Representatives from 57 countries on Tuesday signed a long-negotiated treaty prohibiting governments from holding people in secret detention. The
United Statesdeclined to endorse the document, saying its text did not meet expectations. U.S.
Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said the treaty was "a message to all modern-day authorities committed to the fight against terrorism" that some practices are "not acceptable."
Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack declined to comment, except to say that the helped draft the treaty but that the final wording "did not meet our expectations." United States
The Associated Press reported that McCormack declined to comment on whether the
stance was influenced by the Bush administration's policy of sending terrorism suspects to CIA-run prisons overseas, which President Bush acknowledged in September. U.S.
. . .
The convention defines forced disappearance as the arrest, detention or kidnapping of a person by state agents or affiliates and subsequent denials about the detention or location of the individual.
The treaty, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December, has been pushed for nearly a quarter-century by rights groups and the families of individuals who have disappeared at the hands of various governments. It also addresses the international debate over the rights of terrorism suspects.
This convention is a long overdue response to the use of forced disappearances as a tool of political repression pioneered on a large scale by
When I interned at a human rights organization in
The icing on the cake from today’s Post story:
At a separate gathering, a non-binding accord banning the use of child soldiers was signed here Tuesday by representatives of 58 countries, including African nations that have been harshly criticized by the United Nations and human rights groups for arming children. The
did not participate, saying that it objected to some of the wording of the documents but that it remained committed to its treaty obligations on the issue. United States
Our government won’t sign a non-binding accord banning the use of child soldiers? Is there a non-laughable (in a laughing through your tears kind of way) justification for this?