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A Human Rights Guide for Researching Racial and Religious Discrimination in Counterterrorism in Europe

  • When
  • February 3, 2021, 9:00–10:00 a.m. (EST) / 3:00–4:00 p.m. (CET)
  • Where
  • Live Stream
  • Speakers
  • Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Tufyal Choudhury, Maryam H'madoun, Momodou Malcolm Jallow, and Eda Seyhan
  • In partnership with
  • Amnesty International

Discrimination against certain groups perceived as threats to national security is a longstanding human rights concern. Governments across the globe have historically exploited crises, including in the aftermath of violent attacks, to target racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, under draconian counterterrorism laws and policies that provide sweeping powers to law enforcement, intelligence actors, and states’ intelligence and security apparatuses. As a result, discrimination against individuals and entire groups in the counterterrorism context remains an entrenched problem adversely affecting people’s lives in dramatic ways, despite the high status of the prohibition on racial discrimination among the norms of international law.

Muslims and people perceived to be Muslim have been specifically and consistently subjected to such discrimination. Lawful religious, cultural, and political activities, and affiliations of Muslims in Europe have been construed as dangerous, and that label has been used to justify surveillance, arrest, expulsion, and other restrictions on their rights, sometimes in what authorities claim is a preventive manner. By reinforcing the notion of Muslims as a threat, such measures have helped create an environment in which Muslims are the subjects of virulent hate speech and are vulnerable to public attacks.

This event will mark the publication of A Human Rights Guide for Researching Racial and Religious Discrimination in Counterterrorism in Europe. The guide provides guidance to human rights and antiracism activists, researchers, NGOs, and oversight bodies working to document and prove discrimination, as defined in human rights law, in the counterterrorism context in Europe.


  • Fionnuala Ní Aoláin


    Fionnuala Ní Aoláin is the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

  • Tufyal Choudhury


    Tufyal Choudhury is an associate professor at Durham Law School.

  • Maryam H'madoun


    Maryam H’madoun is a senior program officer for Equity at the Open Society Foundations.

  • Momodou Malcolm Jallow


    Momodou Malcolm Jallow is the general rapporteur on Combating Racism and Intolerance for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

  • Eda Seyhan


    Eda Seyhan, a human rights lawyer, is the author of A Human Rights Guide for Researching Racial and Religious Discrimination In Counter-Terrorism In Europe.

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