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United Nations: High Commissioner says “war on terror” an excuse to violate human rights

At a press conference upon her return from visits to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said that Central Asian states continue to use the “war on terrorism” as an excuse to violate human rights. According to the High Commissioner, these countries explicitly justify a strong Executive and robust […]

United Nations: Human rights expert visits South Africa and the United States

In a visit to South Africa in April, Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinin examined the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act of 2005. In a preliminary report on his visit to the United States, the expert raised a number of issues related to the treatment, detention and trial of terrorist suspects as […]

Canada: UN experts concerned about increased risk of racial profiling and discrimination

After considering Canada’s report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) expressed concerns about the heightened risks of racial profiling and racial or ethnic discrimination in the context of increased national security measures. The Committee also expressed […]

USA: Court upholds habeas corpus stripping provisions of Military Commissions Act

On 20 February, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the provisions in the Military Commissions Act (MCA), which strip foreign nationals designated as “enemy combatants” of the statutory right to file habeas corpus petitions to challenge the legality of their detention. The Court held that individuals detained outside the US […]

UN: New reports address human rights issues in counter-terrorism

Martin Scheinin, the UN expert on counter-terrorism and human rights, presented a new report before the Human Rights Council on racial profiling and suicide attacks. In another report to the Human Rights Council, the Working Group on arbitrary detention raised concerns about international transfers of detainees in the context of countering terrorism, including the practices […]

UN: Experts discuss racial profiling at gathering on people of African descent

From 29 January to 2 February, the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, meeting in Geneva, examined the implications of racial profiling in areas such as counter-terrorism, the administration of justice and police work.