GENEVA: Human rights bodies are calling for the United States US to disclose the facts about the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden amidst reports that five of the six people, including the al Qaeda chief, were unarmed.
“We are just saying the US government should answer questions concerning whether a meaningful prospect of surrender and arrest was given by the US, but perhaps not taken by Bin Laden,” Martin Scheinin, UN special rapporteur on protecting human rights while countering terrorism, said.
Failure to comply could amount to a “cold-blooded execution” but the overall situation must be taken into account..., said Scheinin.
“You design an operation so that there is a meaningful possibility of surrender and arrest even if you think the offer will be refused and you have to resort to lethal force,” he said.
Earlier, Scheinin and Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said that in certain exceptional cases, deadly force may be used in “operations against terrorists”.
“However, the norm should be that terrorists be dealt with as criminals, through legal processes...,” the independent experts said in a joint statement.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2011.
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