Amnesty International Welcomes EU Efforts to Combat Impunity

As EU Justice and Homes Affairs Ministers gather in Brussels today for their extraordinary council meeting, following the attacks in the US last week, Amnesty International has expressed its support for the EU’s determination to combat impunity. However, the human rights organization has called for explicit assurances that any measure to tighten security will not undermine civil liberties and the right of refugees to protection.

The measures adopted yesterday by the Commission to strengthen judicial cooperation in criminal matters, include the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between the member states. Amnesty International welcomes the facilitation of extradition for certain offences, such as crimes against humanity and torture.

“Amnesty International would support the extradition of anyone accused of involvement in these crimes to a country in which they will be brought to justice in trials which uphold internationally recognized rights of fair trail and in which the penalties for those convicted do not involve the death penalty, torture, or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, said Dick Oosting, Director of Amnesty International’s EU Office.

Amnesty International recommends that such safeguards be explicitly stated, to ensure they apply to all current and future EU member states, as well as to any other state with whom the EU may wish to undertake agreements in this regard.

For further comment/background and interviews:

Amnesty International EU Office (Brussels):

Tel: 32-2-5021499/5482772

Fax: 32-2-5025686

Email: [email protected]