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Respecting Human Rights While Countering Terrorism

Piet de Klerk
Journal20 February 2020
This article was published on Brill | Nijhoff


This is an article by a practitioner who has worked on two sides of the divide between countering terrorism and protecting human rights, both as Netherlands Human Rights Ambassador and later as the Dutch Special Counterterrorism Envoy. What was most striking in looking at these two periods that were roughly a decade apart, was how different the issues and perspectives at the junction of countering terrorism and respecting human rights were. These can be attributed to three factors: 1) that in the first period the shock of 9/11 was still new and the US was in overdrive; 2) the differences between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State; and 3) revolutionary technological changes that have an impact on human rights and on the way a terrorist organization can function these days.


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