Counter-terrorism laws provide a smokescreen for civil society restrictions

By Susan Wilding, Head of Geneva Office at CIVICUS

In all regions of the world, spontaneous people’s movements are demanding better governance, rule of law and justice. At this very moment, concerned citizens are coming out in the streets of Lebanon, Chile, Hong Kong, and Egypt, among others. Yet, as more and more people seek to exercise their democratic rights, arbitrary detentions and crackdowns—including the use of unjustified and often lethal force against dissenters and protesters—are quickly being normalized from Russia to Rwanda.

The CIVICUS Monitor, an index of civic freedoms in 196 countries, shows that only 4% of the world’s population live in countries that adequately protect civic freedoms fully. According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, 66% of all communications sent to the mandate as part of monitoring human rights abuses are related to States use of counter-terrorism, or broadly defined security measures to restrict civil society.

Read on: Open Global Rights


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