Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (A/HRC/34/61) (Advance Edited Version)

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I. Introduction

  1. The present report is submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to its resolutions 22/8, 29/9 and 31/3.1 In section II the Special Rapporteur details the key activities he has undertaken from March to December 2016; in section III he assesses the developments that have taken place in connection with the principal issues addressed in each of his previous thematic reports; and in section IV he makes recommendations for reform of the United Nations institutional architecture for addressing issues related to human rights and counter-terrorism.

II. Activities of the Special Rapporteur

  1. Since the issuance of his previous report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/31/65), the Special Rapporteur took part in the activities set out below.

  2. On 21 October 2016, the Special Rapporteur presented to the General Assembly his report on the impact of counter-terrorism measures on the human rights of migrants and refugees (A/71/384). The Special Rapporteur also held an interactive dialogue with the Assembly on the report.

  3. On 9 November, the Special Rapporteur participated by videoconference in the interactive workshop with judges, lawyers, law enforcement officials and others who had contributed to the drafting of the policy and legal framework of a proposed counter-terrorism act for Sri Lanka, held in Colombo on 8 and 9 November.

  4. On 20 and 21 November, the Special Rapporteur travelled to Saudi Arabia to hold preliminary talks with the Government to pave the way for a future official visit to the Kingdom. In Riyadh, he met with several senior government officials and was shown a central prison and a “consoling and care facility” for persons convicted of “terrorism”. The Special Rapporteur was not in a position to conduct a full assessment of conditions of deprivation of liberty in these and other facilities in the Kingdom. He expressed a keen interest in undertaking an official country visit to Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2017, a proposal which was welcomed by the Government.

  5. The Special Rapporteur continued to take action in response to communications, concerns and allegations received from individuals and organizations. He continued to pursue dialogue with Governments, including by sending requests for official visits. The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government of Tunisia for inviting him to undertake a country visit from 30 January to 3 February 2017. The report on this mission will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March 2018. He regrets that despite long-standing requests, no other invitations were received during the period under consideration.