COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
OF AMERICAN STATES
WASHINGTON,D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 U.S.A.
and Human Rights
numerous occasions the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
has condemned terrorism and stated that no cause or pretext may be
invoked to justify attacks against civilians and other acts proscribed
under international law.
the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11 of this year, the IACHR
conveyed its condolences to and solidarity with the people and
Government of the United States and extended those sentiments to include
the numerous citizens of other states in and beyond the Hemisphere, who
were also victims. The attacks of September 11 were committed against
all people, as the countries of the Americas pointed out at the Meeting
of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
must not go unpunished. States have the right and indeed the duty to
defend themselves against this international crime within the framework
of international instruments that require domestic laws and regulations
to conform with international commitments.
terrorist attacks have prompted vigorous debate over the adoption of
anti-terrorist initiatives that include, inter
alia, military commissions and other measures.
to the doctrine of the IACHR, military courts may not try civilians,
except when no civilian courts exist or where trial by such courts is
materially impossible. Even under such circumstances, the IACHR has
pointed out that the trial must respect the minimum guarantees
established under international law, which include non-discrimination
between citizens and others who find themselves under the jurisdiction
of a State, an impartial judge, the right to be assisted by
freely-chosen counsel, and access by defendants to evidence brought
against them together with the opportunity to contest it.
the powers vested in it by Article 18 of its Statute, the IACHR will
prepare a Report on Terrorism and Human Rights designed to assist States
in adopting laws and regulations that accord with international law.
that end, the IACHR will present its views on this important topic at
its next regular session in February 2002.
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