[g8-sheffield] Human Rights monitoring for war on terror blocked...

dan at aktivix.org dan at aktivix.org
Mon Apr 18 22:04:49 BST 2005


Here's something else to bash em over the head with: evidence of putting TWAT
above human rights, if it was ever actually needed - 


15 April 2005

2005 UN Commission on Human Rights: Monitor Needed to Protect Rights in

US, China and Russia Lead Efforts to Block Establishment of Special Rapporteur

(Geneva) As the international community is poised to establish a special
rapporteur of the United Nations on protecting human rights in counterterrorism
efforts, a small number of states -- led by China, Russia and United States --
are colluding to block the establishment of an effective mandate, a group of
leading international human rights organizations said today.

In addition to these three permanent Security Council members, Australia, India
and Pakistan have sought to undermine the initiative currently under
consideration by the UN Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva.

Nearly four years after the September 11, 2001 tragedy and the Security Council
mandate for robust international action to combat terrorism, and despite more
than three years of discussion in the UN human rights system, China has argued
that it is "too early" for establishing such a special rapporteur.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise
Arbour, most Commission member states, national human rights institutions, and
a large number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have endorsed the call
for a United Nations investigator. The special rapporteur would monitor
counterterrorism laws and practices for their compatibility with human rights,
act to prevent human rights violations arising from counterterrorism measures
and provide technical assistance to states.

The countries blocking the mechanism have demanded a number of unacceptable
amendments designed to kill or hollow-out the mandate.

Mexico and many other states proposed the special rapporteur following a clear
conclusion by Robert Goldman, the Commission's Independent Expert on the
protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism,
that there is a pressing need for monitoring under a single mandate that has a
comprehensive overview of the relationship between human rights and
counterterrorism measures.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of
Jurists, the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues and the
International Service for Human Rights share the assessment of the Independent
Expert that "a broad range of human rights have come under increasing pressure
or are being violated by States in the context of ... counterterrorism

The organizations called on the Commission to act now to address meaningfully
one of the greatest human rights challenges presently faced by the
international community.

For further information, contact:
Ian Seiderman (ICJ) + 41 79 812 51 22, Loubna Freih (HRW) + 41 79 202 32 85,
Antoine Madelin (FIDH) + 33 668 22 65 72, Peter Splinter (AI) + 41 79 532 83
Chris Sidoti (ISHR) + 41 79 518 20 60.

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