Wednesday, December 07, 2016

UN Panel gets it wrong again

Since far too many countries seem to make a habit of imprisoning people with no trials or seriously inadequate ones, it seems to be that it would be a very good idea of the United Nations had a panel to monitor, consider and make wise recommendations about the issue of arbitrary detention.

Unfortunately it would appear, if their findings about the decision of Julian Assange to hide in the Ecuadorian Embassy is anything to go by, that the panel which the UN actually has to review such things leaves a great deal to be desired.

The "Working Group on Arbitrary Detention” recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and considered four requests to review previous decisions, one of these being the Assange case. It decided that none of these cases met the threshold for a review from which I conclude that being an absolutely crazy decision is evidently not included in the criteria for that threshold.

Which is a shame, because it was an utterly crazy decision as I previously wrote here.

They are supposed to be monitoring arbitrary detention of people who have been detained without due legal process, not people who go and hide in an embassy to avoid a legal process!

I cannot think of a better way of summarising the reasons for this than to quote again the minority report of Vladimir Tochilovsky, the one member of the panel who did not vote for the finding against Britain and Sweden, and recorded his disagreement with the finding of his colleagues as follows:

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