[JURIST] South African Archbishop and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu [Nobel profile] Monday criticized the United States and Great Britain for detaining terror suspects without trial, describing the practice as "a huge blot on democracy". He expressed surprise at the ease with which people had accepted government assertions that the indefinite detention of suspects at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] was necessary for national security, saying that these same arguments were once advanced by the government of South Africa to defend Apartheid. Tutu made the remarks at a Cape Town event celebrating the anniversary of the 1948 passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [text].
Tutu is the head of the Global Elders [advocacy website], an international group that includes former US President Jimmy Carter and former South African President Nelson Mandela involved in a campaign asking one billion people to sign a pledge to reaffirm the principles of the Declaration. Reuters has more.