Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), has criticized the U.S. government for killing Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden without due process.
Referring to comments made by UN general Secretary Ban Ki-Moon that seemed to approve of the murder of Osama, Roth said through his Twitter account: “Ban Ki-moon wrong on #Osama bin Laden: It’s not ‘justice’ for him to be killed even if justified; no trial, conviction”.
Ban had described the killing of Osama as “a watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism.” He also said he was “very much relieved by the news that justice has been done to such a mastermind of international terrorism.”
Roth is also seeking s more detailed account of the gun battle that led to Osama’s death.
“White House still hasn’t clarified: [Osama] ‘resisted’ but how did he pose lethal threat to US forces on scene? Need facts.”
Reed Brody, counsel at HRW: Is the world a better place because bin Laden is not here? People can obviously answer that question. But does that mean you have the right to violate protocols of human rights or international law to do that? Then no.
Earlier, HRW had released the following statement on the death of Osama:“At a time when citizens around the world have engaged in peaceful demonstrations in the name of freedom and democracy, bin Laden’s death is a reminder of the thousands of innocents who suffer when terrorist groups seek political change through brutal means.”
Separately, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has also raised questions about the legality of the killing of the al Qaeda chief.
The United Nations has consistently emphasized that all counter-terrorism acts must respect international law, Pillay said.
In London, human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson has called the killing of Osama as a perversion of justice that will eventually come to haunt the US, according to the New Zealand Herald (NZH).
Justice means taking someone to court, finding them guilty upon evidence and sentencing them,” he told Australian TV.
This man [Osama] has been subject to summary execution, and what is now appearing after a good deal of disinformation from the White House is it may well have been a cold-blooded assassination.
European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Osama should have been tried in court, NZH reported.
Former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said the killing of Osama was quite clearly a violation of international law that may impart incalculable consequences in the Arab world.