By Kgalalelo Gaebee, Communications Officer and David Kode, Lead of Advocacy and Campaigns at CIVICUS
Twenty-one years on, the legacy of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 still reverberate. This year’s anniversary offers an opportunity to reflect on the unfortunate legacy in the proliferation of anti-terrorism laws. These laws have been used by numerous states, including many in Africa, to target dissent and limit the freedoms of expression, assembly and association. Between 2001 and 2018, African states were among over 140 countries worldwide that passed such counter-terrorism laws and other security-related legislation.
While the global counter-terrorism framework is clear about the fact that any strategy to combat terrorism must be based on respect for the rule of law , many countries in Africa, including those without a history of terrorist threats, now use anti-terrorism and related ‘security’ laws to silence critics. Eswatini is among the worst offenders.
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