In the Name of Counter-Terrorism: Human Rights Abuses Worldwide

A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper for the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

This paper first surveys initiatives taken by U.N., regional, and other intergovernmental bodies in the context of the international campaign against terrorism. In view of the human rights violations being committed in the name of counter-terrorism, it urges the creation of a dedicated mechanism to address the human rights impact of counter-terrorism measures, most appropriately the appointment of a new special representative of the U.N. secretary-general charged with monitoring and reporting on developments in this area. The paper then details human rights violations connected to anti-terrorism efforts in China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and Uzbekistan. It highlights the degree to which the United States and other governments have become muted in their criticism of and have even extended new security assistance and support to some of the most abusive governments worldwide that have become newfound allies in the fight against terrorism.