PHR Condemns President Obama’s Signing of National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 (NDAA)

Physicians forHuman Rights (PHR) condemned today President Barack Obama’s signing of theNational Defense Authorization Act for 2012 (NDAA). On the eve of 2012,President Obama signed the NDAA into law, making military indefinite detention inAmerica permanent. Although the President’s signing statement expressed “seriousreservations” about the provisions, the statement applies only to the current administrationand does not impact how future administrations interpret the law.

Previously, PHR called on President Obama to veto the NDAA for 2012 which: 

  • Establishes by statute a permanentregime of indefinite detention of a broad category of individuals under the“laws of war.”
  • Continues to severelyrestrict the ability to transfer the men at Guantanamo to their home or othersafe countries.

The NDAA contains no time or geographical boundariesand can be used to militarily detainindividuals, including American citizens and residents, far from anybattlefield until the “end of hostilities."  It allows Americanforces and officials to pick up individuals almost anywhere in the world anddetain them without charge or trial. 

NDAA restrictions will alsokeep Guantanamo open as it imposes an extraordinary constraint on the President’sability to close Guantanamo and send the men—themajority of whom have been cleared for release—home.

“PHR is extremely disappointed with PresidentObama’s action. By signing the NDAA, he continues to extend indefinitedetention, which moves America farther away from adhering to the principleunder international law and norms that basic fairness and justice apply equallyto every human being,”  stated KristineHuskey, PHR’s Director of the Anti-Torture Program.

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