Monday, April 25, 2005

Eliminating the Investigators

In 1992, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 780 to authorize the investigation of "grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian law" in Bosnia. The Commission of Experts appointed to conduct the investigation was headed by DePaul University Professor of Law Cherif Bassiouni. Over the course of two-and-a-half years, Bassiouni and the Commission of Experts produced an extraordinarily thorough report that laid the foundations for the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

In 2004, the U.N.'s Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights appointed Professor Bassiouni as the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan. Recently, Professor Bassiouni issued a report critical of the United States Government for its policy of holding detainees in Afghanistan without trial and without permitting human rights monitors to have access to them. Now The Independent reports that Professor Bassiouni has been forced out of his U.N. job as a result of pressure from the United States. (See also this Los Angeles Times note on Bassiouni's ouster.)

[Via Laura Rozen at War and Piece.]