Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Council Of Europe Criticizes Blacklisting But Misses The Point Of The GWOT

The methods used by the United Nations and the European Union for blacklisting terrorism suspects are "totally arbitrary" and "violate the fundamental principles of human rights and rule of law," a European human rights panel said Monday.

The Council of Europe's legal committee urged an overhaul of international regulations so that individuals and groups being blacklisted -- which imposes a freeze on assets and a ban on traveling -- would have access to evidence against them, rights to a fair trial or impartial review within a reasonable time and compensation for wrongful designation as a terrorist.
We're reading Molly Moore of the Washington Post:

Panel Decries Terrorism Blacklist Process
Approximately 370 individuals and 60 organizations worldwide have been blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council or the European Union, the investigation found. In addition to the freeze on their finances and the prohibition on travel, they have little recourse for getting delisted, according to Dick Marty [top photo], a Swiss legislator who led the investigation. Marty also headed the council's probe of secret prisons.

"The person or group concerned is usually neither informed of the request, nor given the possibility to be heard, nor even necessarily informed about the decision taken -- until he or she first attempts to cross a border or use a bank account," Marty wrote in his account for the committee.
There's not even the pretense of due process, and this in my view tells you all you need to know (again!): in Europe and the US, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, the "War on Terror" is a global fraud.
Marty cited the case of Youssef Nada [second photo], a 75-year-old native Egyptian, Italian citizen and successful businessman, who lived in Switzerland "for decades, without ever having had any problems with anyone." In 2001, he was blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council on suspicion of having helped fund the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

"He was included in the 'black list' without having been informed of this fact, without having been heard and without possibility of appeal," Marty wrote in his report. Swiss authorities conducted a four-year investigation of Nada, but could find no evidence to support his inclusion on the blacklist, Marty wrote. Nada is a Muslim and has long been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the Arab world's oldest Islamic organizations.

"How can one today justify as part of the fight against terrorism the blacklisting for more than six years of a man ... against whom the law enforcement authorities of two countries have not found a shred of evidence of any wrongdoing?" Marty said in his report.
And this is just one example among many.
The panel said the "most grievous human rights violation" is the disregard for fair trial, noting that no type of hearing -- public or private -- is held before an individual or organization is listed.
They don't even bother with a show trial. Welcome to post-Stalinism!
The committee's report said that a growing number of cases are being taken to the European Court of Human Rights and other courts, but that "no court has yet addressed the unlawfulness of the underlying U.N. resolutions and E.U. regulations."
No court has addressed the unlawfulness of provoking terror, either. And for that reason, the European Council doesn't seem to understand the root cause of all this horror, for their report says:
"The fight against terrorism is a need that nobody can put into question," said the panel, which is part of the 47-nation council, Europe's leading human rights watchdog organization. "But we consider it unacceptable to forego, in the name of this fight, the fundamental principles of a democratic society."
To say "the fight against terrorism is a need that nobody can put into question" is to bypass the most important questions: Who are the terrorists? Who is supporting them? Who is funding them? Who is motivating them? And why?

Without answering these questions, we can never win the "fight against terrorism". And in the wake of the worst terrorist attacks of our time (9/11 in the US and 7/7 in the UK) the authorities didn't even consider asking them. Indeed, anyone who did ask such questions was branded a "terrorist sympathizer".

This is another way you can see that the "war on terror" is a fraud.

And the "most grievous human rights violation" -- the disregard for fair trial -- is not just collateral damage.

The rule of law is the target! Everything else is collateral damage.