• PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS WHILE COUNTERING


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    • Abstract: protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while counteringt***orism61st session of the general assembly (september to december 2006, new york)1. overviewthe general assembly considered the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while

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protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering
t***orism
61st session of the general assembly (september to december 2006, new york)
1. overview
the general assembly considered the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while
countering t***orism through its third committee under agenda item 67(b).1 both the secretary-
general and the special rapporteur on protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while
countering t***orism, mr. martin scheinin, submitted reports to the third committee. both reports
noted that other special procedure mandate-holders, such as the special representative of the secretary-
general on the situation of human rights defenders, address a broad range of issues related to the
impact of t***orism on human rights. this year, the special rapporteur particularly focused on the
impact of counter-t***orism strategies on freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
the resolution on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering t***orism
did not incorporate the special rapporteur's specific concerns and recommendations regarding threats
to freedoms of association and peaceful assembly. however, the resolution does feature a new
operative paragraph opposing deprivations of liberty that amount to placing a detained person outside
the protection of the law.
2. report of the secretary-general on protecting human rights and
fundamental freedoms while countering t***orism2
on 11 september 2006, the secretary-general submitted a report to the third committee in accordance
with general assembly resolution 60/158 and commission on human rights resolution 2005/80. the
report gives an account of the recent developments within the united nations system in relation to
human rights and counter-t***orism, such as the establishment of the human rights council (the
council), which, according to the secretary-general, 'offered another opportunity to incorporate human
rights into global counter-t***orism efforts'. the report praises the council's adoption of the
international convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance as a
significant step strengthening the rule of law in counter-t***orist activities. the report also highlights
the report of the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering
t***orism, which was considered by the council and discusses: collaboration between the special
rapporteur and the security council's counter t***orism committee; the rights of victims of t***orism;
root causes of t***orism; and the human rights obligations of non-state actors.3
1
agenda item 67(b) was entitled ‘promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions including alternative
approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.’
2
general assembly, 61st session, a/61/353 (11 september 2006), available at list of reports to the plenary,
http://www.un.org/ga/61/third/reports.html.
3
report of the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while
countering t***orism commission on human rights, 62nd session, e/cn.4/2006/98 (28 december 2005). for more
the report also notes that other special procedures mandate-holders, such as the special rapporteur on
the question of torture,4 the chairperson on the working group on arbitrary detention,5 the
independent expert on minority issues,6 and the special representative of the secretary-general on the
situation of human rights defenders7, address a broad range of issues related to the impact of t***orism
on human rights. the report describes how these mandate-holders, along with the high commissioner
for human rights, share concerns regarding some states' use of secret detention centres and the
practice of irregular transfers of persons suspected of engagement in t***orist activities. according to
the report, another serious concern to the united nations system is the return and transfer of suspects to
countries where they face the risk of torture.
3. report of the special rapporteur on protecting human rights and
fundamental freedoms while countering t***orism8
the main theme of the special rapporteur's report9 is the impact of counter-t***orism strategies on the
freedoms of association and peaceful assembly. the report criticises national legislation that goes
beyond the scope of countering t***orism and actually threatens the rights of political parties, trade
unions or human rights defenders. the report specifically refers to legislation that contains a vague or
overly broad definition of 't***orism' or 't***orist activities' or invokes 'national security' as a means to
address local or isolated threats to law and order. the report compliments the special representative of
the secretary-general on the situation of human rights defenders, who has expressed concern about
strict registration requirements for ngos. the report recommends that clea


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