UN: ICJ calls for end to impunity for rendition and secret detention

Before the UN Human Rights Concil, the ICJ called today upon States to serious address the enduring impunity for crimes under international law and gross human rights violations committed in rendition and secret detention programmes and practices.


The statement reads as follows:

“Mr President,

Madam Special Rapporteur

The ICJ welcomes this timely report by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism following up on the UN Study on Secret Detention.

Mr President, distinguished Council members,

Twenty years have passed since the beginning of the US-led rendition and secret detention and interrogation programmes that entailed systematic enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment, incommunicado and arbitrary detention, flagrant denial of fair trial, perpetrated by the US with the complicity of many other States. Victims of these practices were denied the right to recognition as a person before the law and any effective redress.

These violations amount to serious crimes under international law. Yet, effective prosecution has not seen the light of the day and the Guantanamo detention centre remains in function.

The long shadow of impunity for such violations has helped facilitate similar practices in several countries, including the Russian Federation, Turkey and in the Xinjang region in China, as reported by the Special Rapporteur.

Impunity for these crimes is a sign that some powerful actors are above the law.

It is time this Council calls for an end to the practice of rendition and secret detention,and acts to ensure that these crimes do not remain unpunished.

I thank you.”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949

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