PACE committee welcomes new UN Convention against Enforced Disappearances

Strasbourg, 20.12.2006 – The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has warmly welcomed today’s adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Convention against Enforced Disappearances.

In a statement, the committee declared: “This important text, strongly supported by the Parliamentary Assembly, outlaws the barbaric practice of enforced disappearance and foresees concrete measures to prevent and punish such crimes more effectively.”

“Ending impunity is the strongest signal that can be sent to potential future perpetrators, and the Council of Europe, far from solely pointing the finger at distant parts of the world, recognises that much still remains to be done in its own member states, as well as in Belarus – the last European country that is not yet part of the Council of Europe.”

“Leading representatives of the Lukashenko regime were implicated in a series of politically-motivated disappearances, as documented by a 2004 report of the Parliamentary Assembly, and have still not been held to account.”

“The Convention will also outlaw any forms of secret detention, including those currently being investigated by Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE) in a report for the Parliamentary Assembly on ‘alleged secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe in member states’.”