Law Experts Warn War on Terror Undermining Human Rights | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 27.08.2004
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Law Experts Warn War on Terror Undermining Human Rights

Legal experts from around the world warned Friday that human rights and the rule of law are being trampled on in the US-led war against terrorism. "The war against terrorism is more than a set of specific laws," Nicholas Howen, secretary general of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), told a conference in Berlin. "It is a way of thinking." He added that this "disturbing rhetoric" assumed that rights and freedoms were a nuisance and interfered with security. "We witness governments trying to justify torture in the name of national security, detainees held in legal black holes, the right to a fair trial cut down," Howen told more than 150 legal experts at the conference. Arthur Chaskalson, the president of the ICJ, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization, said human rights had never been under such threat since the end of the Cold War. (AFP)