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JOINT STATEMENT ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS IN THE CONTEXT OF ANTI-TERRORISM MEASURES

25 June 2004


Following is the joint statement made today by participants at the eleventh Annual Meeting of the Special Rapporteurs/representatives, independent experts and chairpersons of the working groups of the Special Procedures of the Commission on Human Rights and of the Advisory Services Programme:

"The Special Rapporteurs/representatives, independent experts and chairpersons of the working groups of the Special Procedures of the Commission on Human Rights and of the Advisory Services Programme, meeting in eleventh annual session in Geneva from 21 to 25 June 2004, reiterate the concerns expressed in their statement of June 2003 regarding the serious incidence that certain measures taken in the name of the fight against terrorism may have on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

They once again strongly voice their unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms. At the same time, they reaffirm their individual and collective determination to monitor, each within the framework of his or her mandate, those policies, legislation, measures and practices developed by States in the name of the fight against terrorism, with a view to ascertaining that they are consistent with international human rights standards.

Bearing in mind a number of recent developments that have seriously alarmed the international community with regard to the status, conditions of detention and treatment of prisoners in specific places of detention, they express their unanimous desire that the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Leandro Despouy, the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Mrs. Leila Zerrougui, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Mr. Paul Hunt and the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Mr. Theo van Boven, visit, together and at the earliest possible date, those persons arrested, detained or tried on grounds of alleged terrorism or other violations, in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Guantanamo Bay military base and elsewhere, with a view to ascertain, each within the confines of their mandate, that international human rights standards are properly upheld with regard to these persons, and also to make themselves available to the authorities concerned for consultation and advice on all issues within their areas of competence. They further express the wish that they present the outcome of their approaches and visits to the sixty-first session of the Commission on Human Rights."

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