Two independent United Nations (UN) human rights experts say the United States should release more details on the death of Osama Bin Laden during a military raid in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
The United Nations (UN) affiliated human rights attorneys say the United States should release more details on the death of Osama Bin Laden during a military raid in Pakistan.They say in the statement that “actions taken by States in combating terrorism, especially in high profile cases, set precedents for the way in which the right to life will be treated in future instances.”
The statement, issued jointly by law professors Christof Heyns of South Africa’s University of Pretoria and Martin Scheinin of European University Institute in Florence, Italy, says that the “use of deadly force may be permissible” in certain circumstances “as a measure of last resort.” But they say that "the norm should be that terrorists be dealt with as criminals, through legal processes of arrest, trial and judicially decided punishment.” These guidelines, the men say, are “international standards on the use of force.”
Heyns and Scheinin both hold the title of “Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism,” according to the UN. The UN says both men report in an “independent and unpaid capacity” to the UN Human Rights Council and that each “serves in his individual capacity” and are also “independent from any government.”
Their statement says, “It may well be that the questions that are being asked about the operation could be answered, but it is important to get this into the open.” The disclosure of “the supporting facts” of Bin Laden’s death, the men say, would “allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards,' and that it “will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture Bin Laden.”
U.S. officials initially said Bin Laden was killed in a firefight with U.S. troops but later said that Bin Laden was not armed when he was shot although there is still confusion over the exact details of the action.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has previously said in remarks on May 2, 2011, that the “crimes of Al Qaeda” caused a “dark day” on September 11, 2011 that resulted in the “loss of life to thousands of men, women and children.”
Ban said the UN is “committed to continue to lead this campaign with world leaders to fight against international terrorism.”
Osama Bin Laden had claimed responsibility for the terrorist group Al Qaeda attacks on September 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 people. He was also suspected to be responsible for numerous other terrorist attacks throughout the world and had declared his organization to be “at war” with the United States.