October 2, 2008 / 1:45 PM / 10 years ago

Pope says laws against terrorism must be just

Pope Benedict XVI gestures to the faithful as he arrives to lead Wednesday general audience in St. Peter Square at the Vatican October 1, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Thursday laws against terrorism should not be unjust or inhumane.

Speaking to visiting bishops at the Vatican, the pope spoke of “the plague of violence and terrorism, the spread of extremism and fundamentalism” in parts of the world.

“Certainly, such scourges should be contrasted with legislative interventions. But the force of law should never be allowed to be transformed into iniquity,” he said in a speech to bishops from central Asia.

The pope did not elaborate in his address.

Human rights groups have protested against the treatment of terrorist suspects in a number of countries.

President George W. Bush’s administration has come under fire in particular for its interrogation and detainment practices, such as waterboarding, particularly at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Both U.S. presidential candidates, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain, want the detention center at Guantanamo closed.

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