(Photo: Pedro Mata /Fotomovimiento)
The struggle against terrorism contributes to an alarming and constant retreat of the civil and political rights of people. In the context of a multipolar world scenario, which is strongly conditioned by an unprecedented evolution of national, regional and international responses to new terrorist threats, the principles of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights seem to have been relegated to an opaque area between the “necessary and legitimate” fight against terrorism and the gross violations that it perpetrates.
After the 9/11 attacks in the United States, a growing wave of national and international promises of security was rolled on in a hegemonic way, as a response to the perception of a serious threat to world peace and safety. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the terrifying expressions and dimensions of the new terrorist threat at a global level, have led to the adoption of significant and unavoidable changes in the legal, political, economic and defensive agendas of states and international organizations, creating growing incompatibilities between many of these terrorist measures and the respect, protection and promotion of human rights.
The report “No Security Without Rights” compiles various efforts to denounce the perpetrated human rights’ violations through the implementation of the new anti-terrorism normative tools that have been approved by the Euro-Mediterranean regions in the past years. The ambiguity in the definitions of terrorism which are included in the national legislations leads to an indiscriminate persecution of individuals and groups, as well as to the arbitrary criminalization of activities that are perceived as threats to the state’s security. Procedural safeguards in criminal matters, fair treatment to accused people, and fundamental rights and freedoms are being relativized in this framework of fight against terror; while the authorities’ powers, impunity, injustice and severeness of the penalties charged to the accused increase without restriction, need or glimmer of proportionality.