Since the turn of the millennium, the world has been facing a global terrorist threat which undermines peace and security, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law. No country or region is immune from this.

In this global state of emergency new and revised anti-terrorism legislation have broadened behaviors considered ‘acts of terrorism’ and a significant increase percentage of death sentences are imposed for terrorist crimes, causing a parallel increase in the use of death penalty in ordinary context.

Any state of emergency (through emergency law or a de-facto emergency status) should be an extension of the rule of law, not its abrogation and certain rights are non-derogable even in times of public emergency ! In working towards ending impunity and injustice, which undermine political stability or transition, we must be vigilant that the counter-terrorism measures taken by States are respectful of the rule of law and consistent with their obligations under international law and Constitution.

While terrorist acts are never acceptable, the complexity of the causes should be mirrored by complex and suitable responses that do not just tackle the symptoms. In this context, the Action aims to avoid the risk that the death penalty is used arbitrarily, unlawfully and discriminately: due process and fair trials should be ensured as well the fighting against terrorism should be in compliance with human rights.