ARTICLE 19 welcomes the excellent report by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism following up on the 2010 UN Study on Secret Detention.
ARTICLE 19 notes with concern the report findings on the abject failure to implement the UN Study recommendations – with tragic consequences for individuals who were tortured, rendered across borders, arbitrarily detained, and deprived of their most fundamental rights, and their families. This lack of implementation has enabled and facilitated ongoing human rights violations in the name of countering terrorism across the globe, amplified by the current permissive environment created for human right ‘lite’ counter-terrorism since 9/11.
We are witnessing the use of transfers and other measures, under the guise of countering terrorism or extremism, for persons engaging in activities protected under international law, such as exercising their right to freedom of expression, and rights to peaceful assembly and association. These measures are in effect being used to crack down on civic space and wipe out dissent, online and offline, targeting civil society actors, human rights defenders and independent media. We are particularly concerned by the targeting of minorities, religious and ethnic groups, and call on all Member States to ensure full respect of the freedom of religion or belief.
Finally, we express our full support for the invaluable work of the mandate. We call on the Council to extend the mandate without any reservations and to ensure it is sufficiently resourced in view of an increasing workload.