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Terrorism, security and cuts in human rights

Ever since the end of the Cold War and, particularly, since the 9/11 attacks, the world powers that be have tried to create the sensation of global threat, placing the war on terrorism at the core of the international agenda. In the name of security, they have toughened repressive policies while restricting civil and political rights and freedoms.

This new political trend has had a highly pernicious effect on many people of Muslim religion, who have come to be seen as a potential danger to peace and world stability. In Guantanamo prison and other detention centres run secretly by the USA outside of its territory we can still find people including drivers or mechanics who are detained simply because they are suspected of having connections with Islamic terrorism.

These people are treated as “illegal enemies” rather than “prisoners of war”, hence the US consideration that it is not obliged to offer them the guarantees established under the Geneva Convention (which sets the standards in international law for humanitarian rights in times of war) and that it can therefore keep them locked up indefinitely, without giving them the right to legal representation or a fair trial.