Secret detention may amount to crime against humanity: UN experts
2010 02 01
UN human rights experts warned in a report on Wednesday that "widespread and systematic" secret detention of terror suspects was continuing and could pave the way for charges of crimes against humanity.
The report listed 66 countries that have allegedly been involved in secret detentions -- from Ethiopia to Romania, from Kosovo to Pakistan -- and called on governments to investigate and prosecute those who ordered such detentions.
In their first in-depth global study on secret detentions, the UN experts said that virtually no judicial steps had been attempted against the practice despite the "widespread" manner in which suspects were held in a legal limbo.
"Secret detention continues to be used in the name of countering terrorism around the world" in spite of international human rights norms, said the study, which is due to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in March.
"If resorted to in a widespread and systematic manner, secret detention might reach the threshold of a crime against humanity," the authors cautioned.
The "global war on terror," which was launched by President George W. Bush's administration after the September 11 attacks, had "reinvigorated" the use of secret detentions in an organised manner, they said.
The campaign saw the creation of "a comprehensive and coordinated system of secret detention of persons suspected of terrorism, involving not only US authorities, but also other states in almost all regions of the world."
The study was compiled by two independent UN experts on counter-terrorism and torture, as well as UN panels overseeing arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances.
Campaign group Amnesty International said in a statement that governments must be held to account.
"States must act swiftly to implement the recommendations in this important study, to confront and end secret detention and the human rights violations it entails and enables," said Widney Brown, Amnesty's director of international law, citing torture and unlawful executions.
The UN study welcomed commitments by US President Barack Obama to dismantle and investigate secret detentions.
But the experts also called for clarification of outstanding issues such as short term CIA holding facilities and those operated by the military Joint Special Operation Command.
Human rights campaigners say other countries took advantage of secret detentions to crack down on their own political opponents or restive ethnic groups.
Extraordinary rendition involved abducting suspects without legal proceedings, and flying them to foreign countries or secret CIA prisons.
Drawing on its own interviews with former detainees, witnesses, officials and its own analysis of flight records, as well as published material, the UN study named dozens of secret detainees -- including some alleged to have died in custody.
Thailand denied that it had hosted a secret detention facility for the United States in a response to the experts, but the study maintained that it was "credible that a CIA black site" existed there.
The study also welcomed a Lithuanian parliamentary inquiry into similar allegations, which had concluded that there was no evidence to back them up.
However, it stressed that the findings "in no way constitute the final word on Lithuania's role in the programme."
The UN study also cited evidence of secret US-run facilities in Romania, Poland, and Kosovo as well as several in Afghanistan and Iraq, including "Dark Prison" and "Salt Pit."
Accounts by detainees added weight to claims that Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Djibouti were proxy centres where "detainees have been held on the CIA's behalf," the report added.
Article from: AFP
'Detention Camp/Dangerous Fringe Radicals' - CNN Spreads Disinfo (Video)
Rachel Maddow: Indefinite detention? Shame on you... President Obama (Video)
Obama mulls 'indefinite detention' of terror suspects
CIA Admits to Existence of 7,000 Documents on Secret Detention, Rendition, and Torture
CIA Secret 'Torture' Prison Found at Fancy Horseback Riding Academy
Governments must be held to account for secret detentions
Extensive global study on secret detention linked to counter-terrorism
UN report blasts US over human rights abuses
Latest News from our Front Page
Israel’s Military Censors Demand ’Prior Review’ of NYT’s Gaza Reporting
2014 08 01
Following its reporting of the latest events in the Gaza Strip on Friday, including available details about an IDF soldier captured by Hamas soldiers early in the day, the New York Times was contacted by Israel’s military censor and told that future reporting related to the capture would need to be run through its office before publication.
The Times updated their ...
Wrong time, altered images: Moscow slams Kiev’s MH17 satellite data
2014 08 01
Satellite images Kiev published as ‘proof’ it didn’t deploy anti-aircraft batteries around the MH17 crash site carry altered time-stamps and are from days after the MH17 tragedy, the Russian Defense Ministry has revealed.
The images, which Kiev claims were taken by its satellites at the same time as those taken by Russian satellites, are neither Ukrainian nor authentic, according to Moscow’s ...
World’s First Man-Made Leaves Breathe Oxygen
2014 08 01
A graduate student in innovation design engineering at the UK’s Royal College of Art has created a synthetic leaf that mimics the functions of its real counterpart.
"I have the first photosynthetic material that is working and breathing as a leaf does," said Julian Melchiorri.
The synthetic leaf uses photosynthesis to produce oxygen, by absorbing light, water and carbon dioxide. The artificial ...
The £11 billion Government plan to put ’Smart meters’ in every British home
2014 08 01
The UK government plans to put smart meters into British homes, and the costs of this program will naturally be passed on to reluctant customers. Critics of the plan suggest that this would make homes and the national grid vulnerable to terrorists, but as it’s been confirmed that government agents are most often involved in terror plots, it’s not the ...
Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
2014 08 01
The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law.
"We know that different human races actually do not exist," Swedish Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag told Sveriges Television (SVT).
"We also know that the fundamental grounds of racism are ...
|More News » |