Respect for human rights, rule of law must be bedrock in global fight against terrorism: Army

Jammu: Asserting that the human cost of terrorism has been felt in virtually every corner of the globe and the entire world has suffered tragic human losses as a result of violent terrorist acts, Indian Army has advocated respect for human rights and the rule of law as a bedrock in the fight against terrorism globally.
In an article circulated by the Indian Army titled ‘Terrorism a bane of society’, it said, “Respect for human rights and the rule of law must be the bedrock of the global fight against terrorism. This requires the development of national counter-terrorism strategies that seek to prevent acts of terrorism, prosecute those responsible for such criminal acts, and promote and protect human rights and the rule of law.”
It further read that it implies measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including the lack of rule of law and violations of human rights, ethnic, national and religious discrimination, political exclusion, and socio-economic marginalization to foster the active participation and leadership of civil society to condemn human rights violations, prohibit them in national law, promptly investigate and prosecute them, and prevent them and to give due attention to the victims who have suffered violation of the their human rights through restitution and compensation.
The article further said that “Terrorism clearly has a very real and direct impact on human rights, with devastating consequences upon the right to life, liberty and physical integrity of victims,” adding that in addition to these individual costs, terrorism can destabilize governments, undermine civil society, jeopardize peace and security, threaten social and economic development.
All of these also have a real impact on the human rights of people, it read.
“Security of the individual is a basic human right and the protection of individuals is accordingly, a fundamental obligation of the government,” the article read and said that states therefore have an obligation to ensure the protection and preservation of the rights of their nationals and others by taking positive measures to protect them against the threat of terrorist acts and bringing the perpetrators of such acts to justice.
In recent years, however, the measures adopted by the government to counter terrorism have themselves often posed serious challenges to human rights and the rule of law, it read.
The Indian Army asserted that some regions have engaged in torture and ill-treatment of the local people as part of its strategy to counter terrorists, while the legal and practical safeguards available to prevent torture such as regular and independent monitoring of detention centres, have often been disregarded.
“Other regions have returned persons suspected of engaging in terrorist activities to countries where they face a real risk of torture or other serious human rights abuse, thereby violating the international legal obligation of non-refoulement,” said the Army as per the article.
The independence of the judiciary has been undermined, in some places, while the use of exceptional courts to try civilians has had an impact on the effectiveness of regular system courts, it read.
“Repressive measures have been used to stifle the voices of human rights defenders, journalists, minorities, indigenous groups and civil society. Resources normally allocated to social programmes and development assistance have been diverted to the security sector, affecting the economic, social and cultural rights of many,” it concluded.