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UN Expert proposes draft principles on human rights and terrorism

In September, Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights on human rights and terrorism, Kalliopi K. Koufa, submitted to the Sub-Commission draft principles and guidelines concerning human rights and terrorism

UN: Human Rights Council debates counter-terrorism issues

On 21 September, five experts presented their report on the situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay to the UN Human Rights Council and recommended the closure of the detention facility. The US submitted a written response to refute the findings and recommendations in the report. The Council also discussed, on 25 September, the report submitted […]

Jordan: National Assembly adopts first anti-terrorism law after Amman bombings

The National Assembly approved in August a new anti-terrorism law as a response to the Amman bombings last year. Concerns have been expressed about the law’s broad definition of terrorism, provisions allowing detention without access to a lawyer and without judicial review for up to 30 days, increased powers of law enforcement officials to detain, […]

Bahrain: New anti-terrorism bill signed into law

On 10 August, the King of Bahrain signed a counter-terrorism bill adopted by the Parliament on 22 July. A number of organizations and experts, including the UN Special Rapporteur on counter- terrorism and human rights, Martin Scheinin, have expressed concerns about its overly broad definition of terrorism, unclear definition of the offence of incitement to […]

USA: Mounting pressure to close Guantánamo following detainee suicides

On 10 June, three detainees at the Guantánamo detention facility were found dead in their cells. The incident sparked renewed calls for the closure of the detention facility from UN experts, the European Parliament (EP), governments and non-governmental organizations. At the EU-US summit in Vienna on 21 June, President Bush discussed the possibility of closing […]

UN: Human rights expert criticizes “shoot-to-kill” rhetoric

In a report issued on 8 March, Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, criticized the “shoot-to-kill” rhetoric often used in response to perceived terrorist threats. He argued that even when confronted with the threat of suicide bombers, shooting to kill was permissible only when there was near certainty that to […]