UN rights chief warns against anti-terror measures

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UN rights chief warns against anti-terror measures

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Limiting personal freedoms and mistreating suspects may worsen the problem of terrorism, according to the United Nations human rights chief.

Speaking as the opening session of the UN’s Human Rights Council, Navi Pillay warned such measures could backfire.

It comes as Britain and France consider tightening anti-terror laws and surveillance after the killing of a soldier in London and an attack on another in Paris.

“I urge all States to be completely transparent regarding criteria for deploying drone strikes, and to ensure that their use complies fully with relevant international law. Where violations do occur, states should conduct independent, impartial, prompt and effective investigations, and provide victims with an effective remedy,” said Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Her comments come after Barack Obama last week tried to shift the United States position on deadly drone strikes in the wake of growing criticism over civilian casualties.

The US president also took new steps toward closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison camp in Cuba which Pillay described as “an example of the struggle against terrorism failing to uphold human rights, among them the right to a fair trial”.

A total of 166 people from 23 countries, many held for more than a decade without charge, remain in the jail set up after the September 11 attacks in the United States.