The EU Directive on combating terrorism which was adopted by the European Parliament today runs the risk of undermining fundamental rights and having a disproportionate and discriminatory impact on ethnic and religious communities.
An overall climate of suspicion against certain groups based on their ethnic or religious belonging brings concerns for the measures put forward in the new EU law, as well as its overly broad scope and definitions. Although a general human rights safeguard clause has been included, the directive opens the door to criminalisation of behaviour instead of intent, that may have no direct link to violent terrorist acts. Broad definitions, for instance of ‘glorification’ of terrorism and ‘travelling for terrorist purposes’, could lead to human rights restrictions in a context of increased securitisation.
ENAR Chair Amel Yacef said: “This is a bad day for protection of rights in Europe. This law could result in discriminatory practices targeting ethnic and religious minority communities in the name of counter-terrorism. We now urge EU Member States to include human rights safeguards in their national laws to prevent such practices. We won’t combat terrorism by encouraging a toxic climate of suspicion and by fueling tensions between communities.”
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Source: European Network Against Racism (ENAR); 16. 2. 2017