Tag - “anti-terrorism” ( 6 )

News | Kiai to financial crime body: foster civil society as a partner, not an enemy, in the fight against terrorism

Apr 18 2016

VIENNA - Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai has called upon the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - an intergovernmental body that sets standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing - to improve its cooperation with civil society, and to consider the sector's significant contributions in the fight against terrorism. He also commended the body for its decision to review its interpretation of Recommendation 8, a controversial measure that requires FATF member States to ensure that their laws sufficiently prevent non-profit organisations from financing of terrorism. The Recommendation has drawn sharp criticism in recent years, with many civil society organizations - and Kiai himself - reporting that oppressive governments have used it as an excuse to crack down on dissent. Kiai, who is the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, made the comments via a written submission to FATF's "Consultation and Dialogue Meeting with Non-Profit Organizations," held on April 18 in Vienna, Austria. The delegates will examine the impact of Recommendation 8 on civil society, among other things. The Special Rapporteur further called upon FATF "to leverage its leadership position to positively influence governments’ approach to counter-terrorism mechanisms away... Continue reading →

News | What is permissible and what is not when countering terrorism? UN experts welcome new African guidelines

Apr 07 2016

GENEVA – A group of eighteen United Nations independent experts, including Maina Kiai, has welcomed the new Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights while Countering Terrorism in Africa launched this year by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Speaking ahead of an upcoming ACHPR’s panel discussion in Banjul, The Gambia (11 April), in which Member States will be briefed on the new Principles and Guidelines, the UN experts called on all African governments to fully implement the Commission’s recommendations in order to respect human rights in the context of fighting terrorism. “We commend the ACHPR’s effort to draw a clear line of demarcation between what is permissible and what is not, when countering terrorism. Against a growing trend of countries moving away from international legal norms and standards on a global scale and at a time when terrorist groups, such as ISIS, Boko Haram or less known ones, are bringing harm and suffering to countless people in Africa, this document represents a principled stand on human rights and the rule of law in the Continent. The essence of lawful State action, when countering terrorism, requires States to protect national security and public safety in full respect of individuals’ human rights and fundamental freedoms,... Continue reading →

News | Experts de l’ONU appellent la France à protéger les libertés fondamentales dans la lutte contre le terrorisme

Jan 19 2016

(English) GENÈVE – L'état d'urgence en vigueur en France et la loi sur la surveillance des communications électroniques imposent des restrictions excessives et disproportionnées sur les libertés fondamentales, a averti aujourd'hui un groupe d'experts en droit de l’homme des Nations Unies*. Parmi les préoccupations qu’ils ont partagé avec le gouvernement français, les experts indépendants ont souligné le manque de clarté et de précision de plusieurs dispositions des lois sur l'état d'urgence et la surveillance, portant sur la nature et la portée des restrictions à l'exercice légitime du droit à la liberté d’expression, la liberté de réunion pacifique et d'association et le droit à la vie privée. « Alors que la France débat sur le renforcement des mesures dans la lutte contre le terrorisme, et à cet effet s’engage dans une réforme de la procédure pénale, nous appelons à réviser ces dispositions et possibles réformes, afin d’assurer leur conformité au regard du droit international des droits de l’homme » ont-ils souligné. Pour garantir l’état de droit et prévenir des procédures arbitraires, les experts recommandent l’exercice d’un contrôle judiciaire préalable sur les mesures anti-terroristes. La loi sur l’état d’urgence, en vigueur... Continue reading →

News | UN rights experts urge France to protect fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

Jan 19 2016

(français) GENEVA – The current state of emergency in France and the law on surveillance of electronic communications impose excessive and disproportionate restrictions on fundamental freedoms, a group of United Nations human rights experts* warned today. In a list of concerns shared with the French Government, the independent experts stressed the lack of clarity and precision of several provisions of the state of emergency and surveillance laws, related to the nature and scope of restrictions to the legitimate exercise of right to freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the right to privacy. “As France debates the strengthening of measures in the fight against terrorism, and considers a reform of the criminal procedure, we call on the authorities to revise the provisions and possible reforms adopted to that end, to ensure they comply with international human rights law,” they noted. In order to guarantee the rule of law and prevent arbitrary procedures, the experts recommend the adoption of prior judicial controls over anti-terrorism measures. The state of emergency law in force since the recent terrorist attacks in France, which temporarily expands the powers of the executive in the fight against terrorism, only allows judicial review a posteriori. The... Continue reading →

News | Brazil anti-terrorism law too broad, UN experts warn

Nov 04 2015

Portugues GENEVA – Proposed anti-terrorism legislation currently being considered by Brazil’s Congress is too broadly drafted and may unduly restrict fundamental freedoms, warned today a group of UN Special Rapporteurs including Maina Kiai. “We fear that the definition of the crime established by the draft law may result in ambiguities and confusion as to what the State considers a terrorist offence, potentially undermining the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the independent experts said. Law N° 101/2015 seeks to define crimes of terrorism in Brazil and provides for other investigative and procedural provisions. On 28 October 2015, the Brazilian Senate passed the legislation by 34 votes to 18. The amended text now returns to the lower house. “We regret that the current draft excluded a previous article establishing an important safeguard that would protect participation in political demonstrations and social movements from falling under the legislation’s scope,” the experts said. The Special Rapporteurs shared their concerns with the Brazilian authorities, who in turn provided further clarifications on the draft law. “States have a duty to protect civil society and the rights that are critical to its existence and development, such as the rights to... Continue reading →

News | UN experts urge Ethiopia to stop using anti-terrorism legislation to curb human rights

Sep 18 2014

GENEVA – A group of United Nations human rights experts* today urged the Government of Ethiopia to stop misusing anti-terrorism legislation to curb freedoms of expression and association in the country, amid reports that people continue to be detained arbitrarily. The experts' call comes on the eve of the consideration by Ethiopia of a series of recommendations made earlier this year by members of the Human Rights Council in a process known as the Universal Periodic Review and which applies equally to all 193 UN Members States. These recommendations are aimed at improving the protection and promotion of human rights in the country, including in the context of counter-terrorism measures. “Two years after we first raised the alarm, we are still receiving numerous reports on how the anti-terrorism law is being used to target journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders and opposition politicians in Ethiopia,” the experts said. “Torture and inhuman treatment in detention are gross violations of fundamental human rights.” “Confronting terrorism is important, but it has to be done in adherence to international human rights to be effective,” the independent experts stressed. “Anti-terrorism provisions need to be clearly defined in Ethiopian criminal law, and they must not be... Continue reading →