United Nations: Governments Are Using the U.S. "War On Terrorism" to Justify Repression Athome

January 03, 2002


Masuda Sultan

Afghan-American woman who has returned to her birthplace in Kandahar.

Tami Alpert

part of the film crew that is documenting Masuda Sultan’s journey.

U.N. officials and independent human rights advocates are charging that demands by the Security Council that U.N.members act against global terrorism are being used by some regimes to justify repression of domestic dissent.

In a joint letter to Bush early last month, eight leading American human rights groups said his order authorizing thetribunals—which could impose the death penalty—will be cited by foreign dictators "for decades to come" as ajustification for summary executions.

Critics also say the campaign has been used by authoritarian governments to justify moves to clamp down on moderateopponents, outlaw criticism of rulers and expand the use of capital punishment.


  • William Orme, is the United Nations correspondent for the LA Times.
  • John Peck, is a member of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars. He has spent years researchingland-reform issues in Zimbabwe.