‘The UN must stand for the principle of fighting terrorism resolutely but fairly’

Strasbourg, 19.04.2011 – PACE’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has called on participants at a special meeting of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee which opens in Strasbourg today to fight terrorism “in a manner which fully respects human rights and the rule of law”.

In a statement published on the occasion of the meeting, Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE) and Lord John Tomlinson (United Kingdom, SOC), on behalf of the committee, said terrorists must be held to account and appropriately punished. But they also demanded appropriate legal guarantees for individuals or groups who face targeted UN sanctions (“blacklisting”) because of suspected links to terrorists, and called for an end to “abusive recourse to the doctrine of state secrecy” sometimes invoked by governments to avoid investigation.

“Terrorists – whatever their goals – are vicious killers who must be tracked, pre-empted and brought to justice,” Mr Marty added. “But, as PACE’s reports have shown, turning a blind eye to torture or blacklisting people without giving them a chance to prove their innocence will ultimately do more damage than good in the fight against terror. The UN, as a guardian of global values, must stand for the principle of fighting terrorism resolutely but fairly.”