A press statement attributed to Osama bin Laden’s fourth son, who, the BBC reports, “has repeatedly distanced himself from his father’s ideology,” demands to know “why our father was not arrested and tried but summarily executed without a court of law,” unlike Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic.
This question has been carefully raised by a few thoughtful commentators, notably Glenn Greenwald, who draws a distinction between a man’s character and the rule of law in a free society.
In addition to challenging the United States over its professed values, the bin Laden family letter demands proof that Osama bin Laden is really dead, condemns his burial at sea, calls for the return of the al-Qaida leader’s family and threatens to pursue the matter in international courts.
Meanwhile President Obama’s job approval rating continues to climb after receiving a huge initial bump after the bin Laden killing. —PZS
The statement is reprinted below as it appeared in The New York Times:
Statement from the family of Sheikh Osama bin Laden
I Omar Ossama Binladin and my brothers the lawful children and heirs of the Ossama Binladin (OBL) have noted wide coverage of the news of the death of our father, but we are not convinced on the available evidence in the absence of dead body, photographs, and video evidence that our natural father is dead. Therefore, with this press statement, we seek such conclusive evidence to believe the stories published in relation to 2 May 2011 operation Geronimo as declared by the President of United States Barrack Hussein Obama in his speech that he authorized the said operation and killing of OBL and later confirmed his death.
If OBL has been killed in that operation as President of United States has claimed then we are just in questioning as per media reports that why an unarmed man was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world. If he has been summarily executed then, we question the propriety of such assassination where not only international law has been blatantly violated but USA has set a very different example whereby right to have a fair trial, and presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a court of law has been sacrificed on which western society is built and is standing when a trial of OBL was possible for any wrongdoing as that of Iraqi President Sadam Hussein and Serbian President Slobodan Miloševic’. We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems and crime’s adjudication as Justice must be seen to be done.
It is also unworthy of the special forces to shoot unarmed female family members of Binladen killing a female and that of one of his son.
Most importantly, when it is a common knowledge that OBL’s family is residing at one place outside KSA, why they were not contacted to receive his dead body. His sudden and un witnessed burial at sea has deprived the family of performing religious rights of a Muslim man.
Finally, now that the operation is concluded we wish the Government of Pakistan to release and hand over all minors of the family and all the family members are reunited at one place and are repatriated to their country of origin, especially female members of the family to avoid further oppression and we seek international support to that effect.
Without agreeing to the ways of OBL as to how he professed, believed and operated, We Omar Ossama Binladin, and my brothers, the lawful children of the Ossama Binladin (OBL) herewith demand an inquiry under UNO to reach to the accuracy of the facts as stated by United States into the fundamental question as to why our father was not arrested and tried but summarily executed without a court of law. We are putting these questions to the United Nations, OIC, President of United States that a necessary evidence is presented to the family in private and or public to make us believe what they claim, and all the remaining family members are repatriated and united after necessary initial investigation.
In making this statement, we want to remind the world that Omar Ossam Binladin, the fourth-born son of our father, always disagreed with our father regarding any violence and always sent messages to our father, that he must change his ways and that no civilians should be attacked under any circumstances. Despite the difficulty of publicly disagreeing with our father, he never hesitated to condemn any violent attacks made by anyone, and expressed sorrow for the victims of any and all attacks. As he condemned our father, we now condemn the president of the United States for ordering the execution of unarmed men and women.
Failure to answer these questions will force us to go to International forum for justice such as International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice and UN must take notice of the violation of international law and assist us to have answers for which we are lawful in seeking them. A panel of eminent British and international lawyers is being constituted and a necessary action may be taken if no answers are furnished within 30 days of this statement.