It would be expedient if the police and security services have precise instructions concerning reasonable limits and reasons before their entire populations are subjected to biometric technologies. Expansion of control over citizens by security services and police, and limitation of human rights. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, some european countries have broadened the practice of placing their citizens under the control of security services and police. Oftentimes this practice entails limiting individual rights as citizens can be checked and searched wallpaper without any grounds, and information about them can be transferred to state bodies and law-enforcement organizations of other countries (for example, via interpol and Europol). This practice can have grievous consequences for citizens of such countries: they can be denied employment or extradited from the country without citing any reasons. It must not be permitted that operational information, which once served as grounds for placing a person on record, should later ruin this persons life. This kind of work with the population must be streamlined, and criteria for placing citizens on record with security services and police must be made legal and transparent. Also, rigid external control must be established over such procedures. The most acute aspect of control over the operation of security services and police is the protection of human rights in the course of operational work, especially in what regards intelligence.
More than a million British citizens have already voluntarily acquired such documents. However, the use of biometrics in essay official documents raises many questions: Where and how will the information on passport holders be stored? Who will have access to this information? Should any centralized body be established for overseeing this new program? And why should information on innocent people be collected at all? There were no public discussions prior to the introduction of biometric passports, and now there are more questions than answers in this sphere. Technologies are developing at a rapid rate, but is anybody interested in hearing the publics opinion on the matter?
Such situations are rather common in everyday police practices, as well. Human rights and the employment of biometric and visual means of control by security services and police. Any person wishing to rent a car at Londons Stansted airport must have his or her fingerprints scanned. For now, this is only an experiment that is being conducted by the police in the county of Essex, where the airport is located, together with rental firms. Yet this experiment is obligatory for all. The fingerprints of clients are duly passed on to the police if a rented car is stolen or involved in some other crime. In 2006, Britain introduced biometric passports for its citizens, in which information about the passport holder is stored on a tiny computer chip.
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The former un chief reminded that an absolute ban on the use of torture is fixed in international law and is obligatory for all states on all territories under their jurisdiction or control. Those who sanction and employ torture must not remain unpunished. No state should close its eyes to torture being practiced on the territory of a third party. Finally, no person should ever be extradited to a state where there is a threat of torture. Human rights and the employment of weapons and special methods in anti-terrorism and anti-crime operations. Serious concern must be given to the employment of weapons against suspected terrorists, as such operations result in numerous casualties. Everyone remembers the tragic hostage seizure at a moscow theater in October 2002, when more than 100 people died as a result of a gas used by security forces to subdue the hostage-takers.
Or one can mention the security operation to free children taken hostage at a school in Russias Beslan. On each of these tragic occasions, there arise questions over the adequacy of the methods of the security services and police to free hostages or seize terrorists. Another issue involves the physical liquidation of terrorists, and on this point there arises a paradoxical situation: all European countries have abolished the death penalty, while russia has introduced a moratorium. In other words, a terrorist cannot be executed on the basis of a court sentence. On the other hand, any terrorist or suspect can be easily shot dead during a counterterrorism operation, even if he shows no resistance and simply tries to run away, as happened last year in London. On July 22, 2005, Brazilian national jean Charles Menezes was chased onto the london subway by plainclothes British police officers and shot dead at point blank range.
National sovereignty is often violated when security services of one country perform a mission on the territory of another country. There are also disturbing cases when a security service of one country violates the human rights of a citizen of another country, while using the territory and special institutions of a third country for protection. I refer here to the scandal over the existence of cia secret prisons in some european states. Such a practice cannot be recognized as acceptable under any circumstances. Despite international legal bans, this medieval practice continues today. European organizations often accuse russia of practicing torture in the course of its counterterrorism operation in the Chechen Republic.
Unfortunately, this criticism is sometimes well grounded, and Russias prosecutors offices are presently investigating several criminal cases involving torture there. However, russia is not the only country notorious for torture. Suffice it to recall the unsavory actions by troops and security service officers of the. And some european countries in the course of the counterterrorism operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In november 2006, a huge scandal erupted in Great Britain after an investigation revealed that 164 officers had for 10 years practiced refined tortures in British prisons. Amidst the general practice of tortures, which is kept under a shroud of secrecy, then un secretary general Kofi Annan pointed to an even more alarming tendency: some countries, pleading national security considerations, have proposed lifting bans in their national legislations over the use. Annan rightfully argued that fear of terrorists cannot justify the use of their own methods.
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In keeping with the principles of justice and the right to self-determination of peoples that still remain under colonial rule or foreign occupation, it is always emphasized to seek the peaceful settlement of disputes. Global leaders proclaim the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of states; respect for human rights and basic freedoms; equality for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; and international cooperation in addressing economic, social, cultural or humanitarian problems. These issues are directly linked with ensuring human rights in the course of operations conducted by security services, police and armed small forces. Inflexible and stringent actions that undermine state sovereignty (such as those taken by the armed forces and security services of the United States and some european countries in Iraq) provoke fierce resistance from citizens of the victim countries, and myriad destructive elements take advantage. As a result, the level of violence in these countries surpasses all acceptable limits and introduces new waves of terrorism. Not a single decision involving military intervention is made without the knowledge of security services and their concrete assistance. Accordingly, special national forms of control over intelligence agencies are necessary. At the same time, international legal restrictions on the influence of these bodies are also crucial.
of some countries, including Russia, does not even include the notion of security service. Meanwhile, police quite often fulfill the duties of a security service. As a rule, especially during counterterrorist operations, police and security services operate as a single unit and, naturally, bear joint responsibility for violations of human rights and democratic freedoms. Particular problems that demand a solution are:. Observance of the sovereignty of nation-states. World leaders repeatedly declare their intention to support those efforts that ensure sovereign equality for all states, as well as respect for their territorial integrity and political independence. Appeals are often made to nations to abstain from using force or the threat of force, which would not correspond to the objectives and principles of the United Nations.
It would seem that these documents set out in detail the required approaches to the problem of democratic oversight of the security sphere. Yet this issue still has many aspects that require in-depth analysis together strange with the development of corresponding recommendations. One is to ensure the protection of human rights and basic freedoms while security services and police fulfill their functions in countering new challenges and threats. Why should this problem be formulated in such a way? First, the need to increase the protection of human rights and basic freedoms amidst the struggle against terrorism has been repeatedly raised in conceptual documents of the. It was formulated in a particularly acute and comprehensive way in the Global counterterrorism Strategy, adopted by the un general Assembly in September 2006, as well as in documents of the july 2006 G8 summit. Second, the international community should not confine itself to counterterrorism measures alone. Terrorism is closely intertwined with organized crime, corruption, drug and human trafficking, illegal migration, and the illegal arms trade. Every operation conducted by security services and police is usually of a comprehensive nature, but occasionally it is difficult to draw a clear line between different kinds of criminal activity, as well as between cause and consequence.
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The international community has been increasingly active in oliver discussing principles and methods for establishing democratic control over national security services, and the european Committee on Crime. Problems has conducted a special study on this issue. Center for the democratic Control of Armed Forces and the norwegian. Parliamentary Intelligence oversight Committee have released a guide entitled, handbook on making Intelligence Accountable: Legal Standards and Best Practice for oversight of Intelligence. On June 23, 2005, the parliamentary Assembly of the. Council of Europe issued Recommendation 1713 entitled, democratic oversight of the security sector in Member. At the 969th meeting of the ministers Deputies. June 21, 2006, the council of Europes Committee of Ministers adopted a response to this recommendation.