Rights under siege in ‘war on terror’: Council of Europe report

PARIS, Nov 12, 2007 (AFP) – The Council of Europe issued a damning report Monday accusing governments of eroding basic rights in the name of the United States-led “war on terror”. “Increasingly, in the name of the war on terror, the executive is in the process of severely limiting the sphere of competence of judiciary power,” the Council’s special rapporteur Dick Marty told a Paris press conference.

“That implies, and this is a devastating message, that fundamental rights, the pre-eminence of law, human rights are ‘optionals’ that are only for the good times and no longer worth it in times of crisis,” he added.

Marty’s report, issued at the Council’s Strasbourg headquarters, was particularly scathing of the current procedures for supposedly “targeted” blacklisting.

It called on international bodies to reexamine as soon as possible how they applied blacklists, which it described in a statement as “totally arbitrary and without any credibility.”

Current UN and EU procedures “although improved, still fail to provide satisfactory protection of fundamental human rights” and such practices are “unworthy” of the “lofty goals” of these international bodies, the report s