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Torture in "Only" 2 of 22 UN Cases Reviewed, Australia Takes AQ Committee?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 4 -- Information obtained by torture is used by the UN Security Council's sanctions regime, UN expert Ben Emmerson charged on Tuesday at a partially open event held at the Germany Mission to the UN.

  No, Ombudsperson Kimberly Prost countered -- torture was only "plausibly raised" in two of the 22 cases she has reviewed.

  Then the event went off the record, or under the Chatham House Rules. Inner City Press left.

  Back in the summer, Inner City Press covered one of the 22 cases, the de-listing of Sa'ad Rashed Mohammad al-Faqih.

  Germany has one more month in charge of the UN's Taliban / Al Qaeda sanctions committees. Then it will leave the Council. Inner City Press has been exclusively informed that new Council member Australia is in line to take over from Germany.

  The torture and wider due process issues have been brewing for some time. How can the UN, which preaches rule of law, put people on sanctions lists on little evidence, or secret evidence, or evidence obtained via torture?

  Emmerson hammered at this points, adding that if his recommendations were implemented in full, UN sanctions decisions would be bulletproof at the European Court of Human Rights.

  But how can he be so sure? 

  Ombudsperson Prost, before the session went off the record, retorted that even one of Emmerson's cases was about nation's citizens' right to be free from terrorist attack.

   She countered Emmerson on a number of points, and he whispered in the ear of moderator Ivan Simonovic. But his reply would be under Chatham House rules. The reasoning wasn't clear, but Inner City Press follows the Rules: it left, back to the Security Council, to cover Yemen and terror attacks there. Watch this site.

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