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Publication

Fundamental Freedoms on Trial

The human rights impact of broad counter-terrorism and anti-extremism laws

September 23, 2019 - CSP, osce, counter-terrorism
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Terrorism and violent extremism continue pose a serious threat to democracy and human rights in the OSCE region. Over the last two decades, states have had to adapt to the increasingly global nature of terrorism, as well as the challenges presented by the need to tackle terrorism in the online sphere. However, the speed and lack of human rights oversight with which counter-terrorism and anti-extremism legislation has been introduced has had a detrimental effect on human rights across the OSCE region.

In its 2018 report, Cross-border criminal justice and security: Human rights concerns in the OSCE region, the Civic Solidarity Platform’s Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, Anti-Extremism and Human Rights identified the proliferation of overly broad counter-terrorism and anti-extremism legislation as one of the key challenges posed to human rights by regional security cooperation in the OSCE.

This paper identifies key gaps in international, regional and national laws in the OSCE region, which allow for the misapplication of counter-terrorism and anti-extremism legislation in violation of international human rights law. It highlights a few key examples to demonstrate the breadth of the challenge and the importance of keeping human rights at the forefront of discussions on countering the threat of terrorism and violent extremism.

Read the full report here.

 

This report was produced by the Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, Anti-Extremism and Human Rights. The Counter Terrorism Working Group is part of the Civic Solidarity Platform (‘CSP’), which brings together civil society organisations from across the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (‘OSCE’) region.

The Counter Terrorism Working Group is co-ordinated by Fair Trials and the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis. It was officially launched in January 2018 following a roundtable organised by Fair Trials in November 2017 in Vienna (supported by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs). This event informed the Vienna Declaration on Preventing Security Measures from Eclipsing Human Rights, adopted at the OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference in December 2017.

The report was produced with the financial support of the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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