On 30 March 2016, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Armani Da Silva v. the United Kingdom, which concerned the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot by the police in the London Underground in July 2005, after being mistakenly identified as a person suspected of terrorist acts. The applicant, the cousin of Mr de Menezes, complained about the authorities’ refusal to bring a prosecution in relation to her cousin’s death.
Having regard to the proceedings as a whole, the Court found that the UK authorities had not failed in their obligations under Article 2 of the Convention to conduct an effective investigation into the shooting of Mr de Menezes which was capable of identifying and – if appropriate – punishing those responsible. The Court held that there had been no violation of the Convention.
Judgment - Press release - Webcast of the hearing (10/06/2015)
23 March 2016
Lithuania signed the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 217).
The Additional Protocol has now 27 signatories, including the European Union.
21 March 2016
Republic of Moldova signed the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism.
15 March 2016
Portugal signed the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism.
11 March 2016
Romania signed the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism.
The Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism was signed on 27 January by Greece and on 1st March 2016 by the Netherlands.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee of the United Nations has met with Member States and relevant international and regional organisations on ‘Stemming the Flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters’, in Madrid 27-28 July 2015. The ‘Guiding Principles on Foreign Terrorist Fighters’ were adopted the following meeting.
The three documents were recently issued as a single Security Council document (S/2015/939) and are currently available in all six official languages of the United Nations.
The 'Guiding Principles on Foreign Terrorist Fighters' include specific effective practices and approaches, the implementation of which would strengthen Member States’ efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters pursuant to Security Council Resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005) and 2178 (2014).
On 17 December 2015 Albania signed the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 217).
The Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 217) was signed on 28 October by Ukraine and on 10 November 2015 by Bulgaria.
The Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, aimed at tackling the problem of "foreign terrorist fighters", was opened for signature on 22 October 2015 in Riga, Latvia.
The Protocol was signed by the following seventeen States: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The European Union also signed the Protocol together with the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism.
The signing ceremony was followed by the International Conference on Foreign Terrorist Fighters, organised by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Chairmanship of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the Committee of Ministers and the Latvian Government.
On 19 August 2015, Portugal ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196), which now has 34 ratifications.
In June, the European Court of Human Rights held hearings in two cases relevant to counter-terrorism:
Malta ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196) on 5 June 2015.
On 2 June, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Ouabour v. Belgium, which concerned an order for extradition of Mr Ouabour, who was sentenced in Morocco for taking part in the activities of terrorist organisation and for criminal conspiracy. The Court concluded that Mr Ouabour’s extradition to Morocco would constitute a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention.
Judgment (available only in French)
The Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism was adopted on 19 May 2015 during the 125th session of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which took place in Brussels. The Additional Protocol supplements the Convention by introducing provisions that criminalise "participating in an association or group for the purpose of terrorism", "receiving training for terrorism" and some activities related to the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, such as travelling abroad for the purpose of terrorism, as well as funding or organising of such travels.
The Committee of Ministers also adopted a political declaration and an action plan on the fight against violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism. The action plan sets out a series of activities planned for the period 2015-2017 to help combat violent extremism and radicalisation, including in schools, prisons and on the Internet.
On 12 May, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Magee and Others v. the United Kingdom. The case concerned the 12-day detention of Mr Colin Francis Duffy, Mr Gabriel Magee and Ms Teresa Magee in 2009, on suspicion of involvement in the killing of two soldiers and a police officer. The Court declared Mr Duffy's application inadmissible because it was submitted outside the six-month time limit. In respect of Mr and Ms Magee, the Court found no violation of Article 5 "Right to liberty and security" of the Convention.
On 8 - 10 April 2015, the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) held its 28th plenary meeting in Strasbourg, during which the Committee examined and approved the draft Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism. The draft Additional Protocol, prepared by the Committee on Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Related Issues (COD-CTE), establishes as criminal offences the acts of participating in an association or group for the purpose of terrorism, receiving training for terrorism, travelling abroad for the purpose of terrorism, as well as organising and funding such travelling. The draft Additional Protocol was submitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for its adoption.
On 31 March, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Öner and Türk v. Turkey, which concerned the criminal proceedings brought against the applicants convicted of disseminating terrorist propaganda following their speeches in public about the problems of Kurdish people. The Court found a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the Convention.
On 21 January 2015, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the terms of reference of the Committee on Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Related Issues (COD-CTE). The main task of this new committee, composed of experts from all Member and Observer States of the Council of Europe, and other organisations, is to prepare a draft Additional Protocol supplementing the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism [CETS No. 196].
The COD-CTE will work under the authority of the CODEXTER and will examine the criminalisation of the receiving of training for terrorism, travelling abroad for the purpose of committing terrorist acts, preparing and funding of such travels, and other relevant issues.
On 16 December, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Ibrahim and Others v. the United Kingdom, which concerned the delay of access to a lawyer during police questioning of 21 July 2005 London bombers and the admission at the trial of the statements they had made during the questioning in the absence of a lawyer.
The Court found no violation of the applicants’ right to a fair trial and right to legal assistance.
Kristian Bartholin, Deputy Head of the Terrorism Division, presented the Council of Europe counter-terrorism activities at the “Terrorism Experts Conference”, organised by the Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism on 15-16 October 2014 in Ankara, Turkey.
On 14 October, the European Court of Human Rights held a Chamber hearing in the case of Tagayeva and Others v. Russia. The case concerns the terrorist attack on a school in Beslan (North Ossetia) and the ensuing hostage-taking, siege and storming of the school, which resulted in the deaths of over 330 civilians, including over 180 children.
On 4 September, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Trabelsi v. Belgium, which concerned the extradition of a Tunisian national from Belgium to the United States, where he is being prosecuted on charges of terrorist offences and is liable to life imprisonment. The extradition had been effected despite the fact that the Court had asked Belgium to suspend the extradition as an interim measure under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
The Court held that the applicant’s extradition to the United States entailed a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention. It considered that the life sentence to which the applicant was liable in the United States was irreducible inasmuch as US law provided for no adequate mechanism for reviewing this type of sentence, and that it was therefore contrary to the provisions of Article 3. The Court also held that there had been a violation of Article 34 (right of individual application) of the Convention: the failure of the Belgian State to observe the suspension of extradition indicated by the Court had irreversibly lowered the level of protection of the rights secured under Article 3 of the Convention, which the applicant had attempted to uphold by lodging his application with the Court, and had interfered with his right of individual application.
On 24 July 2014, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgments in the cases of
Al Nashiri v. Poland and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland, concerning the extraordinary rendition by the CIA of two terrorism suspects to secret detention sites in Poland.
The Court found a number of violations of the Convention. It held in particular that the applicants had been subjected to acts of torture during their detention in Poland and that the Polish Government had failed to comply with their obligations under Article 38, as they had refused to provide the Court with certain items of evidence. The Court further ruled that Poland should seek to remove the risk that Mr Al Nashiri might be sentenced to death, by seeking assurances from the US authorities that such penalty will not be imposed.
Ivan Koedjikov, Counter-terrorism Coordinator of the Council of Europe, addressed the UN General Assembly on 13 June 2014 in New York on the occasion of the fourth biennial review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
Lithuania ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196) on 15 May 2014.
On 13 May 2014, Ivan Koedjikov, Counter-terrorism Co-ordinator of the Council of Europe, delivered one of the termly seminars of the
Oxford Human Rights Hub on the topic of “New Human Rights challenges in countering terrorism: a Council of Europe perspective”.
The participants, gathered in the senior common room of the Oxford Faculty of Law, were invited to explore the question, is it possible to perpetuate human rights while dealing with new terrorist threats? Or are we bound to face tomorrow’s challenges with yesterday’s tools, therefore accepting that at least occasionally, not only human beings but also human rights will fall victim to terrorism?
Referring to the Council of Europe international law conventions, as well as non-binding, “soft law” recommendations by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the applying of these standards by the European Court of Human Rights, Ivan Koedjikov argued that human rights and the principles elaborated for their protection will remain valid even if the development of technology and the evil creativity of terrorists will continue to test them.
Azerbaijan ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196) on 4 April 2014.
On 2 - 3 April 2014, Mr Kristian Bartholin, Deputy Head of the Terrorism Division, participated in the regional conference "Sharing Practices in Preventing Terrorism", organised by the UNODC in Bishkek (Kyrgyz Republic), where he presented the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism.
On 25 March 2014, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of
M.G. v. Bulgaria, which concerned the request for
extradition of a Russian national of Chechen origin, suspected of terrorist
offences in Russian Federation. The applicant, who held a refugee status in
Poland and Germany, contended that if his extradition to the Russian
Federation were to go ahead, he would run a serious risk of suffering
torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment.
The Court concluded that there would be a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention in the event of the applicant’s being extradited to Russia.
On 18 March 2014, in the case of Öcalan v. Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights found that there had been a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights on account of the conditions of the applicant’s detention up to 17 November 2009, and in view of his sentence to life imprisonment without prospect of release.
In January - March 2014, the European Court of Human Rights has delivered a number of judgments relevant to counter-terrorism issues:
- in four cases against Ukraine concerning conditions of detention and rights to defence of the communist activists arrested in December 2002 on suspicion of, among other things, terrorism: Aleksandr Vladimirovich Smirnov v. Ukraine, Andrey Yakovenko v. Ukraine, Danilov v. Ukraine and Zinchenko v. Ukraine;
Press release of 13 March 2014
- in the case against Turkey, which concerned the death of the applicants’ relatives in the context of an anti-terrorist operation: Makbule Kaymaz and Others v. Turkey;
Press release of 25 February 2014
- in four cases against Russia concerning refusal to return bodies of presumed terrorists to their families: Abdulayeva v. Russia, Kushtova and Others v. Russia, Arkhestov and Others v. Russia and Zalov and Khakulova v. Russia.
Press release of 16 January 2014
On 12 December 2013, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Donohoe v. Ireland, which concerned the fairness of Mr Donohoe’s trial and conviction for being a member of the IRA. The conviction was based, among other things, on evidence given by a Chief Superintendent of the Irish police, who testified that it was his belief that Mr Donohoe was a member of the IRA but refused to disclose his sources claiming that this would endanger lives and State security.
After considering the necessity to protect human life and State security, the existence of additional supportive evidence and counterbalancing safeguards during the trial, the Court found no violation of Article 6 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
On 3 December 2013, the European Court of Human Rights held a Chamber hearing in the cases of Al Nashiri v. Poland and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland. The cases concern the “rendition” of two men suspected of terrorist acts to the CIA secret detention sites at which illegal interrogation methods were used.
The Undersecretariat of Public Order and Security of Prime Ministry of the Republic of Turkey and the Council of Europe organised the International Conference on National and International Coordination in Counter-Terrorism on 24 - 25 October 2013, in Istanbul. Participants discussed legal and policy issues related to counter-terrorism coordination and examined the role of coordination bodies in the preparation and implementation of national counter-terrorism strategies. For more information, visit the conference webpage.
The Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) held its 25th plenary meeting on 23-24 October 2013 in Istanbul (Turkey), during which the Committee set the following issues as priorities of its work in 2014-2015:
- special investigation techniques,
- radicalisation and receiving of training for terrorism, including via the Internet,
- terrorists acting alone,
- assessment of possible gaps in the legal framework provided by the Council of Europe international legal instruments in the area of the prevention and suppression of terrorism.
Representatives of Bulgaria, France, Montenegro and Latvia submitted the updated country profiles on the counter-terrorism capacity. The Committee elected Mr Nicola Piacente (Italy) as its Chair and Mr Vladimir Salov (Russian Federation) as its Vice-Chair.
On 21 October 2013, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its
Grand Chamber judgment in the case of
Del Río Prada v. Spain, which concerned the postponement of the final release of a person convicted of terrorist offences, on the basis of a new approach – known as the “Parot doctrine” – adopted by the Supreme Court after she had been sentenced. The Court concluded that a retrospective application of a new precedent of the Supreme Court in a manner which was not foreseeable for the applicant and which had the effect of extending her detention beyond the date initially foreseen for her final release amounted to a violation of Articles 7 and 5 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Following this judgment, Inès Del Río Prada was released from prison.
Court's factsheet on terrorism
18-21 March 2013, the Terrorism Division of the Council of Europe participated in the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNSC CTED) Comprehensive Visit to Republic of Serbia to monitor the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) by UN Member states. For further information, please see the UN website.
• There would be no violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture or
inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights;
• There would be no violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security) of the Convention; but that
• There would be a violation of Article 6 (right to a fair trial), given the real risk of the admission of evidence obtained by torture at his retrial.
• The Court also held, unanimously, that there had been no violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy).
This is the first time that the Court has found that an expulsion would be in violation of Article 6, which reflects the international consensus that the use of evidence obtained through torture makes a fair trial impossible. At its last meeting on 23rd November 2011, the Group of Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism [CETS No. 196] adopted provisionally the Rules of Procedure of the Group of Parties to the Convention CETS No. 196. Final adoption of these Rules by silent procedure has been finalised on 2 January 2012.
On 7 July 2010, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the abridged report of the CODEXTER meeting (Strasbourg, 7-8 April 2010) and the follow-up mechanism for the effective use and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No 196).
1st July 2010, Mr Andrea CANDRIAN, Chair of the CODEXTER, held an exchange of views with the Rapporteur Group on Legal Co-operation of the Ministers' Deputies (GR-J). Mr Candrian has outlined recent activities of the CODEXTER and, in particular, those related to the follow-up of the CoE Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196)
On 4 June 2010, the Venice Commission adopted, at its 83rd Plenary Session, the Report on Counter-Terrorism Measures and Human Rights
The Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) held its 18th meeting in Strasbourg, France, from 7 to 8 April 2010. The main part of this meeting was devoted to the discussion on the regular follow-up mechanism to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196). Moreover, the Committee approved the analytical study on false identity information as a challenge to immigration authorities as well as the updated version of the Progress Report on future priority areas for the work of the Council of Europe against terrorism. The CODEXTER also authorised the publication of the country profiles on counter-terrorism capacity as submitted by Serbia and as updated by Albania, Germany and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.
On 17 December 2009, addressing the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s meeting in New-York, Mr Manuel Lezertua, CoE’s Jurisconsult and Director of Legal Advice and Public International Law emphasised the key role that regional organisations, such as the Council of Europe, have to play in implementing the UN tools against terrorism. It also explored areas for future cooperation between the CoE and the UN relevant bodies involved in counter-terrorism related issues. The intervention of Mr Lezertua has been followed by a lively debate with the participation of all delegations. In the course of this debate the possibility of joint activities was also suggested.
High level seminar on the protection of Human Rights within the Framework of the Fight against Terrorism
On October 8th and 9h 2009, the Counter-terrorism Task-Force of the Council of Europe and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Spain organised in Málaga, with the support of the University of Málaga and of the Foundation Valsaín, a high level seminar on the protection of Human Rights within the Framework of the Fight against Terrorism.
The seminar was opened by Mr. Cándido Conde Pumpido, Public Prosecutor of Spain, Mr. Francisco de la Torre Prados, Mayor of Málaga, Mr. Alvaro Gil-Robles, first Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Ambassador Juan Manuel of Barandica y Luxán, Ambas/sador of Spain for Strategic Affairs, Ambassador Fernando Perpiñá, Secretary of the Club of Madrid and Mrs. Adelaida de la Calle Martín, Rector of the University of Málaga.
The participants - coming from diplomatic, ministerial, judicial and academic circles and also from civil society - discussed consecutively the integration of Human Rights in national counter-terrorism policies, the tools available for this purpose at national and international level and legal challenges faced by States in this field
Participation in Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism,
Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights
[29/04/09] On 28 April 2009, the Council of Europe hosted a lunchtime briefing on “Assessing Damage, Urging Action: The way forward for counter-terrorism in Europe. Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights”. This event, organised by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and sponsored by Dick Marty, Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Crime Problems and the Fight against Terrorism, highlighted some of the key findings of the Eminent Jurists Panel report; one of the most comprehensive inquiries into the impact of counter-terrorism measures on human rights. The briefing was attended by Dick Marty and Gerald Staberock, Director of the Global Security and Rule of Law Initiative (ICJ), and moderated by the Council of Europe Anti-Terrorism Co-ordinator, Mr Alexandre Guessel.
The Council of Europe participated in the 6th Worldwide Security
Conference organised by the EastWest Institute (EWI) and co-sponsored
by the World Customs Organization (host) and Italy in its role of Chair
of the G8. The Conference brought together experts from all over the world
with the aim to establish relations between governments, businesses, civil
society and mass media representatives in order to consider joint action
to combat terrorism. The Conference took place on 18-19 February 2009 in
Brussels, Belgium, at the World Customs Organization headquarters.
Joint CoE/OSCE/UNODC Workshop on Enhancing International
Legal Co-operation related to Terrorism
[29/01/09] On 28-29 January 2009, the Council of Europe, the UNODC and the OSCE organized a Workshop on Enhancing International Legal Co-operation related to Terrorism, including the Drafting of Requests for Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance in Neum (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The workshop focussed on the analysis of legal and technical instruments to enforce the international co-operation on mutual legal assistance and extradition in terrorism-related criminal cases.
Council of Europe firmly committed to improving protection for victims of terrorism
[09/09/08] The Council of Europe addressed the UN Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism (New York, 9 September 2008) to underline that one of the Organisation's priorities in its action against terrorism is its commitment to the needs of victims of terrorist acts and their families. The Council of Europe stressed that constant improvements were needed to the forms of assistance available to victims and that the development of new, innovative approaches was therefore imperative.
UN report on Supporting Victims of Terrorism
Council of Europe addressed the UN General Assembly
Addressing the UN General Assembly's meeting to review the 2006 Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Manuel Lezertua, CoE Director of Legal Advice and Public International Law emphasised the key role that regional organisations, such as the Council of Europe, have to play in the implementation of the Strategy. Recalling the Council of Europe's three-pronged approach to terrorism (strengthening legal action; safeguarding fundamental values; and addressing the causes of terrorism), he informed the Assembly that the Council of Europe had adopted a road map to ensure that all of the Organisation's relevant bodies took ownership of the Strategy. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Right Honorable Terry Davis, follows very closely the implementation of this road map. Mr Lezertua also underlined that it was important for states to ensure the implementation of existing measures at the same time as developing new measures against the scourge of terrorism.
Council of Europe, OSCE and UN discuss terrorism prevention
in the context of intercultural dialogue
[11.07.08] On the occasion of the annual High-level Tripartite meeting on 7 July 2008, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United Nations and partner organisations discussed different aspects of intercultural dialogue and their collaboration in this area.
In the Joint Communiqué adopted at the end of the meeting, the participating organisations stressed the role of international instruments to combat terrorism and called upon states to encourage inter-religious and cross-cultural dialogue with a view to reducing tensions and, in this manner, help to prevent terrorist offences. They underlined the continuing need to address the conditions conducive to radicalisation and the spread of terrorism, while seeking to intercept and prosecute terrorists and counter terrorist networks.
CoE organised a Counter-Terrorism Training Workshop in
[26/05/08] At the invitation of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the Council of Europe organised a Counter-Terrorism Training Workshop in co-operation with the UNMIK/Kosovo Special Prosecutor’s Office (KSPO) which took place in Pristina on 3 and 4 June 2008. The aim of this two-day event was to provide training on the international legal framework for co-operation on counter-terrorism issues, with an emphasis on questions of mutual legal assistance and extradition, as well as existing technical assistance tools for facilitating such international co-operation. Moreover, participants examined key issues regarding the protection of human rights while fighting terrorism.
Council of Europe convention against terrorist financing
enters into force
[30.04.2008] “Following the money trail is one of the most important ways of fighting terrorism and organised crime. Quick access to information on assets held by criminal organisations, including terrorist groups, is vital to successful prevention and prosecution of terrorism”, said Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Workshop on Enhancing International Legal Co-operation
related to Terrorism, including the Drafting of Requests for Extradition
and Mutual Legal Assistance
[22.2.08] The Council of Europe, the UNODC and OSCE organised a Workshop on Enhancing International Legal Co-operation related to Terrorism, including the Drafting of Requests for Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance on 1-2 April 2008 in Ankara (Turkey).
The aim of this two-day national workshop was to provide training on the international legal framework for co-operation on mutual legal assistance and extradition in terrorism-related criminal cases, and on existing technical assistance tools for facilitating such international co-operation in criminal matters.
First International Conference on Radicalisation and
Political Violence, London, 17-18 January 2008
[17.1.08] Terry Davis, Council of Europe Secretary General, delivered a keynote speech at the first International Conference on Radicalisation and Political Violence held in London, 17-18 January 2008.
"A really effective fight against terrorism is one which respects and protects human rights and fundamental freedoms rather than sacrificing them in the short-sighted hope that terrorism can be defeated by undermining the very foundations of the society which the extremists are set to destroy." said the Secretary General.
Council of Europe joins OSCE to discuss protection of
victims of terrorist acts
The High-Level Meeting on Victims of Terrorism followed an initiative of the Spanish Chairmanship of the OSCE and was organised by ODIHR in Vienna, 13-14 September 2007.
Combating racial discrimination in the fight against
On 29 June 2007, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) adopted General Policy Recommendation N° 11 on combating racism and racial discrimination in policing. The Recommendation results from ECRI's concerns that cases of racism and racial discrimination in policing, including racial profiling, have intensified and taken on a new dimension, particularly as a result of the fight against terrorist crime.
Second parliamentary report on secret detentions
On 27 June 2007, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe backed the on Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states prepared by Senator Dick Marty.
In its adopted after the report, the Assembly called upon European governments to look into the need for democratic oversight of military intelligence services and foreign intelligence services operating on their territory.
See also the special file.
Intelligence and Accountability
On 2 June 2007, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) adopted a Report on the Democratic oversight of the security services. Acknowledging that intelligence is an inescapable necessity for modern governments and that security services, by their very nature, impinge on individual rights, the report examines the need for limits to their activities, ways to make security services accountable and complaints mechanisms for individuals adversely affected by security or intelligence services.
European Union supports the Council of Europe Convention
on the Prevention of Terrorism
On the occasion of the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism on 1 June 2007, the EU Presidency issued a statement endorsing the Convention.
Human Rights Commissioner voices concern over methods
of terrorist profiling
Strasbourg, 29.05.2007 - In an opinion article available copyright-free, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights voices concern that new forms of terrorist profiling have led to unacceptable discrimination against Muslims and people who appear to be of Middle-Eastern origin. Thomas Hammarberg argues that European governments should rather encourage community policing and draw up long-term measures with a view to preventing the causes of terrorism.
Council of Europe and the European Union sign an agreement
to foster mutual co-operation against terrorism
Gunter Gloser, German Minister of State for Europe and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the Commissioner for External Relations, on behalf of the European Union and Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on May 23 in Strasbourg. The agreement creates an institutional framework to reinforce partnership in areas of common interest including the fight against terrorism. (more…)
The Council of Europe organised a series of Anti-Terrorism and Human Rights Training Seminars for Turkish law-enforcement authorities, in Ankara between March and November 2007. The seminars were addressed to governors, officials and police officers. They dealt with ECHR standards with a special focus on the different mechanisms for supervising law enforcement bodies, the fight against terrorism and the exercise of fundamental freedoms. (more).
European Prosecutors discuss terrorism
The Council of Europe organised a European Conference of Prosecutors in Warsaw on 4 and 5 June 2007 on the subject of "International Co-Operation in the Criminal Justice Field". Prosecutors from the Council of Europe's 47 member states discussed ways of intensifying co-operation between prosecution services in the criminal justice field, to target more effectively serious crime, including terrorism.
Advancing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has published the proceedings of the Symposium on “Advancing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”, which took place in Vienna on 17 and 18 May 2007. The Council of Europe, an active supporter of the Strategy, took part in the Symposium to contribute its experience and legal expertise.
Council of Europe and OSCE encourage all levels of society
to prevent terrorism
The Council of Europe contributed its vision and experience as a pan-European organisation in the Political Public-Private Partnership Conference on “Partnership of State Authorities, Civil Society and the Business Community in Combating Terrorism” organised by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna on 31 May–1 June 2007.
Contribution of the Council of Europe
Ad hoc meeting of the Chairs of relevant committees of the Council of Europe on terrorism, Strasbourg, 25 April 2007
The meeting, convened at the initiative of the Secretary General, brought together the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of some 15 steering and ad hoc committees and of two monitoring bodies (the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)), all directly subordinated to the Committee of Ministers. Mr Bruno Gain, as Chair of the Rapporteur Group on Legal Cooperation (GR-J), Mr Dick Marty, as representative of the Parliamentary Assembly, and Mr Manuel Lezertua, as representative of the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, also attended the event. It resulted in the adoption of a "road map". The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe took note of this document at its meeting on 20 June 2007 and decided to transmit it to relevant intergovernmental committees and monitoring bodies.
Russian Federation: Council of Europe organised a Counter-Terrorism
Workshop for public prosecutors in Moscow, 1-2 March 2007.
Co-organised by the Council of Europe and the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation, the workshop focused on international co-operation against terrorism in the light of the legal framework for the prevention and suppression of terrorism.
Annual High-level meeting between the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the
UN to discuss the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
took place in Vienna on 13-14 February 2007
Council of Europe and Interpol step up co-operation
On 17 January 2007, the Council of Europe adopted Recommendation Rec (2007) 1 to member states regarding co-operation against terrorism between the Council of Europe and its member states, and the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO - Interpol).
OSCE supports Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention
On 5 December 2006, OSCE Ministerial Council adopted a Decision calling on participating States to consider becoming party to and to implement their obligations under the existing international and regional legal instruments, including the Council of Europe’s Conventions on Cybercrime (2001) and on the Prevention of Terrorism (2005).
Council of Europe joins international organisations to
discuss protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism
The Council of Europe participated in the Technical workshop on Human Rights and International Cooperation in Counter-Terrorism which the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights organised together with the Government of Liechtenstein in Vaduz, 15 - 17 November 2006.
Council of Europe teams up with UN and OSCE against terrorism
The Council of Europe participated in the Second Sub-regional Expert Workshop on International Co-operation on Counter-Terrorism, Corruption and the Fight against Transnational Organised Crime which the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) organised, in co-operation with the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, in Bucharest, 13-15 November 2006.
Council of Europe and UN co-operate on the fight against
terrorism in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Council of Europe and UNODC organised a meeting on Technical assistance on Legislative Implementation and International Cooperation in combating terrorism together with the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on 1 November 2006. It resulted in the adoption of a Plan of Action for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Agenda - Plan of Action
Joint OSCE-Council of Europe Expert Workshop on Preventing
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) organised a joint Expert Workshop on Preventing Terrorism: Fighting Incitement and Related Terrorist Activities in Vienna (Austria) on 19 and 20 October 2006.
Agenda - Summary