Death of Osama Bin Laden :human rights must be respected in the fight against terrorism

« The killing of Osama Bin Laden represents without any doubt a turning point in the fight against international terrorism; however, this event does not in itself solve the problem, in particular in Pakistan; the issue is much more complex», declared Souhayr Belhassen, President of FIDH.

« FIDH wishes to pay tribute to the thousands of victims of terrorist attacks commissioned by Bin Laden. An operation to capture Bin Laden was justified ; however there remain doubts about the legality of the operation as it was carried out. FIDH regrets that Bin Laden was not arrested and sentenced at the conclusion of a fair trial » she added.

Several days after the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death, the circumstances of the operation by American special troops on the night from May 1st to May 2nd, 2011, are still unclear and several contradictory pieces of information have been circulating.

Therefore FIDH calls on both Pakistani and American authorities to bring forth the truth about the circumstances of the operation against Osama Bin Laden, in order to prevent any rumours that would likely fuel a climate of tension.

Moreover, FIDH is concerned about the risk of reprisals by groups affiliated to Al Qaeda, such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which could lead to attacks against the civilian population.

FIDH calls on the Pakistani government to take all necessary steps to safeguard security in all public places, while respecting fundamental liberties.

Additionally, FIDH worries that the death of Osama Bin Laden may be used, in the context of the fight against terrorism, as an excuse to commit grave violations of human rights, such as the multiplication of extra-judicial executions and the use of torture or other inhumane, cruel or degrading treatments. FIDH stresses that many civilians have been killed over the last nine years in the “war on terror” that followed the 9/11 attacks.
Finally, FIDH calls on all governments involved in the fight against terrorism in Pakistan¸ Afghanistan and any other country, to strictly abide by universal norms of protection of human rights, in particular the right to life, physical integrity and to a fair trial.

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