The increased “securitization” of Europe has disadvantaged ethnic and religious groups, particularly Muslims Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said in a report [materials] Tuesday. AI looked at human rights analyses drawn from 14 EU member states. The group warned of the trend in Europe to apply security measures in a discriminatory manner. The practice has allegedly increased in the wake of a wave of terrorist attacks on European cities. The AI report states:
Individual EU states and regional bodies have responded to the attacks by proposing, adopting and implementing wave after wave of counter-terrorism measures that have eroded the rule of law, enhanced executive powers, peeled away judicial controls, restricted freedom of expression and exposed everyone to government surveillance.
Attacks have reportedly fanned tensions, leading to a movement of anti-immigration governmental parties stressing the theme of security. The report is meant to give a birds eye view of the vast securitization, which AI believes to be curtailing human rights.
The challenge of balancing national security with the protection of human rights has been a topic of international concern. Earlier this month a UK advocacy group challenged [JURIST report] the Investigatory Powers Act, which allows the UK government to record the Internet history of every citizen for up to a year. Also in January the German Federal Minister of the Interior released a plan Tuesday to overhaul antiterror enforcement following the December lorry attack on a Berlin Christmas market [JURIST reports]. In September France’s anti-terror prosecutor announced his decision to hand down harsher criminal charges [JURIST report], with sentences up to 30 years, for returning French jihadists from Iraq, Syria, and other areas where the Islamic State is actively involved.