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How Can States Counter Terrorism While Protecting Human Rights?

11 January 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Chatham House, London


Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms While Countering Terrorism
Chair: Yasmine Ahmed, Director, Rights Watch UK



For most of the current century, countering terrorism has been at the forefront of the foreign policy priorities of democracies. This has coincided with the growth of human rights narratives as a fundamental feature of such democracies. However, a number of counterterrorism measures, such as the use of unlawful detention at Guantanamo Bay, confirmation of ‘black sites’ being used for interrogation and extended state surveillance powers, have raised serious human rights concerns. How do states ensure strong national security while protecting the fundamental human rights they claim as the bedrock of their society?
The new UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, addresses the key issues she sees in the intersection of human rights guarantees and counterterrorism. Increasingly, states are recognizing that violations of human rights create the conditions conducive to the production of violent extremism and terrorism. What is the best way to integrate counterterrorism approaches with human rights protection? And how will this undercut the conditions that produce and sustain terrorism in the long-run?

This event is organised in association with the Rights Watch UK who work to promote just and accountable security. They have over twenty-five years of experience of working in the field of national security: initially in Northern Ireland and, since 9/11, in Great Britain and abroad.

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