UN human rights watchdogs demand details of Osama`s killing
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Last Updated: Friday, May 06, 2011, 21:07
Geneva: Two UN human rights watchdogs have asked the US to give details about the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, who was unarmed, in particular whether there had been any plan to capture him.

There are growing speculations that international human right principles might have been jettisoned in the deadly operation after reports emerged that four of the five people killed, when an elite unit of US Navy SEALs raided the house in Pakistan's Abbottabad, were unarmed - bin Laden among them.

The US should "disclose the supporting facts to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards," UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, and the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin, said in a statement.

"For instance it will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture bin Laden."

While "deadly force" is allowed in exceptional cases, "the norm should be that terrorists should be dealt with as criminals, through legal process of arrest, trial, and judicially decided punishment," the two independent investigators argued.

Against this backdrop, they said, the US must be ready to answer all the questions about its operation. "It is important to get this into the open."

The US changed its position on how the operation was carried in a matter of two days, said analysts.

First, US President Barak Obama and Pentagon spoke about "fire fighting" as well as resistance from inside the compound, but later, it was revealed that American forces only came under fire in the first few minutes of the operation.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay has also asked the US must provide all the information concerning the killing of bin Laden but so far there is no response, a commission official said.


First Published: Friday, May 06, 2011, 21:07

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