UN rights chief says anti-terror measures can backfire

May 27, 2013 15:52

GENEVA - United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay told governments on Monday that trying to fight terrorism by limiting personal freedoms and mistreating suspects could only worsen the problem.

She spoke as Britain and France were considering tightening anti-terror laws and surveillance after the killings of two soldiers in London and Paris, and as US President Barack Obama renewed his efforts to close the Guantanamo prison camp in Cuba.Pillay, speaking at the opening of the spring session of the UN's Human Rights Council, said she had received allegations of "very grave violations of human rights that have taken place in the context of counter-terrorist and counter-isurgency operations."

"Such practices are self-defeating. Measures that violate human rights do not uproot terrorism, they nurture it," she said.

Pillay made no direct reference to the killing of an off-duty British soldier in London last Wednesday by two men saying they were acting in the name of Islam and the stabbing of a soldier in the French capital.

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