Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:34AM GMT
US lawmakers have voted for a bill mandating the indefinite detention of ‘terrorism’ suspects.
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill which allows authorities to jail terrorism suspects for an indefinite period, drawing criticism from human rights groups.
The bill, named the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), would deny terror suspects including US citizens of the right to trial.
The measure was passed after US President Barack Obama failed to veto the bid as he originally vowed. It allows US officials to indefinitely hold suspects without charge in military custody.
American citizens can also be jailed indefinitely upon the decision of the US Supreme Court or future presidents.
The measure also forbids transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to US soil, making it harder to close down the infamous prison.
International rights groups including Human Rights Watch said Obama’s decision to back the bill puts him on the wrong side of the history.
“By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.
“In the past, Obama has lauded the importance of being on the right side of history, but today he is definitely on the wrong side.”, Roth added.
The Democratic-held senate is also expected to vote on the proposal, which is part of a wider USD 662 billion defense bill, as early as Thursday.