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EU Counter-Terrorism Agenda takes a wrecking ball to rights

Responding to the Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU, announced by the European Commission today as part of the Security Union Package, Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office said:

The premise of this proposal is flawed. It falsely posits that more surveillance and more restrictions on our freedom of expression are the price we have to pay for our safety, but our human rights become more important in times of crisis, not less.

Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office said:

“The premise of this proposal is flawed. It falsely posits that more surveillance and more restrictions on our freedom of expression are the price we have to pay for our safety, but our human rights become more important in times of crisis, not less. The agenda takes a wrecking ball to our rights, proudly targeting encryption and expanding surveillance.

“This proposal makes no secret of its intent to increase investment in technologies to predict ‘abnormal or deviant behaviour and radicalisation risks’. It’s a mistake to think that these technologies are neutral. We know that they often target people of certain racial, religious and ethnic groups. Such profiling, like so many other counter-terrorism measures, has a discriminatory impact primarily on Muslims, and those perceived to be Muslim.”

“Many of these measures threaten to violate the right to freedom of expression, particularly by targeting online activity, including non-violent speech.  The EU must ensure that all lawful forms of expression are protected, including speech that is controversial or offensive.”

“Jeopardising human rights and stigmatising minority groups will not make us safer, it will only stoke divisions.”

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