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Europe rights watchdog slams EU, UN terror watch lists

[JURIST] The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) [official website] on Wednesday called the European Union and United Nations' practice of blacklisting terror suspects from interstate travel "completely arbitrary" [CoE press release] and urged member states of both organizations to amend their blacklisting practice to "preserve the credibility of the international fight against terrorism." Rapporteur Dick Marty reported [text] that the lists violate basic human rights by not informing individuals or groups when they've been added to the blacklist or giving them an opportunity to respond to the allegations, noting that 370 people world-wide have had their assets frozen by the UN list. In November, PACE made similar criticisms [JURIST report] of blacklisting procedures used by the UN Security Council and the European Union, adopting the draft version [text; press release] of Wednesday's report. EUobserver has more.

In July 2007, the European Court of First Instance overturned [judgment; JURIST report] the EU's decision [Council Decision 2006/379/EC text, PDF] to freeze the assets of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman Jose Maria Sison [MIPT profile] and the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa Foundation [judgment], finding that the Council did not give its reasons or provide an opportunity for the plaintiffs to challenge the legal basis or evidence to justify the seizure. In December 2006, the European Court of First Instance annulled the asset freeze [JURIST report] of Iranian opposition government People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) [organization website, in Farsi]. The judgment prompted the Council of the European Union to revise [press release, PDF; JURIST report] the procedures used in establishing and maintaining the EU's terror lists.

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