UN questions US anti-terrorist practices | News


The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the fight against terrorism of the UN, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, presented this Tuesday a report on world practices in relation to secret detention in the context of the so-called fight against terrorism, led since 2001 by the United States.


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The text illustrates what it calls “the abject failure to implement the recommendations of (a) Study (from 2010) with tragic and profound consequences for people who were systematically tortured, handed over across borders, arbitrarily detained and deprived of of their most fundamental rights.

Building on and complementing the work of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, this report requires, according to Ní Aoláin, that accountability, reparation and transparency be implemented by the States responsible for these serious human rights violations.

The lack of implementation of the 2010 recommendations of the Human Rights Council itself has allowed and facilitated the continuous violations of human rights in the name of the fight against terrorism throughout the world, denounced the special rapporteur.

In this time, new transfer modalities have been developed across borders, circumventing the required legal protections, including non-refoulement; mass detention without legal process has been normalized by certain States; and the exceptional nature of trials for terrorism charges remains entrenched.

The report criticizes the United States in particular, as it recalls that “the practice of waterboarding (simulated drowning) was legally justified and brutally practiced in black sites controlled by the United States. The detainees were placed in structures similar to coffins or closed boxes during long periods of time to induce fear, claustrophobia and physical pain.

The Study documents the actions of numerous countries that collaborated with the United States government to allow the capture of people (proxy detention), housed secret prisons (black sites), interrogated people on demand, and sometimes with oversight U.S. personnel, enabled covert prisoner transfers (renditions) across its airports and borders, provided medical and other operational assistance, and covered up violations that had taken place on its soil by refusing to share or disclose U.S.-related information. detention, disappearance and torture. Private actors were also complicit in the rendition and torture.

Responsibility for the commission of serious violations of international law remains the responsibility of the States in whose territory the violations were committed, the report recalls.

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