In the introductory essay, “Twin Threats: How the Politics of Fear and the Crushing of Civil Society Imperil Global Rights,” Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth details how fear drove two of the most important global developments of 2015.
Fears of terror attacks and of the potential impact of refugee influx led to a visible scaling back of rights in Europe and other regions. Scapegoating Muslims and refugees, Roth argues, hurts and alienates populations crucial to counterterrorism efforts.
Efforts to weaken encryption of communications and to intensify surveillance—the knee-jerk response of many governments to terror attacks—undermines privacy rights, can endanger critical infrastructure, and may distract from the focused investigative work that should be at the heart of counterterrorism efforts.
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