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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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Viewpoint

Intelligence secrecy must not be used as an excuse to ignore or cover up human rights violations

02/11/2009 Strasbourg

Lessons are only now being learned from the breakdown of human rights which followed the US-led “war on terror” after September 2001. While more and more detailed and shocking information is gradually emerging about systematic torture, secret detentions and other serious human rights violations,...

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Viewpoint

After the human rights breakdown during the 'war on terror', the damage must be assessed and corrective action taken

16/03/2009 Strasbourg

The Obama administration has banned torture during interrogation of terrorist suspects and declared that the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America can no longer use secret prisons in the United States or abroad. The detention camp in Guantánamo Bay will be closed within one...

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Viewpoint

More control is needed of police databases

15/12/2008 Strasbourg

Fighting crime, including international terrorism, requires the use of modern and effective methods of investigation. The use of fingerprints, cellular samples and DNA profiles in our criminal justice systems is undeniable when determining innocence or guilt. But caution still needs to be taken...

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Viewpoint

Arbitrary procedures for terrorist black-listing must now be changed

01/12/2008 Strasbourg

The ‘war on terror’ has gravely undermined previously agreed human rights standards. The counter-terrorism measures taken since 9/11 must now be thoroughly reviewed and changed, not only in the United States and other affected countries, but also in inter-governmental organisations. Innocent...

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