UN rights investigator fears US interrogation law will lower standards worldwide Joe Shaulis at 2:40 PM ET
[JURIST] A UN human rights investigator expressed concern Friday that the US Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) [text; JURIST news archive] would lead to lower worldwide standards regarding interrogation techniques and trial procedures for noncitizen detainees. Martin Scheinin [academic profile; CV], special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, said in a statement [text] that:
[a] number of provisions of the MCA appear to contradict the universal and fundamental principles of fair trial standards and due process enshrined in Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. One of the most serious aspects of this legislation is the power of the President to declare anyone, including US citizens, without charge as an "unlawful enemy combatant" - a term unknown in international humanitarian law - resulting in these detainees being subject to the jurisdiction of a military commission composed of commissioned military officers. At the same time, the material scope of crimes to be tried by military commissions is much broader than war crimes in the meaning of the Geneva Conventions.
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