Procedures for blacklisting individuals for suspected terrorist links are unworthy of the UN Security Council and EU, says PACE committee
Strasbourg, 12.11.2007 – The procedures used by the UN Security Council and the European Union for blacklisting individuals and groups suspected of links with terrorists are “totally arbitrary and have no credibility whatsoever”, according to the Legal Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), which today approved a report by Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE). These procedures must urgently be overhauled to make them fairer, the parliamentarians said.
Some 370 individuals worldwide currently have their assets frozen and are banned from travelling as a result of blacklisting by the UN Security Council. Around 60 entities are thought to be on the EU blacklist. Yet, according to a draft resolution approved today by the committee, such sanctions can be imposed “on the basis of mere suspicions”.
The resolution continued: “Even members of the committee deciding on the blacklisting of an individual are not fully informed of the reasons for a request put forward by one member. The person or group concerned is usually neither informed of the reasons for a 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. There are no procedures for an independent review of decisions taken.”
Such procedures are “unworthy” of international bodies such as the UN and the EU, and undermine the legitimacy of “targeted sanctions” in the fight against terrorism, the parliamentarians said. Meanwhile, states obliged to implement such sanctions risk breaching their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The report is due to be debated by the plenary Parliamentary Assembly at its January session (21-25 January 2008).
Provisional draft report
Mr Marty’s earlier memorandum(PDF)
Video of victim testimony
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Contacts : PACE Communication Unit, Micaela Catalano, tel: +33(0)6 08 56 40 65 and Francesc Ferrer, +33(0)6 30 49 68 22.
Secretariat in Strasbourg, tel:+33(0)3 88 41 31 93.