Terrorism & Human rights
Belgium condemns all forms of terrorism. The Belgian authorities are convinced that the fight against terrorism can only take place in full compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law. The fight against terrorism requires close international cooperation both between States and within the main international organisations, particularly those dealing with human rights and humanitarian law and those entitled to establish prevention and sanction mechanisms in the fight against terrorism.
Unreserved condemnation of terrorism
Belgium unreservedly condemns terrorist attacks and violent extremism leading to terrorism, regardless of the nationality, race or religious beliefs of the perpetrators. Indeed, international terrorism is not the prerogative of either a religion or a specific cause.
Respect for human rights in the fight against terrorism
Belgium believes that the fight against terrorism must not infringe human rights, fundamental freedoms or international humanitarian law. We will not effectively combat terrorism by flouting these rights and freedoms or the principle of the rule of law, quite the contrary. Belgium condemns the use of torture in the fight against terrorism for any reason whatsoever. Belgium supports the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism and the work of other protagonists also dealing with these issues, whether within other special procedures of the Human Rights Council, the United Nations treaty bodies or the various organisations of the Council of Europe such as the Commissioner for Human Rights.
Inter-State collaboration and international forums
Terrorism affects all States worldwide. Most terrorist groups have offshoots that extend well beyond national borders. Thus, the fight against terrorism, if it is to be effective, can only be considered at the global level, through full collaboration between States. This should ensure the adoption of both prevention and penalty measures within the competent international forums such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and even the Council of Europe.
Belgium will continue to work within the regional and international forums involved with Human Rights in order to support efforts to ensure the protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism.
For effective and appropriate sanction mechanisms
The UN, the Council of Europe and the European Union have set up sanction mechanisms to combat terrorism and its financing. These notably include freezing the assets of individuals suspected of assisting or belonging to terrorist groups. Belgium supports these measures, while demanding that any registration or removal of individuals from the relevant lists is properly justified. This reasoning is intended to allow accused individuals to defend themselves and appeal the decisions against them. Belgium believes that the sanctions established to fight terrorism must be fair, clear and transparent and that the mechanisms which lead to them must respect the human rights of the individuals concerned.
- UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
- United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner
- Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
- Security Counter-Terrorism Committee
- Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities
Council of Europe
- Work by the Council of Europe on Counter-Terrorism
- Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe