The European Association for the defence of Human Rights (FIDH-AE) expresses its deep emotion in the face of the monstrous terrorist attack whose victims were Americans, but also foreigners, in the United States. It reaffirms, together with all the member Leagues and associations, that no struggle can justify criminal violence, and it firmly condemns all forms of terrorism, whatever their origin.
The authors as well as the accomplices of those acts must be prosecuted. To this aim, the principle of an international co-operation appears to be totally justified and the FIDH-AE supports the mobilisation of the European Member States for this objective. However, the rhetorical allegation of a “state of war”, which is not justified under international law, because of the absence of a determined aggressor state and the consequent activation of international agreements, in particular the implementation of article 5 of the NATO Treaty, leads to exceptional and unforeseeable consequences which generate the deepest concerns and reservations.
The unconditional character of the solidarity announced could end up legitimising every action of the American Government, with the risk that a state alleged to be responsible for terrorist acts will be attacked. If we follow this reasoning about presumed enemies, there is a risk of confusing, on the one hand, a religion, a people, the inhabitants of a country or a region, and, on the other hand, those who carried out the terrorist attacks and their accomplices.
From this perspective, we should also be guarding against rumours and against the absence of rigour with which the dissemination of news could tend to point out to ?natural culprits?.
In that climate, these sorts of policies can only contribute to exacerbating the tensions between on the one hand peoples or groups, who, because they are among the poorest in the world, feel despised and dominated, and on the other hand the “wealthy people”. Therefore, there is a risk of falling into a vicious circle of reciprocal violence and terrorism.
Moreover, we must do everything to avoid importing tensions and inter-community conflicts into our territories; on the contrary, we should promote a dialogue which enables everyone to live together.
Moreover, the logic of war risks serving as an alibi to a law-and-order policy, at the expense of the fundamental respect of individual liberties. The will of an international co-operation, even in the field of terrorism, can never justify abandoning the rules of law.
The European Association for the defence of Human Rights (FIDH-AE) urges the EU Member States who want to co-operate at international level not to get involved in the spiral of violence and intolerance. The FIDH-AE condemns in advance every punitive action which would hit persons considered as culprits without any judicial decision, or persons who, or persons who are already suffering daily from the violation of their fundamental rights, and haven?t done anything wrong except living in a certain territory, belonging to a certain religion or community, and who would therefore simply be victims once more.
Contact person : European Association for the defence of Human Rights (FIDH-AE)
Dan Van Raemdonck (President) : ++ 32 478 29 64 28