Dear Members of the Special Committee on Terrorism,
We are writing to request a meeting to explore common strategies to ensure respect for human rights in the development of national and EU counter-terrorism/counter-radicalisation policies and to propose human rights compliant alternatives in regards to the work of the Special Committee.
As EU Security Union Commissioner Sir Julian King stated in 2016, “the only effective way to tackle terrorism is firmly rooted in the respect of fundamental and human rights.” Counter-terrorism measures must always comply with the rule of law and human rights obligations under European Union and international law. Our organisations have worked to highlight human rights violations that occur in the implementation of counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation laws and policies in various Member States. As a democratic body taking part in the shaping and overseeing of counter-terrorism measures we welcome your support in ensuring that these measures are designed to effectively address the substantial threats to the security of populations in the EU are grounded in human rights.
Transparency, information and meaningful participation of civil society are crucial in this process. Our organisations have submitted joint contributions to advocate for a counter-terrorism Directive that respects human rights and are further engaging in the transposition process.
We remain available to support the work of the Special Committee and would be keen to exchange ideas on its upcoming work. In particular, we believe that one useful step the Special Committee could consider is holding a hearing on fundamental rights and rule of law in respect to counter-terrorism/counter-radicalisation policies, as well as meeting with NGOs working in the field when undertaking fact-finding missions. We would welcome a meeting in January to discuss these points with the Rapporteurs and other members engaging with the report and the field visits.
We look forward to working together on issues of common concern and meeting you at your convenience in January.
Claire Fernandez, European Network Against Racism
Maryant Fernandez Perez, European Digital Rights (EDRi)
Julia Hall, Amnesty International
Natacha Kazatchkine, Open Society European Policy Institute
Kersty McCourt, Open Society Justice Initiative
Róisín Pillay, International Commission of Jurists
Kartik Raj, Human Rights Watch