Sundeep Bhutoria

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Human rights vs target killings

Canada: I am back in Montreal from New York. Osama is in news in all the channels the world over. Conspiracy theorists have been on an over drive. Also, questions over legality of the killing had taken over the discussion soon after the news of Osama's death.
There have been voices from many quarters saying that the norm should be that terrorists be dealt with as criminals i.e., through legal processes of arrest, trial and judicially-decided punishment thus highlighting the issue of target killings carried out by a government agency in the territory of another country.
I heard the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem (Navi) Pillay call for a “full disclosure of the accurate facts,” on the Osama incident. “The United Nations condemns terrorism but it also has basic rules of how counter-terrorism activity has to be carried out,” she said.
It seems that for about 24 hours nobody knew much about the operations. Osama was shot in Pakistan and given a watery burial within 10 hours. In the wake of changing versions of the incident by US, reactions began to pour in from many quarters, including from various segments of the civilized world.
The whole of last week was full of speculations about what had actually happened. There were different stories doing the rounds. Other than the issue of international law, geographical boundaries, US invading air space, the issue of human rights was also raised.
I saw on television a noted film director in the United States saying that what America did wasn’t right. He said he would have preferred Osama tried under the US law.
I don’t understand how can human rights be the same for a terrorist and a petty thief ? For example, from a human rights point of view, can a child molester be treated at par with someone who stole a bike.
The laws and rights are for the civil society not for terrorists like Osama. I think it is high time we redefine the laws governing human rights.
Theoretically, law is equal for all. But we all, especially the people of Third World countries, know that it is a myth and how the laws favour the rich against the poor. I think we should make a clear segregation between law for the civil society and those for criminals like Osama.
ess bee

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