PACE demands review of UN and EU blacklisting procedures for terrorist suspects, which ‘violate human rights’

Strasbourg, 23.01.2008 – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) considers that the procedures used by the UN Security Council and the EU to blacklist individuals and groups suspected of having connections with terrorism violate basic rights and are "completely arbitrary". Its members accordingly insist that they must be reviewed "to preserve the credibility of the international fight against terrorism".

"Injustice is terrorism’s best ally – and we must fight it too," declared rapporteur Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE), opening the debate. His report points out that there are currently some 370 people world-wide whose assets have been frozen, and who cannot travel, because the UN has put them on a blacklist. Some sixty groups and bodies are reportedly on another blacklist kept by the EU. "Mere suspicion" is ground enough for these sanctions. This situation "is deplorable and a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms".

"Even the members of the committee which decides on blacklisting are not given all the reasons for blacklisting particular persons or groups. Usually, those persons or groups are not told that blacklisting has been requested, given a hearing or even, in some cases, informed of the decision – until they try to cross a frontier or use a bank account. There is no provision for independent review of these decisions".

This kind of procedure is "unworthy" of international institutions like the UN and EU, and undermines the legitimacy of using "targeted sanctions" against terrorists, insists the Assembly. And states required to enforce these sanctions may well violate their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr Marty’s report

Addendum to the report

Result of the vote