Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

To Respect and to Ensure”: Reconciling International Human Rights Obligations in a Time of Terror

  • Karima Bennoune (a1)
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      To Respect and to Ensure”: Reconciling International Human Rights Obligations in a Time of Terror
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      To Respect and to Ensure”: Reconciling International Human Rights Obligations in a Time of Terror
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      To Respect and to Ensure”: Reconciling International Human Rights Obligations in a Time of Terror
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All

1 In August 2002, Human Rights Watch reported that some 1,200 individuals, mostly men from Muslim countries, “have been secretly arrested and incarcerated in connection with the September 11 investigation.” The U.S.-based organization also reports that “[s]orne detainees were physically and verbally abused because of their national origin and religion.” See Human Rights Watch, United States: Abuses Plague Sept. 11 Investigation (Aug. 15, 2002), available at <http://hrw.org/press/2002/08/usdetainess081502.htm>.

2 See Blue Triangle Network, Fact Sheet: Stop the Repression Against Muslim, Arab and South Asian Immigrants, at <http://www.bluetriangle.org/HTMLobj-07/BTNfactsheetscreen.pdf>. While this seems like a hyperbole, it is interesting to note the language of the UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance. In its preamble it describes a “disappearance,” in relevant part, as what happens “when persons are arrested (or) detained... by officials... followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.” Gares. 47/133 (Dec. 18,1992), available at <http://www.unhchr.ch/huridocda/huridoca.nsf/(Symbol)/A.RES.47.133.En?OpenDocument>.

3 See Alan M. Dershowttz, Why Terrorism Works 144 (2002). Dershowitz proposes a hypothetical situation in which what he calls a “ticking bomb terrorist” is interrogated. His justification is that “it is surely better to inflict nonlethal pain on one guilty terrorist who is illegally withholding information needed to preventan act of terrorism than to permit a large number of innocent victims to die.” Id. at 144. He never explains how we are to know ahead of time that a particular detainee is a “guilty terrorist” if he or she has not been convicted of an offense.

4 For example, the back cover of his book lists endorsements from, among others, Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, and even writer David Mamet.

5 Dana Priest & Barton Gellman, U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogations; ‘Stress and Duress’ Tactics Used on Terrorism Suspects Held in Secret Overseas Facilities, Wash. Post, Dec. 26, 2002, at A1.

6 Id.

7 Nat Hentoff, The American Way of Torture, Vill. Voice, Feb. 5, 2003, at 27 (citing Dana Priest & Barton Geltman, supra note 4).

8 Andrew Gumbel, America Admits Suspects Died in Interrogations, Indep., Mar. 7, 2003, at 12.

9 The Associated Press reported on March 10 that there had been “22 suicide attempts among detainees at the base, including 12 this year.” See Associated Press, Guantanamo Bay Detainee Attempts Suicide Again, Mar. 10, 2003, at <http://www.newsobserver.com/24hour/world/story/800819p-5708835c.html>. Part of the problem may be the indefinite nature of the detention.

10 Jonathan Alter, Time to Think About Torture, Newsweek, Nov. 5, 2001, at 45.

11 The Washington Post quoted one U.S. official who had been involved in this process as saying, “We don’t kick the (expletive) out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the (expletive) out of them.” Priest & Gellman, supra note 4.

12 Richard Perle, Thanh God for the Death of the UN, Guardian, Mar. 21, 2003, at 26; William Safíre, The Asian Front, N. Y. Times, Mar. 10, 2003, at A19.

13 This section of the paper was inspired by the discussion of formalist versus teleological approaches in Klabbers, Jan, Rebel with a Cause?: Terrorists and Humanitarian Law, 14 Eur. J. Int’l L. 299, 310 (2003).

14 Nagel, W.H., A Socio-legal View on the Suppression of Terrorists, 8 Int’l J. Soc. L. 213, 221 (1980).

15 The relevant language from Article 2(1) sets out that: “Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant.” ICCPR, UN Gaor, 21st Sess., Supp. No. 16, at 52, art. 2(1) (1966), 999 UNTS 171 (entered into force Mar. 23, 1976).

16 Manfred Nowak, U.N. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: CCPR Commentary 36 (1993).

17 Id.

18 Id.

19 See id. at 38.

20 Current Situation and Future of Human Rights, Sub-Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2002/2, para. 1 (Aug. 12,2002) (adopted without a vote).

21 Consequences for the Enjoyment of Human Rights of Acts of Violence Committed by Armed Groups that Spread Terror Among the Population and by Drug Traffickers, Sub-Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1993/13 (Aug. 26, 1993) (adopted without a vote).

22 Id., para. 2.

23 18 U.S.C. §2331 (2000).

24 N. Y. Times, Mar. 31, 2003, at C1.

25 The Al Qaeda Manual is available at <http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/trainingmanual.htm>.

26 James Drummond, Mubarak Fears War May Increase Terrorism, Fin. Times, Apr. 1, 2003, at 4.

27 See, e.g., Anne-Marie Slaughter, Good Reasons for Going around the UN: On the Brink of War, Int’l Herald Trib., Mar. 19, 2003, at) available at <http://www.iht.com/search/phppid=90176&owner=(IHT)&date=>.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed