By: Ishowo Malik Ayomide.
The protection of human rights for all and the rule of law is essential to all and sundry, recognizing that the effective counter terrorism measures and the promotion of human rights are not conflicting goals, but complementary and mutually reinforcing.
However, the human cost of terrorism has been felt in virtually every corner of the world. Terrorism distinctly has a very obvious and direct impact on the human rights, with devastating consequences for the enjoyment of the right to life, liberty, and physical integrity of victims. In Addition to these individuals costs, terrorism can disintegrate Governments, undermine civil society, jeopardize peace and security, and even threaten social and economic development. All of these also have a sincere Impact on the enjoyment and freedom of the human rights.
Security of the individual is a basic human right and the protection of individual is, accordingly, a fundamental obligation of Government.
States as well therefore have an obligation to make sure that the human rights of their nations and others are safeguarded and protected by taking positive measures to protect them against the threat of terrorist acts and bringing the perpetrators of such acts to book.
I have been in the world over a decade ago, and in recent years, the measures adopted by states to combat terrorism have evidently posed serious challenges to human rights and the rule of law. Some states have engaged in torture and other Ill treatment to counter terrorism, while the legal and practical safeguards available to prevent torture like regular and independent monitoring of detention centres, have often been disregarded.
Other states have returned persons suspected of engaging in terrorism to countries where they face the Wrath of their life-threatening acts. Thereby, violating the international legal obligation. Moreover, 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 and efficiency of regular court systems.
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 programs and development assistance have been diverted to the security sector, affecting the economic, social and cultural rights of many.
These practices, particularly when taken together, have a corrosive effect on the rule of law, good governance and human rights. They are also counter productive to national and international efforts to fight against terrorism.
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 foster, promote and protect human rights and the rule of law.
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 as the case may be—to encourage the active participation and leadership of civil society; to criticize human rights violations, prohibit them in national law, promptly investigate and prosecute them, and prevent them; and to give due attention to the rights of victims of
human rights violations, for instance through restitution and compensation.
What is terrorism?
To my comprehension as a university student,terrorism is commonly understood to the acts of violence that targets civilians in the pursuit of political and ideological aims. In legal terms, although the international community has yet to adopt a universal definition of terrorism, existing declarations, resolutions and universal sectoral treaties relating to specific aspects of it define certain acts and core elements.
According to the United Nation’s Organization, In 1994, the General Assembly Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, set out in its resolution 49/60,stated that terrorism includes criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons as the case may be for political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other nature that may be invoked to justify them.
However, ten years later, the Security Council, in its resolution 1566(2994), referred to criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or persons, intimidate a population or force the Government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing the act.
However, In India as a sovereign entity , the laws related to terrorism has immensely affected India. The motive for terrorism in India as a country may be vastly from religious cause and other circumstances like poverty, unemployment and not being developed might also be a major factor as the case may be.
Even in Nigeria, its very unfortunate that terrorism is a common problem affecting the country, despite the effort of the government to stem the tide of terrorism in the country.
Nigeria is among the committee of states in the world bedeviling with terrorism. It has a deadly ideological group called Boko Haram who flagrantly attack their fellow colleagues, be it in the Place of worship, schools, workplace and other strategic locations.
The country needs a rescue mission, and how can that be done? It can only be done through change of power and governance. We need charismatic and altruistic leaders that will see to our cause, and pilot our affairs in a sophisticated and judicious manner.
However, i think what we need now in the country is for youths to take over the mantle of leadership . Subsequently, things might go the way it suppose to go.
Ishowo is a 200L Student of University of llorin, Kwara State.