Counter terrorism strategies should be compliant with international Human Rights Laws: OIC

JEDDAH, — The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, has called on member states to ensure that their counter-terrorism strategies are compliant with the international human rights, refugee and humanitarian laws.

The Secretary-General made the call while inaugurating the thematic debate of the 11th Session of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), held on 9th May 2017, with the theme ‘Protecting Human Rights while countering terrorism’, at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“The Counter-terrorism measures like illegal and arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial killings, racial and ethnic profiling, and illegal settlements pose serious challenges to human rights and the rule of law,” said Al-Othaimeen.

“Such measures foster an atmosphere of mistrust, resentment and marginalisation in a manner that diminishes states’ long- term security. Such counter- terrorism measures also disproportionately impact certain populations, including ethnic or religious minorities and migrants, which undermines social cohesion and intensifies radicalisation and violence,” he added.

The OIC Secretary-General stressed that terrorism not only poses serious threat to the peoples’ enjoyment of the right to life and liberty but also portends a perpetual danger to the existence of human civilisation, progress, welfare and global stability.

He noted that, to defeat the terrorists, it is crucial to first win the battle for hearts and minds, as countering terrorism merely through security and punitive legal and administrative measures benefit the terrorists by shaking the trust and support of the people, which is vital in the fight against the terrorism.

Al-Othaimeen also asserted, “The OIC is cognisant of the threats to and infringements of basic human rights in the counter-terrorism policies and practices. It firmly rejects the identification of terrorism with any nationality or religion and has always highlighted the necessity of addressing the conditions that foster terrorism by promoting human rights, tolerance and multiculturalism and tackling negative socio- economic factors.”

He commended the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission, for doing “a great job in promoting human rights within OIC.”

OIC Member and Observer States including their National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), experts from different relevant international and regional organisations, and senior officials of the OIC General Secretariat and media representatives, attended the 11th Session of the IPHRC.

During the session, the Commission held detailed discussions on all issues on its agenda, including the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in OIC Member States, and the human rights violations in Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir.

The commission also held the regular meetings of its four Working Groups on Palestine; Rights of Women and Child; Islamophobia and Muslim minorities; and the Right to Development.

Source: Emirates News Agency