Terrorism a bane of society


Jammu, Jan 13: The human cost of terrorism has been felt in virtually every corner of the globe. Whole world has suffered tragic human loss as a result of violent terrorist acts. Terrorism clearly has a very real and direct impact on human rights, with devastating consequences for the enjoyment of the right to life, liberty and physical integrity of victims. In addition to these individual costs, terrorism can destabilize Governments, undermine civil society, jeopardize peace and security, threaten social and economic development. All of these also have a real impact on the human rights of people. Security of the individual is a basic human right and the protection of individuals is accordingly, a fundamental obligation of Government.
States therefore have an obligation to ensure the human rights of their nationals and others by taking positive measures to protect them against the threat of terrorist acts and bringing the perpetrators of such acts to justice.
In recent years, however, the measures adopted by the government to counter terrorism have themselves often posed serious challenges to human rights and the rule of law.
Some regions have engaged in torture and other ill-treatment of local people to counter terrorism, while the legal and practical safeguards available to prevent torture such as regular and independent monitoring of detention centres, have often been disregarded. Other regions have returned persons suspected of engaging in terrorist activities to countries where they face a real risk of torture or other serious human rights abuse, thereby violating the international legal obligation of non-refoulement. The independence of the judiciary has been undermined, in some places, while the use of exceptional courts to try civilians has had an impact on the effectiveness of regular court systems. Repre-ssive measures have been used to stifle the voices of human rights defenders, journalists, minorities, indigenous groups and civil society.
Resources normally allocated to social programmes and development assistance have been diverted to the security sector, affecting the economic, social and cultural rights of many.
Respect for human rights and the rule of law must be the bedrock of the global fight against terrorism.
This requires the development of national counter-terrorism strategies that seek to prevent acts of terrorism, prosecute those responsible for such criminal acts, and promote and protect human rights and the rule of law.

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