Fighting Terrorism without Infringing on Human Rights Essay

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This essay will explore assumption that we can fight terrorism without infringing upon human rights.

Prominent advocate for this assumption is obviously Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who urged states to “adhere to their international obligations to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms when conducting counterterrorism”. This has become a key component of UN-endorsed Global Counterterrorism strategy. Another key leader, supporter of this assumption former US President Jimmy Carter in his remarks on Human Rights Defenders conference said: "policy changes in the United States and other nations because of pre-occupation with the use of force as the sole means to combat terrorism ... led to an alarming erosion
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So, although terrorism involves spreading fear and terror, prosecution of terrorists should stay within accepted standards regarding human rights. In this regard, Norway certainly set the standard in dealing with “lone wolf case” of Anders Behring Breivik.

To further test this assumption we need to look into CT efficiency in several cases where we had human rights violations. First one is obviously Guantanamo Bay case. This prison has become destination for captured Talibans from Afghanistan but also for all alleged and proved terrorist from around the world. It is in some way legal “black hole”[3] which can even nod on human rights violations. Although US declared War on Terror, detainees in Guantanamo were not entitled to POW status arguing that Al-Qaida is not a country, hence these fighter were not protected by Geneva Conventions. Human treatment at Guantanamo was very harsh: torture and degrading treatment or punishments.[4] After number of years of discussion and number of cases that proved ill-treatment, President Obama signed order for closure of detention facility on January 22, 2009 and also banned the harshest interrogation techniques used.[5] This brought lots of negative publicity for counterterrorism.

Second case to consider is issue of human rights in drone attacks in Pakistan and Jemen. Amnesty International raised the question of legality of these attacks “that resulted in unlawful killings
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