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UN rights expert criticises new US anti-terror law

Martin Scheinin, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights, says the anti-terrorism measures will violate key parts of international law.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 18:53 IST

The new United States anti-terrorism measures signed into law by President George W Bush earlier this month would violate key parts of international law, a UN human rights expert said on Friday.

"While there were some positive amendments made by Congress, the Military Commissions Act contains a number of provisions that are incompatible with the international obligations of the United States under human rights law and humanitarian law," said Martin Scheinin, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism measures.

Scheinin's written statement underlined Washington's lead role in countering terrorism following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, warning that the new legislation could serve as a bad example to the rest of the world.

"There is an added concern that some Governments may view certain aspects of this legislation as an example that could be followed in respect of their national counter-terrorism legislation," he said.

Human rights groups, the International Committee of the Red Cross and several US legislators have made similar warnings since the law was passed by the US Congress in recent weeks and during the debate on the bill.

Bush signed the bill on October 17.

First Published: Oct 27, 2006 18:53 IST