A Guantanamo detainee is escorted by American guards.

© 2006 Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos

(New York, December 18, 2008) - President-elect Barack Obama should implement "an unqualified return to America's established system of justice for detaining and prosecuting suspects" when he fulfills his pledge to shut down the Guantánamo Bay prison camp and military commissions, four leading rights organizations said in a letter released today.

In a letter delivered to the presidential transition team, the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights First, and Human Rights Watch state that they "categorically oppose the creation of any other ad-hoc illegal detention system or ‘third way' that permits the executive branch to suspend due process and hold suspected terrorists without charge or trial, essentially moving Guantánamo on-shore."