The consequences of counter-terrorism policies on fundamental human rights : discussing the impact on the prohibition of torture

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Parziale, Viviana
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The events of September 11 and the consequential modus operandi chosen by the Bush’s administration generated a severe international debate on torture, as the U.S. forces have mainly used it as a questionable mean to interrogate and obtain information from suspected terrorists. The subject of torture has been re-questioned since, and a whole new literature has flourished, and new discussions arose between the ones who condemn torture in its every form and those who justify it in certain particular cases. The overall debate on torture, the different views from the academic world, the latest proposals and critics will be the focus of this work. Beginning with a brief analysis of the close link between terrorism and human rights, the thesis will proceed examining how the counter-terrorism strategy implemented by the United States failed to respect and adhere to international law obligations as far as human rights were concerned. Despite all the numerous violations occurred, the aspect of torture will be the only one considered throughout this work. Finally, an in-depth critical analysis on the on-going erosion of the prohibition on torture will be provided on a three-bases structure: the morals, the laws and the factual situation. Questioning the three dimensions, the goal will be to understand and evaluate the impact of the United States counter-terrorism policy on the range of the peremptory norm.
Second semester University: Université Libre de Bruxelles.
September 11th 2001, terrorism, torture, torture victims, United States of America