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Rights Group Hails US Supreme Court Guantanamo Decision


Human rights groups are among those hailing the Supreme Court ruling on U.S. military tribunals.

Amnesty International says the decision is a victory for the rule of law and human rights. The group calls for President Bush to bring all of its "war on terror" policies into full compliance with U.S. and international law.

Human Rights Watch says the ruling upholds the U.S. tradition of fair trials and advances the important fight against terrorism. It says the decision may require that greater legal protections be given to all detainees.

The secretary-general of the Council of Europe also welcomed the decision. Terry Davis said the false choice between security and the rule of law had alienated America's allies and galvanized its enemies in the war against terrorism.

Relatives of Kuwaiti prisoners held at Guantanamo say they are grateful for the decision. In a statement released to the media, the family members say they hope it will push the White House to apply the rule of law.

A lawyer for an Australian prisoner held at Guantanamo also welcomed the decision. Major Michael Mori, appointed by the Pentagon to represent David Hicks, told Reuters news agency that what he called "any real lawyer" outside the Bush administration knows the tribunals violate the Geneva conventions.

Like Hicks, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the defendant in the Supreme court case, is also represented by a U.S. military officer - Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift. Swift was asked by CNN if it was difficult to argue a case against President Bush, his commander-in-chief. He said it showed the strength of the American system, adding that he, like the president, has taken an oath to uphold the constitution.

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