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Abuse of terrorism laws during conflict creates ‘uninterrupted disaster’: UN expert

UNITED NATIONS, October 17 — A UN human rights expert on Friday criticized the abuse of terrorism laws by some states, saying that the inappropriate use of such measures in the context of complex and violent conflict sometimes only exacerbates the situation on the ground. aggravate.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Fight against Terrorism, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, told the General Assembly that terrorist operations and measures are frequently applied in the context of non-international armed conflicts and complex humanitarian issues. institutions.

She identified a worrying pattern in which States appear to be ignoring or undermining the application of humanitarian principles and rules, as counter-terrorism ‘provides a more open, unregulated and opaque set of tools’ to deal with complex issues.

“The result is often an uncomfortable disaster for civilians who are put under pressure by legal terrorism laws and practices with little or no use if abuse takes place,” Ní Aoláin said.

The UN expert’s report follows the vital link between protecting the human rights of the vulnerable, including the elderly and children in complex and fragile environments, and maintaining basic humanitarian norms, including the provision of humanitarian aid.

“I am deeply disturbed by the failure to apply humanitarian exemptions to activities that are humanitarian and impartial in nature,” she said.

“Such short-sighted tactics of withholding or criminalizing humanitarian aid prolong conflicts, alienate those needed to ultimately resolve such conflicts, and hurt the most marginalized in society.”

Ní Aoláin called on the states to review existing sanction systems to ensure that they comply with the law and provide a meaningful opportunity to challenge, review and terminate sanction practices for individuals and their families’.

The UN expert praised the work of impartial humanitarian actors, working in extreme conditions and under significant tension to secure and protect the defenseless.

The challenge now for States is to effectively recognize and protect these actors, she added.

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