UN forum on upholding human rights while countering terrorism kicks off

27 October 2008 – The United Nations today convened a gathering of more than 60 delegates from 17 countries across the Middle East and North Africa in Amman to discuss the responsibility of States to protect human rights while countering terrorism, in the first event of its kind in the region.

Representatives of governments, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are taking part in the three-day seminar, organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Jordan.

“As countries across the world are increasingly turning their attention and resources to countering terrorism, it is essential to reaffirm States' obligation to protect human rights in this respect,” said Adam Abdelmoula, Head of OHCHR's Middle East and North Africa Unit.

Participants will have the opportunity to exchange information and good practices related to the protection of international human rights standards within effective counter-terrorism laws.

The Seminar, which is expected to conclude with the adoption of an outcome document, will also tackle issues such as defining terrorism-related offences and the treatment of individuals suspected of terrorist activity, in particular fundamental rights concerning detention and transfer and limitations on freedoms of expression, religion and association.

This is the third event organized by OHCHR on the subject of human rights and counter-terrorism, and follows seminars held in Switzerland in 2005 and in Liechtenstein in 2006.


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