Sunday, May 8, 2011

UN investigators want "facts" from US to justify bin Laden killing

May 6, 2011

Geneva/Brussels - United Nations investigators on Friday said they want the United States to provide 'facts' to prove that the operation which killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden respected international law.
Bin Laden was shot by US special troops early on Monday, when a raid was mounted on the villa where he was hiding in the Pakistani town of Abottabad.

Two officials from the Geneva-based UN Office for Human Rights said the US 'should disclose the supporting facts to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards' of the bin Laden operation.

'It will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture Bin Laden,' Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and Martin Scheinin, Special Rapporteur on the human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

In their joint statement, Heyns and Scheinin said 'use of deadly force may be permissible' against terrorists 'in certain exceptional cases.

'However, the norm should be that terrorists be dealt with as criminals, through legal processes of arrest, trial and judicially decided punishment,' they added.

In Brussels, the EU's executive, which had earlier this week welcomed news of bin Laden's death, refused to comment on the UN's move.

'On this particular development (there is) no reaction on our side,' European Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde told reporters.

Meanwhile, a former US lawyer who was a chief prosecutor at one of the Nuremberg trials against the Nazis, slammed his country for denying 'a fair trial' to bin Laden.

'You cannot act in that manner, justice should be done through the law. You cannot simply start killing in cold blood,' 91-year-old Benjamin B Ferencz told the Dutch-language Belgian newspaper De Morgen.

Ferencz stressed that even Hermann Goering, a leading member of Adolf Hitler's Nazi party and commander of the German Luftwaffe during World War Two, 'had the right to a fair trial, which, on the contrary, Osama bin Laden did not, and that is regrettable, regardless of the horrible crimes he may have committed or ordered.'

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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