Amnesty International says EU’s new anti-terror laws target Muslims

January 17, 2017 10:30 pm
says a number of new counter-terrorism laws adopted by EU countries discriminate against Muslims and refugees across .
Amnesty in a report on Tuesday sounded the alarm over security measures, including expanded surveillance powers, adopted over the past two years in EU countries.
Julia Hall, an Amnesty International expert on counter-terrorism and author of the report, said the laws were also spreading fear and alienation against Muslims across the continent.
“Right across the EU regional space we see Muslims and foreigners being equated with terrorists,” she said, adding, “This stereotyping so disproportionately affects these communities that there is a high degree of fear and alienation.”
“Governments looking at a person and saying: ‘You look really suspicious to me. You visit community centers. You go to a specific mosque, and so I’m going to restrict your behavior because I think in the future, you might commit a crime,’ and this is one of the most troubling aspects of the report and the information in the report. And we see governments that have already adopted these types of measures and we see other governments contemplating them,” Hall said.
She warned that “draconian” surveillance measures and powers of search, detention and arrest such as those introduced in France could be abused to target activists or minority groups that did not pose a genuine threat.
France has introduced strict measures since last November, when attacks claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists at some six different venues in and around Paris left 130 people dead and over 350 others injured.
Another deadly attack was carried out as recently as July this year, when a man believed to have been tied to Daesh drove a truck into people celebrating in Nice, killing at least 84 people.
Militant attacks, mostly claimed by Daesh, have killed some 280 people in France, Belgium and Germany over the past few months.

Refugees line up on the grounds of the State Office of Health and Social Affairs, where they wait for their registration, in Berlin, Germany, October 9, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Critics say policies by some European countries have fueled terrorism and the influx of refugees into Europe. Western countries support militant groups fighting to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Reacting to Amnesty’s report, a European Commission spokeswoman said the EU would closely monitor for potential abuses in the 28 EU member states.
EU Security Commissioner Julian King said on social networking website on Twitter that she agreed with the report that fundamental rights must not be put at risk. “That is what the terrorists are attacking.”
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