Terrorism / NATO
Terrorism

NATO’s Objectives Are Challenged By a Poor Record in Human Rights

Last Update 2 April 2009
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On the eve of the 60th anniversary Summit of the North Atlantic Organisation (NATO), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) question the nature and significance of NATO’s commitment to international human rights and the rule of law.
In a one day conference held in Strasbourg on April 1st 2009, they notably studied how the decisions and agreements concluded within NATO in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Septembre 11th 2001, was used as a platform by NATO countries to organise or back up the rendition of terrorist suspects to secret prison and torture sites. Probably hundreds of individuals were victim of enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, and torture in an inter-state programme set up in the context of the global fight against terrorism.

The conference also discussed the ongoing violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed by NATO troops in Afghanistan. Sheer difficulties arise in obtaining any information on the crimes committed during the military operations, on the responsibilities for them. They face an overall absence of accountablity. Victims are left alone, and thus victimized a second time.

NATO’s turning a blind eye on the « renditions » programme and lack of acountability in Afghanistan have gravely tarnished the Organisation’s image, and seriously puts in question its ultimate goals of preserving peace and stability for NATO member States.

Recalling the obligations of NATO member States under international human rights, humanitarian and criminal international law, and conscious of the calls by member States’ officials to reinstate values at the heart of the Organisation’s operations, our organisations ask member States participating to the NATO’s 60th anniversary Summit: what steps will you take to restore the rule of law and respect for human rights at the heart of the Organisation’s operations?

Consequently,

1.We demand transparency and access to information on all activities of NATO that have led to violations of human rights and humanitarian law. The lack of transparency and information leads to suspicion in affected societies of the goal and purpose of the Organisation’s activities, and to the impossibility of appropriate investigations and prosecution of crimes.

2.We demand accountability for crimes committed in violation of human rights and humanitarian law, because the victims have the right to justice and reparation, because affected societies need to restore the rule of law and democracy and because accountability leads to the prevention of crimes in the future

Information on the Conference http://www.ccrjustice.org/60-60conference

The Conference was a unique gathering of human rights lawyers and activists, judges, prosecutors, former NATO chief, former Guantanamo detainee and arbitrary rendition victim, coming from the US, Canada, Europe and, Afghanistan. Speakers included

- Giorgio Malinverni, sitting judge at the European Court of Human Rights,
- Edgar Buckley, former NATO Assistant Secretary General (1999-2003),
- Multiple award-winner Ms. Sima Samar, Chairwoman of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission,
- Canadian rendition and torture victim Maher Arar
- Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights,
- Alain Joxe, founding director of the Paris-based "Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherches sur la Paix et d’Etudes Stratégiques",
- Leading UK attorneys Phil Shiner and Francoise Hampson,
- Dr. Dmitry Danilov, Head of Department of European Security from the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow,
- Wolfgang Kaleck, co-founder of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights,
- Gavin Simpson, former investigator for the Council of Europe’s Dick Marty report on renditions,
- Dan Van Raemdonck Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights;
-  International Criminal Court
Information on the Conference


The Conference was a unique gathering of human rights lawyers and activists, judges, prosecutors, former NATO chief, former Guantanamo detainee and arbitrary rendition victim, coming from the US, Canada, Europe and, Afghanistan. Speakers included

- Giorgio Malinverni, sitting judge at the European Court of Human Rights,
- Edgar Buckley, former NATO Assistant Secretary General (1999-2003),
- Multiple award-winner Ms. Sima Samar, Chairwoman of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission,
- Canadian rendition and torture victim Maher Arar
- Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights,
- Alain Joxe, founding director of the Paris-based "Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherches sur la Paix et d’Etudes Stratégiques",
- Leading UK attorneys Phil Shiner and Francoise Hampson,
- Dr. Dmitry Danilov, Head of Department of European Security from the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow,
- Wolfgang Kaleck, co-founder of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights,
- Gavin Simpson, former investigator for the Council of Europe’s Dick Marty report on renditions,
- Dan Van Raemdonck Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights;

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