[News] UN rights chief slams US over disregard for laws
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 28 18:16:26 EDT 2013
*UN rights chief slams US over disregard for laws*
/By Haider Rizvi
Wed, May 29,2013
UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations human rights chief slammed the United
States and its European allies on Monday for trying to implement their
so-called anti-terror policies with disregard to international human
Addressing the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the anti-terror
policies implemented by the United States and governments around the
world have grossly violated human rights.
She warned that the US government's Guantanamo Bay detention centre,
international renditions, and drone programs have done far more harm
"Time and again, my office has received allegations of very grave
violations of human rights that have taken place in the context of
counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations," Pillay said.
"Such practices are self-defeating. Measures that violate human rights
do not uproot terrorism: they nurture it," she added.
Addressing delegates at the 47-member council, Pillay strongly
criticised the United States for Guantanamo prison in Cuba in which 166
prisoners remain in indefinite detention without charge or trial.
"The United States' failure to shut down the Guantanamo detention centre
has been an example of the struggle against terrorism failing to uphold
human rights, among them the right to a fair trial," Pillay noted.
Her statement follows President Obama's speech last week at the National
Defence University in Washington, in which he promised to revise the US
drone program and take steps to close Guantanamo Bay.
As many as166 detainees in Guantanamo continue to be held without charge
or trial, while half have been cleared for transfer. Of those more than
100 prisoners remain on a hunger strike that began over four months ago.
The continuing indefinite detention of many of these individuals amounts
to arbitrary detention, in breach of international law," Pillay said,
adding that the "injustice embodied in this detention centre has become
an ideal recruitment tool for terrorists." She said she had repeatedly
urged the Government of the United States of America to close Guantanamo
Bay in compliance with its obligations under international human rights law.
Pillay also criticised the US allies in Europe, saying that they were
complicit in the US's human rights abuses committed in name of the "war
"I am dismayed by the continuing failure of many European States to
undertake public and independent investigations of past involvement in
the US renditions program, under which terrorist suspects were captured
and delivered to interrogation centres without regard for due process,"
she said, adding that she wanted a "thorough investigation" into all
countries involved in the policy of rendition.
The UN chief for human rights also condemned the use of drones, calling
drone strikes "profoundly disturbing" on the basis of human rights.
"The worrying lack of transparency regarding the use of drones has also
contributed to a lack of clarity on the legal bases for drone strikes,
as well as on safeguards to ensure compliance with the applicable
international law," she said.
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