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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

RIGHTS: 'Fight Terror But Follow Due Process'

Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist Hina Jilani is a member of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights, convened by the International Commission of Jurists ( to investigate counter-terrorism practices and human rights standards.

The panel, chaired by Arthur Chaskalson, former chief justice of South Africa, comprises several prominent figures in international law and includes former Irish president and United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.

It is the first group to undertake an investigation of this scope with 16 hearings covering 40 countries over the past three years.

The group will launch its report ‘Assessing Damage, Urging Action’ at a press conference in Geneva on Feb. 16, followed by a high-level presentation at the U.N. The report provides guidance to combat terrorism and urges states and international bodies to restore the primacy of international law.

Jilani, along with the late justice Dorab Patel and lawyer Asma Jahangir, is among the founders of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan ( in 1986. She was appointed to the U.N. international fact-finding commission on Darfur in 2006, and was the U.N. special representative of the secretary-general on human rights defenders, 2000-2008.


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