UN rights experts 'alarmed' that anti-terror measures pose threat to liberties

30 June 2003

Experts of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights today expressed alarm that anti-terrorism policies and practices carried out by many countries pose growing threats to the enjoyment of virtually all human rights - civil, cultural, economic, political and social.

In a joint statement capping a week-long meeting in Geneva, the rapporteurs, independent experts, investigators and treaty monitors of the UN's top human rights body stressed their unequivocal condemnation of terrorism, but said that any anti-terror measures must be made in accordance with international human rights conventions and protocols.

Drawing attention to the dangers inherent in the indiscriminate use of the term "terrorism," the experts deplored the fact that under the pretext of combating the scourge, human rights defenders are threatened and vulnerable groups are discriminated against on the basis of origin and socio-economic status, particularly migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, indigenous people and people fighting for their land rights or against the negative effects of economic globalization policies.

The experts are determined, in the framework of their respective mandates, to monitor and investigate developments in this area and call upon all those committed to respect for human rights, including the UN, to be vigilant to prevent any abuse of counter-terrorism measures.

 

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