Counterterrorism measures need to respect human rights and rule of law 

On May 4, 2023, Egypt and the European Union co-chaired the 21st Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Coordination Committee Meeting, formally handing over the co-chairship of the forum from Morocco to Egypt. Despite the documented widespread misuse of counter-terrorism (CT) measures to target civil society organisations and undermine fundamental freedoms globally, no mention of the need to respect human rights while countering terrorism was included in the joint statement that followed the Coordination Committee Meeting.

In accordance with its own stated objective to promote human rights in foreign policy and in line with UN General Assembly Resolution 60/158 of December 16, 2005, which, among others, provides the basis for the respect and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the European Union should not miss the opportunity of its co-chair role, to put human rights and humanitarian laws high on the counterterrorism agenda. EuroMed Rights remains deeply concerned that the EU chose a country well-known for its track record of human rights violations as a partner, and calls on the EU to address the issue of Egypt’s abuse of CT provisions to avoid any risk of complicity and to positively contribute to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy without undermining its human rights component.

EuroMed Rights and its members have been monitoring the impact of CT on civil society in Egypt, Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, and Turkey. The information collected evidences a widespread practice in the use (and misuse) of CT measures to silence independent voices and restrict the capacity of CSOs to operate and access funding, while failing to achieve the outcome of sustainable security.

Read the infosheets on counterterrorism measures prepared by EuroMed Rights and its members by clicking on the links below: