Wake up to the adverse effect counter-terrorism and security matrices and measures are having on civil society, says an independent human rights expert in a new report to the UN's Human Rights Council. Silencing civil society is counter-productive; it puts national security at risk.
In a hard-hitting new report, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, forcefully argues that national security imperatives are providing a justification and opportunity to clamp down on civil society, and that there are a woeful lack of mechanisms holding States accountable for this.
Existing frameworks related to countering terrorism and violent extremism are bedeviled with ill- defined terms and a lack of accountability mechanisms, all of which sets the scene for repressive measures against lawful, non-violent activities of civil society, writes Special Rapporteur Ni Aoláin. When States define threats against them as threats to national security, it is a quick step to re-branding human rights defenders as terrorists and legitimising further measures in the name of national security.
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