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Passion Islam I March 2009 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 9
Anti-terror policies threaten
human rights: report
Counterterrorism polices undermine the report by the International The panel urged immediate action
human rights laws and risk Commission of Jurists who spent and suggested that the use of the
permanently damaging its structure, three-years investigating practices in phrase “war on terror” was inaccurate
according to a report published, as 40 countries. and encouraged governments to
news reports revealed that Britain will “It is regrettable that during the disregard international human rights
re-focus its anti-terrorism policies on last eight years many States have norms.
marginalizing Muslim leaders who responded to terrorism in a manner The Geneva-based non-
preach that Islam is incompatible with that threatens the very core of the governmental organization based
democracy. international human rights framework,” its conclusions on discussions
Many of the counterterrorism said the report, concluding that with terrorism victims, people who
measures, especially those of governments used public fear to experienced human rights violations
“liberal democracies” like the United enact measures including detention as a result of such policies and
States and Britain, are illegal and without trial, illegal disappearance government and military officials in 40
counterproductive, according to and torture. different countries.
New UK policy at
challenging violent extremism. We
now believe that we should challenge
people who are against democracy
and state institutions,” he told the
odds with findings
The new strategy will target
“radicalizing” behavior, a step up
The report raised a number of concerns
from the current strategy focused on
about the U.K.’s current counter-
violent behavior, and is divided into
terrorism strategies, which according
the four Ps: Prevent, Pursue, Protect
to a BBC Panorama documentary, will
and Prepare.
be revised this spring to focus more
“We face a real and severe threat
on combating radicalization in ways
from terrorism since 2007 over 87
that critics assert will invade privacy
people have been convicted of
and allow excessive detention without
terror,” a Home Office spokeswoman
filing charges.
told “We know we
The ICJ report raised concerns
cannot simply arrest our way out of
over vaguely defined offenses
the problem our long term objective
such as the “glorification of
must be to stop supporting terrorism
terrorism,” which would
or being a terrorist in the first place.”
be a criminal offense
But the Home Office, the lead
under the U.K.’s new
governmental department for
counterterrorism strategy,
counterterrorism, refused to comment
on the new counterterrorism policy.
According to an
“We are not going to comment on a
unnamed senior Whitehall
new policy until it has been released,”
source quoted in the
said the spokeswoman. “In terms of
documentary Muslim
our policy on counterterrorism we
First, British Second,
have our strategy in place and this is
Britain’s new policy
a program that the BBC has chosen
will target Muslim
to do.”
leaders who
The Ministry of Justice also
preach an ideology
refused to comment on how Britain’s
of separation –
new policies would impact religious
such as arguing that
leaders and their rights to freedom of
Muslims should not
expression and other human rights,
vote or condemning
referring questions to the Home
“We want to
move away from just
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