Even terrorist suspects have some rights

Even terrorist suspects have some rights


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European Commission Vice-President Franco Frattini told a symposium organised by Germany’s EU presidency on February 20 that the fight against worldwide terrorism is not incompatible with insuring rights for suspects.

Speaking to the Academy of European Law, Frattini called for mutual cooperation and said the need for a universal European law regarding crime suspects would be beneficial to all EU countries, as it would allow for the protection of citizens both internally and abroad.

Creation of such a plan, he said, would also facilitate the building of a mutual trust relationship in the EU, one that encourages the protection of freedom and rights across the continent. 

“The Framework Decision rights are designed to reinforce the European Convention on Human Rights, which is accepted as the basic minimum standard, leaving Member States free to opt for higher levels of protection in their national system,” Frattini said.

Six EU countries have already proposed a non-binding resolution, but Frattini continually emphasised the need for an immediate draft and the avoidance of any temporary solutions. The latter, he stated, could potentially make Member States more suspicious of the others’ actions, rather than increase legal trust.

He said without a legal framework, enforcement on the union level would be virtually impossible, but through the adoption of a Framework Decision, the Commission gains the ability to legally bind all the nations which are a part of the EU. Further, in the situation that not all 27 members ratify a Framework Decision, Frattini said he believes that their participation should be excluded but the plan enforced regardless of their choice.

“If one or two Member States will not accept a Framework Decision, whatever the content, and however hard the others try to achieve a compromise, the only solution may be to do so without them,” Frattini stated.

A clear supporter of the Framework Decision, Frattini proclaimed that there exists a need to both enforce the law both in terms of security measures and in regard to personal freedoms. Such an equilibrium, he stated, is not only possible but owed to the citizens of the European Union.

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