Update: 13.11.2007

UN ‘blacklists’: erosion of fundamental rights

A Swiss official criticised once again the United Nations Security Council for blacklisting individuals or entities suspected of having links to terrorism. The list names 362 individuals and 125 companies or organisations (May 2007) that have their assets frozen and are banned from travelling. Dick Marty, the Swiss investigator, spoke of this list on 25 April 2007 at a conference on terrorism organised by the Council of Europe.

In 2007 before the Council of Europe

According to Marty, who was appointed by the Council of Europe in November 2005 to investigate claims that the CIA had set up secret prisons in Eastern Europe, the Security Council flouts its own principles and the blacklisting discredits the international fight against terror. The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly reported that Marty described the UN's current blacklisting procedure as a "flagrant injustice" and a "dangerous ongoing erosion of fundamental rights and freedoms, even within the instances mandated to protect and promote them". Marty pointed out that three permanent members of the Security Council – France, Russia and Britain – 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.

In 2006 before the Security Council

The Representative of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York, Peter Maurer, presented on 30 May 2006 a declaration on behalf of Germany, Sweden and Switzerland to the Security Council. He observed that certain procedures linked sanctions committee, particularly the Comittee 1267, may infringe upon basic principles of human rights. Recommendations addressed by the ambassador included refining the listing criteria in adding new names to the lists, notifying targets, introducing a periodic review of listings and developing recourse mechanisms. The ambassador Maurer had already voiced some of these criticisms in July 2005.

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