BRUSSELS: A raft of new counterterrorism laws across Europe discriminate against Muslims and refugees, spreading fear and alienation, Amnesty International said in a report on Tuesday.
The human rights group sounded the alarm over security measures adopted over the past two years in 14 EU nations, including expanded surveillance powers.
During that period, militant attacks have killed some 280 people in France, Belgium and Germany.
The attacks, mostly claimed by the Islamic State group, have fanned tensions over immigration, fuelled the popularity of right-wing parties and made security a key theme in upcoming French, Dutch and German elections.
“Right across the EU regional space we see Muslims and foreigners being equated with terrorists,” said Julia Hall, author of the report.
She warned that ‘draconian’ surveillance measures and powers of search, detention and arrest like those introduced in France since November 2015 could be abused to target minority groups that did not pose a genuine threat.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2017.
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