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Debate: Extraordinary rendition

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Is extraordinary rendition justified in fighting terrorism?

Background and context

Extraordinary rendition is the apprehension and extrajudicial transfer of people from one jurisdiction to another without the necessary permission of a legal authority. The phrase is often used to describe the capture of terrorists by one country and his/her prosecution in another country without consulting the legal authority of the country where the terrorist was captured in. It is almost exclusively used in the United States of America.

For example, the Abu Omar case is an example of extraordinary rendition.

There has been criticism against the use of extraordinary rendition because evidence may be obtained illegally and violates the freedoms of people.

See Wikipedia's article on extraordinary renditions for more background.

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Is Extraordinary Rendition justified in fighting the 'war on terror'?

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Pro

  • The threat of terrorism is too large to ignore; it is the necessary action that has to be taken to prevent the deaths of thousands of innocent (American) citizens. Imagine the terrorists had been caught before September 11 and rendered to another country. The attack could have been prevented and nearly 3000 lives saved.
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Con

  • Torture is “usually counterproductive”, so it isn’t even the most effective way of extracting information from suspected terrorists. (Ignatius, 2005)
  • Mental pain and suffering caused during the mistreatment and also as repercussions once the captives are released.
  • Unethical. Basic human rights are violated by all practices of rendition. It is unethical to continue this action.
  • Actions of abduction and torture are illegal.
Any information obtained “illegally or under duress” is inadmissible in court, so there is no legal case for anything discovered from rendition.
  • It violates the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) Article 3 which states:
1. “No State party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” (Wikipedia, 2010)
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US law: Do extraordinary renditions violate US law?

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Pro

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International law: Do extraordinary renditions violate international law?

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Pro

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Con

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See also

External links

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