Dick Marty strongly deplores ‘flagrant injustice’ of UN Security Council blacklisting people suspected of terrorist links without evidence of wrong-doing
Strasbourg, 25.04.2007 – Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) investigator Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE) today strongly deplored the UN Security Council for the “flagrant injustice” of blacklisting individuals suspected of having links to terrorism without evidence of any wrong-doing, flouting its own principles.
The process of blacklisting – in which individuals have their assets frozen and are banned from travelling – is carried out behind closed doors by a New York-based committee (the “1267 committee”) at the request of Security Council members. Those blacklisted are not informed or given a chance to be heard, and there is no appeal. The list currently contains 362 individuals and 125 companies or organisations.
Speaking on the fringes of a major Council of Europe conference taking place today in Strasbourg on “Why terrorism?”, Mr Marty said the UN’s current blacklisting procedure was a “dangerous ongoing erosion of fundamental rights and freedoms, even within the instances mandated to protect and promote them” and discredited the international fight against terrorism.
He also announced that he would be extending his inquiry to a similar system of blacklists run by the European Union.
In a preliminary report made public this week, Mr Marty cited the example of “Mr Y”, a successful Swiss-based businessman whose assets have been frozen and who has been barred from leaving the country since 2001. An Italian national of Egyptian origin and a Muslim, he was suspected of having funded the 11 September attacks – even though a subsequent four-year inquiry by Swiss prosecutors failed to find any evidence.
Mr Marty pointed out that three permanent members of the Security Council – France, Russia and the United Kingdom – were members of the Council of Europe, and were therefore bound by the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to a fair trial, including the right to be heard.
Link to Mr Marty’s introductory memorandum: UN Security Council black lists (PDF)
Link to the web page of the UN Security Council’s 1267 committee
Link to the website of the Council of Europe conference “Why terrorism?”
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