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Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

  No. 888-08
IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 21, 2008

Victim and Family Members To See Military Commissions Proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba


The Defense Department announced today that victims of terrorist attacks and family members who lost loved ones to those attacks will be able to attend military commission proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“The Department of Defense recognizes the tragic loss and suffering that victims and family members of terrorist attacks have experienced,” said Gordon England, deputy secretary of defense. “Soon, some of those victim families will have the opportunity to see first-hand the fair, open and just trials of those alleged to have perpetrated these horrific acts.”

U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is an active military base with minimal visitor housing and limited transportation support. In order to be fair to all interested victims and family members, the Office of Military Commissions will use random number generation software to select five people at a time to see military commission proceedings. Each person selected may be accompanied by one family member, if desired.

In addition, the Department of Defense, with the support of the Department of Justice, is establishing closed circuit television sites in the United States for victim and family members to watch future trial proceedings.

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