Links Between Counter Terrorism And Human Rights International Law Essay

There is a growing tendency on terrorism related activities throughout the world in recent years and has severely affected normal human life, national security and economic development. Many western and eastern countries such as the USA, UK, India and Pakistan have enacted acts as well as ratifying regional and multilateral treaties to fight against terrorism. However, in some occasions some of these counter terrorism mechanism have lead to a number of human right violations in some countries and regions and eventually restricted the freedom of speech, freedom of movement and lead to torture. There are many international conventions, treaties and domestic laws to protect the human right, it is well norm principle of international law that the torture cannot be overruled by any other laws. Further, it is very clear that free from torture is an absolute right and it is applicable to every one irrespectively their race, religion and nationality. However, the proper implementation of these conventions is questionable, as most occasions these are violated. Therefore, the major objective of this paper is to examine sufficiency and implementation of treaties related to freedom from torture. The data and information for the present study would be mainly based on secondary recourses and web search.

Terrorism is one of the major issues that the entire world communities face at present. There is no universally accepted definition for terrorism. However, terrorism can be defined as “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons (Mifflin, H. 2006)".Terrorism as a central organizing concept of violating human rights in and every corner of the life of the people, threaten governmental activities and other development activities which all promote human rights standards. Terrorism may be internal or external or either small or a large. Whatever it is, it ultimately impact on human life and economic development in various scale and level. There has been a growing trend of terrorist activities in the recent past which killed many thousands all over the world including women, children and elderly people. Terrorism has severely effected the people’s free movement and their day to day activities in some part of the world as some form of terrorist attack can take place at any time and in any place. There may be several reasons behind terrorist activities which are justified the various organizations. However, the terrorism is not the right way to succeed their aspirations. Therefore, all forms of terrorist activities are not acceptable in any occasions.

As there is a growing tendency on terrorism related activities throughout the world and has become a major threat to human life, nation’s security and economic development now, most of the countries are trying to control terrorist activities by enacting laws as well as ratifying regional and multilateral treaties. Each and every state has a duty to protect and promote its every single person’s rights without discrimination; at the same time it is its duty to prevent the people and the property from terrorist attack. Thus, many governments have adopted severe terrorism controlling mechanism to eradicate and fight against terrorism such as counter terrorism measures. This is further confirmed by The Commission on Human Rights, 2001/37, which emphasizing the need to intensify the fight against terrorism at the national level, to enhance effective international cooperation in combating terrorism in conformity with international law and to strengthen the role of the United Nations in this respect. However, on the other hand these counter terrorism mechanism have lead to a number of human right violations particularly on freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom from torture. Therefore, see above mentioned resolution reaffirming that all measures on counter terrorism must be in strict conformity with international law, including international human rights standard. When arresting the perpetrators of terrorist offences they should be prosecuted in according to the law, and should given opportunity to fair trail without delay.

Torture is identified as a serious violation of human rights; therefore, it is prohibited by international law. There are number of treaties focus on torture issues. For instance, Article 1 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading treatment or Punishment (1984) reads as follows,

"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiesance of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity" . According to this Article, torture includes physical and mental acts in order to obtain information or confession with the consent or acquiesance of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. This provision is wide enough to cover most of torture activities but it is doubtful how far ratified states implementing this provision. Most importantly, rights are not enough to standardize in the form of text but those rights should be able to enjoy at the every situation of the human life.

Freedom from torture is an absolute right. It is an un-derogative right. Article 6 (2) of the Paris Minimum Standards of Human Rights Norms in a State of Emergency states, “Every sates shell, in accordance with the provisions of the 1975 United Nations Declaration on the protection of All persons from being subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, take effective measures to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment from being practiced within its jurisdiction." Furthermore, Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “No one shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shell be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation. Present study will be examine whether this right can be derogative during the case of public emergency.

Article 3.1 of the Convention against Torture provides that “No state Party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subject to torture". When analysing these conventions, it is well norm principle of international law that the torture cannot be overruled any other laws. Further, it is very clear that free from torture is an absolute right and it is applicable to every one irrespectively their race, religion, nationality or even terrorist or nor. But it is depressing to mention that, those who promotes the human rights norms themselves violates these norms.

Many countries are willing to ratify international human right treaties. Evnthough, if not ratify any international human rights treaty still it creates international responsibility on violating human rights under customary international law.

Therefore, the objective of the present study is to;

identify and discuss the definition of human rights and terrorism

describe and discuss the measures on controlling terrorist activities

explain the promotion and protect human rights particularly free from torture.

analyze whether freedom from torture is derogative right,

examine the sufficiency and implementation of treaties

evaluate the Judges views in decided cases laws.