Human Rights Growing Menace of Terrorism

Terrorism is defined as the systematic use of murder, injury, destruction or the threat of such acts aimed at achieving political ends- has the power to alter course of history. 9/11 attacks in New York and the Washington bombings in Madrid are the prime examples of it.

Terrorism is the phenomenon, which produces terrorists. Therefore, combating terrorism has a wider connotation. It includes identification and eradication of the causes which give rise to, and promote the phenomenon of terrorism. That is the lasting remedy or cure of terrorism. Terrorism has no precise definition. In a Supreme Court ruling Dr.A.S.Anand defined terrorism as an attempt to acquire or maintain power or control by intimidation and causing fear and helplessness in the minds of the people at large or any section thereof. It is a totally abnormal phenomenon. What distinguishes terrorism from other forms of violence therefore appears to be a delicate and systematic use of coercive intimidation. Terrorism results in gross violation of human rights and must, no doubt, be dealt with a heavy hand. However, the methods to counter terrorism must not violate the human rights of innocents or else the innocents would be exposed to double jeopardy and suffer twin violation of their human rights. Experience worldwide has shown that state terrorism to combat terrorism is counterproductive.

The states should therefore take a comprehensive step to confront terrorism in all its forms and to enhance international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. A special council of European heads of state met on 20th and 21st September 2001, to agree to a joint Action plan to deal with terrorism, no less than 68 concrete actions were identified, ranging from agreement on fast track extradition and arrest warrant procedures, to new measures for the collection and exchange of evidence and the freezing of assets.

Terrorism – Counter Terrorism and Human Rights

Human rights are rights, which inhere in every human being – man, woman or child from birth and which he or she is entitled to enjoy in every society. These rights recognize the essential worth of a human being and acknowledge the basic equality and dignity inherent in all human beings irrespective of race, color, sex, religion or economic levels of living. These have existed in some form in all cultures and have been enjoyed by the people everywhere with varying degrees of emphasis. While this is a historical fact, it is also a part of our experience that powerful forces within the human race, at both the national and the international levels, have been conspiring to condemn millions of men, women and children in all regions of the world to a state of misery, deprivation and continuing exploitation, thereby violating their Human Rights.

In a landmark Judgment the Honorable Supreme Court of India reiterated the importance it gave to human rights. It said:

“The state is to maintain a delicate balance between such state action and the human rights. Fight against terrorism be respectful to human rights. The constitution has laid down clear limitation on state action within the context of fight against terrorism.

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