analyzed the genocidein Darfur
  • 2005 Detailed the story of tortureddetainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay
  • 2010 Presented the first evidence showingthat CIA medical personnel engaged in human experimentation on prisoners inviolation of the Nuremberg Code and other provisions