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ZHANG Wei, ZHANG Zhimin: The Conflicts and Balances between Anti-terrorism Measures and Human Rights
September 12,2019   By:
The Conflicts and Balances between Anti-terrorism Measures and Human Rights
Abstract: Anti-terrorism measures and human rights have both consistency and conflicts. The anti-terrorism measures, as an important way for the government to maintain social order and safeguard national security, is an essential guarantee of human rights. However, over-inflating and uncontrolled public power may in turn infringe on a number of fundamental human rights and freedoms of citizens. With the rapid development of communication technology in the era of big data, the technical capabilities of intelligence agencies and law enforcement departments in various countries have been continuously enhanced. In the fight against terrorism, large-scale digital surveillance is posing an unprecedented threat to the privacy of individuals.
Under international human rights law, states have an obligation to guarantee the privacy of citizens and must not interfere with their privacy illegally or arbitrarily. Behind the conflict between counter-terrorism measures and the right to privacy is the struggle between order and freedom. Based on the severe anti-terrorism situation, citizens need to transfer part of their rights, public security and social order should be a priority. However, the restriction of privacy needs to follow the principles of legitimacy, necessity and proportionality as well as the conditions of derogation under international human rights law. This paper uses the method of literature analysis to collect and sort out the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, the general comments of treaty bodies and the reports from the Special Rapporteur. It concludes that: measures taken by States to combat terrorism should be carried out with a clear authorization by law, open and transparent procedures, external independent oversight and effective remedies for those seeking redress, so that the balance between combating terrorism and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms can be achieved.
Keywords: counter-terrorism; the right to privacy; conflict; balance
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