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Human Rights Comment

Misuse of anti-terror legislation threatens freedom of expression

04/12/2018 Strasbourg

When terrorism spreads, states are often tempted to restrict fundamental freedoms for the sake of fighting it and preventing further attacks. Terrorism constitutes a serious threat to human rights and democracy and action by states is necessary to prevent and effectively sanction terrorist acts....

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Human Rights Comment

National human rights structures: protecting human rights while countering terrorism

Strasbourg 06/12/2016

A series of terrorist attacks has deeply traumatised Europe. In Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen, Ankara and beyond, shock was followed by fear of further attacks and a sense of urgency about preventing them. Preventing and combating terrorism is a clear duty of all states, which must respect and...

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Human Rights Comment

Human rights at risk when secret surveillance spreads

24/10/2013 Strasbourg

The fear of terrorism, technology that is developing at the speed of light, private companies and state security agencies compiling personal information – this topical mix has become a severe threat to the right to privacy. Despite the intentions, secret surveillance to counter terrorism can...

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Human Rights Comment

Time for accountability in CIA torture cases

11/09/2013 Strasbourg

Twelve years ago, almost three thousand people were killed by the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Commemorative events provide an occasion to pay respects to the innocent victims, but also to reflect on the anti-terrorist response adopted by the USA and Europe. By allowing unlawful...

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Human Rights Comment

Europeans must account for their complicity in CIA secret detention and torture

05/09/2011 Strasbourg

From late 2001 onwards, the US Central Intelligence Agency developed a vast network of clandestine counter-terrorism operations to capture and detain its most wanted suspects. The CIA’s partner agencies in various foreign countries – including across Europe – lent their close collaboration. The...

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Human Rights Comment

Ten years of “global war on terror” undermined human rights – also in Europe

01/09/2011 Strasbourg

The ten-year anniversary of the atrocious Nine Eleven attacks is an occasion for sombre reflection. Almost three thousand lives were ended indiscriminately by a criminal conspiracy to turn passenger aircraft into weapons of mass destruction. This was a crime against humanity, the gravity of which...

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