(Beirut) – Iranian judiciary authorities should allow at least 20 detainees charged with terrorism, in connection with the murder of Iranian nuclear scientists, access to their lawyers and family members. Iran’s judiciary has failed to provide basic information about these cases, even to their families, despite the seriousness of the charges, which carry severe punishments, including death.
The reports on Somalia presented to this session by the Independent Expert and the Secretary-General highlight the urgent need for a significant reinforcement of the presence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and its activities, notably its monitoring work, on Somalia.
More than 140 countries have passed counterterrorism laws since the attacks of September 11, 2001, often with little regard for due process and other basic rights, Human Rights Watch said in its 112-page report, "In the Name of Security: Counterterrorism Laws Worldwide since September 11."
When the Friends of Yemen group meets Wednesday in Riyadh, representatives from the US, the EU and Gulf states are likely to focus on this week’s suicide bombing in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, that killed nearly 100 soldiers and shook the fledging transition government. But international attention should not only be focused on al Qaeda and its affiliates—the need to hold human rights violators to account and a deepening humanitarian crisis should also be high on their agenda.
A Congress that cannot agree on many things that Americans want came together last week to approve something virtually no one was demanding: It decided to give the United States military the authority to arrest and imprison suspected terrorists, potentially even on U.S. soil, and to allow the government the permanent power to detain without trial people suspected of involvement in terrorism.
US President Barack Obama should hold firm on his promise to veto a bill passed by the Senate on December 1, 2011, which contains provisions on the detention of terrorism suspects that would undermine US counterterrorism efforts. The administration had previously outlined objections to the detainee provisions in the bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2012, and threatened a veto if the problems were not addressed.
A Libyan-Canadian citizen who was imprisoned for eight years by the Muammar Gaddafi government says that agents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) were among foreign agents who interrogated him while he was in Libyan custody for suspected terrorist ties.