World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN: Terrorism Resolution Opens Door to Repression

U.N.: Terrorism Resolution Opens Door to Repression

(New York, September 13, 2005) The British government has proposed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would give governments a pretext to suppress peaceful expression, Human Rights Watch said today. The Security Council is expected to vote tomorrow on this resolution, which urges countries to enact laws against incitement of terrorist acts.

Human Rights Watch supports international efforts to encourage countries, in accordance with international fair-trial standards, to prosecute individuals who deliberately incite others to commit terrorist acts. However, the proposed resolution fails to define “incitement to terrorist acts” and urges governments not only to criminalize but also to “prevent” such conduct, opening the door to suppression of unpopular political or religious views. Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned that the proposed resolution could easily be abused by governments seeking to justify politically motivated crackdowns on peaceful expression, association and assembly.

“Those who incite others to commit terrorism must be prosecuted,” said Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. “But the resolution’s sponsors have made it easy for abusive governments to invoke the resolution to target peaceful political opponents, impose censorship and close mosques, churches and schools.”

In this resolution, the Security Council should define the term “incitement to terrorist acts” narrowly and unambiguously so as not to permit prohibitions on lawful expression and association, Human Rights Watch said. The resolution should require that laws only prohibit expression that: is intended to incite an imminent terrorist act; is likely to incite such an act; and, is directly and immediately connected to the likely occurrence of the terrorist act.

“By encouraging the ‘prevention’ of incitement, the resolution opens a loophole in free speech guarantees that an army of censors could drive through,” said Roth.

Instead, the proposed resolution uses vague and overbroad language in calling on states to “prevent” incitement and to “counter” incitement that is “motivated by extremism and intolerance” or that is “subvert[ing] educational, cultural, and religious institutions.” Human Rights Watch is concerned that such language opens the door to national laws that will undermine basic rights rather than provide real protection against terrorist acts.

The resolution encourages states to “deny safe haven to any persons with respect to whom there is credible and relevant information giving serious reasons for considering that they have been guilty of such conduct.” But Human Rights Watch was concerned that the resolution makes no mention of the Convention Against Torture, which specifically prohibits sending anyone to a state where they would be at risk of torture, and prohibits state complicity in the return of such persons.

“We welcome language in the resolution that encourages compliance with international human rights law,” said Roth, “But the open-ended language of the resolution means that it will be of greater help to abusive regimes than to the fight against terrorism.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news