Astrid Essed | 23.12.2008 21:26 | Terror War
Also their refusal is contrary the universal rules of civilisation
I ''Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
The General Assembly,
Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
Preambule Universal Declaration of the Human Rights
All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
See article 10, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
''The civilisation of a society is measured to the way, the adversaries are treated''
Dear Editor and Readers,
In underlying I sent to you my comment on the refusal of the Indian Muslim Council to bury the bodies of the Mumbai-attakers
I have sent it also as a Letter to the Editor to a number of Indian and Pakistani papers, as also to several other international papers
But before that, I will give a short introduction
Like most people, I was very shocked by the Mumbai terrorist attacks, which has costed the lives of more than 170 human beings, the dead attackers included.
Although of course terrorism [meaning the international definition of military attacks on civilians] has its social, political and historical causes, lying in the case of India in the discrimination and sometimes persecution of the muslim minority and in the conflict about Kashmir, any attack against civilians, whether done by regular arnies or militant, isnot only illegal and inhuman, according to International Law
It is also inhumane and reprehensible according to the universal laws of mankind.
However, from humanitarian perspective, which are based on as well ethical and religious ground, as on the international human rights treaties, the human rights of the attackers should not be forgotten, since human rights are universal and based on the rights of all human beings, regardless race, descent, religious belief or committed crime.
Therefore I applaud the appeal of Human Rights Watch on the Indian and Pakistani governments to maintain the international humanitarian rules in the search for those, who are responsible for the Mumbai-attacks
Also I emphasize, that the only surviving attacker has not only the right to a fair and independent trial and to an attorney of his own choice, but also to a huimane treatment.
In this case I think it is worrying, that as well the Dutch and other European papers, as international papers, refer to the attackers as being ''terrorists'', which is a violation of the principle, that any person is innocent, untill his or her guilt is proven in a fair and independent trial
Besides that, by writing like that, the papers get the impression, that people are already condemned before the trial
Recently it was the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states this innocence principle in his article 11 
REGARDING THE REFUSAL OF THE INDIAN COUNCIL TO BURY THE MUMBAI-ATTACKERS IN AN ISLAMIC GRAVEYARD
Also the Universal Declaration emphasizes the dignity and humane treatment of any person
This means not only freedom from want or torture, but also the right to be buried in a graveyard, according to his or her religious belief
Therefore I think that it is a deed of utter disrespect, that the Indian Muslim Council has refused to bury the bodies of the Mumbai-attackers in an islamic graveyard
However reprehensible and horrible the attacks, they are human beings, who have the right on their last rites and to rest in peace in an appropriate grave.
Denial of that right, I consider not only as utterly inhuman, but also a lack of civilisation
Under P/S I send to you my comment on this
Of course the Universal Declaration has no legal, but only moral value, which is however so strong and fundamental, that it has widely been acknowledged
Her principes are the foundation of international treaties like the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is guaranteeing in article 14, the right to a fair trial and the principle, to be held innocent untill guilt proven
REFUSAL OF BURIAL MUMBAI ATTACKERS IN ISLAMIC GRAVEYARD IN CONTRARY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS
I have learnt with concern about the decision of the Indian Muslim Council, not to allow the burial of the 9 killed Mumbai attackers, on an islamic graveyard
As a reason, the Council declares, that the attackers cannot be held muslims, because they went against the teachings of Islam
Another Council-member said, that the attackers had defamed the religion
Of course I agree, that the Mumbai attacks are in contrary with the teachings of Islam
However, viewed from a religious perspective, the decision of the Council is, too, a defamation of the teachings of the Islam, based on respect for every human being, regardless of descent or committed crime
The denial of a grave is not only one of the most extreme signs of disrespect, it is also a
violation of the right of every human being on human dignity, confirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Also the allegation that the attackers were no muslims, makes no sense, since they were practising the Islam, although their interpretation was totally wrong
It is evident, that the killed Mumbai attackers are guilty of very serious crimes, for which they would be held accountable on earth, in a fair and independent trial, according to international standards.
However, now they are dead, no Council or other authority has the right to deny them eternal peace on a graveyard
The Council, based on the teachings of Islam, should set the example of humanity and respect