Human rights must be expressly guaranteed in forthcoming EU anti-terror rules, says Dick Marty

Brussels, 07.04.2008 – Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) member Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE), today criticised draft EU anti-terror rules for failing to give due consideration to fundamental human rights.

The revised Framework Decision currently being drafted defines EU-wide laws against inciting terrorist attacks, and recruiting or training terrorists, but does not spell out that these laws must be applied in line with existing international human rights standards, such as freedom of expression, association and religion.

In a statement made before a committee of the European Parliament, Mr Marty – who chairs PACE’s sub-committee on the fight against terrorism – said basic human rights were “not an accessory or decoration”. He regretted that the European Commission‘s initiative might damage the fight against terror by putting into question the recently-agreed Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism which already covers the same ground, and is open to a wider circle of countries.

"These EU rules weren’t needed in the first place, because they duplicate the Council of Europe convention on this topic, which most EU states have already agreed to be bound by," said Mr Marty. "But if the EU insists on going ahead with these rules, then they must take into account, for example, the case-law of the Strasbourg Court – which ensures that anti-terrorist measures do not violate human rights."

Mr Marty called for the inclusion of a "safeguard clause" in the Framework Decision making any new anti-terror laws subject to existing human rights obligations in international law.

Text of the full statement of Mr Marty

Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism