Fighting terrorism and protecting human rights: analysis from FIDH movement

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During the days following the terrorist attacks perpetrated notably in France, in Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Lebanon, FIDH and its member organizations expressed their strong emotion, denounced these barbaric and cowardly crimes and expressed their condolences to the families of victims. Today, we call on all States concerned to ensure the safety of their citizens in strict respect for human rights and to carry out coherent national and international policies to fight effectively against this scourge.

Here are some of their reactions :

- Center for Constitutional Rights (USA)
Last week’s terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris left 172 people dead, hundreds more injured, and the world reeling in grief and recoiling in horror. The carnage in Beirut drew little Western media attention or sympathy – indeed, the New York Times impugned the innocence of the civilian victims by describing the target as a “Hezbollah stronghold” – proving once again that for Americans and Europeans white lives matter, others not so much. Meanwhile, the Paris attacks have set in motion an all-too-familiar set of responses from government officials, fear-monger. (Read more)

- Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (Pakistan)
Zohra Yusuf, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and FIDH Vice-President told us : Pakistan has faced terrorism for several decades and from time to time amendments to current laws or new laws are introduced. In the past 10 years, over 50,000 civilians have lost their lives in terror-related incidents. The response of the government - under pressure from the military - is to pass more and harsher legislation. Currently, apart from the earlier anti-terrorist laws and anti-terrorist courts (set up in 1997), recent legislation includes Protection of Pakistan Act 2014, setting up of military courts, ending of moratorium on death penalty, etc.

These laws are leading to rights violations. Over 300 were executed since December 2014. Picking up people without charge is now legalised (for 90 days). Security officials can open fire on suspicion. There has been a massive increase in ’encounter’ killings. We believe these are extra-judicial killings. In Karachi alone, this year about 500 people have been killed in these ’encounters’ in which security personnel rarely get injured. We have seen a rise in disappearances all over the country. In internment centres set up under the Action in Aid of Civil Power, there have been many reports of torture and death in custody.

The establishment of military courts was challenged by HRCP former Chairperson, Asma Jahangir, but the Supreme Court upheld the decision.

- Cairo Institute for Human Rights (Egypt)
Europe must not duplicate the failed US strategies following the 9/11 attacks. Those strategies only created the conditions out of which violent extremism grew stronger. A well thought-out approach is important not only due to Europe’s geographic proximity to some of the world’s most violent conflicts, but also due to its ongoing complicity with the major drivers of the emergence and spread of terrorism. (Read more)

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