From the Foreword
In the introduction to last year’s annual report, I claimed that 2016 would be remembered as a turning point for human rights protection in Europe. In a positive scenario, 2016 would be remembered as the year we hit bottom and began to bounce back. In a darker scenario, it would mark the beginning of the end of the post-war human rights system. Needless to say, there were few signs of an upturn in 2017.
On Counter-terrorism and human rights protection
The Commissioner reiterated these concerns in a series of statements.
On the occasion of the Data Protection Day and the anniversary of Convention 108 on Personal Data Protection which took place on 27 January, the Commissioner published a statement stressing that
mass surveillance is a threat to individual rights to privacy and data protection.
He insisted on the need for safeguards against abuse to prevent counter-terrorism measures from undermining democracy under the guise of defending it.
On 15 September, the Commissioner participated and made the concluding observations in the Third Conference of the Independent Police Complaint Authorities’ Network (IPCAN) in Strasbourg.
The Commissioner expressed his concern that one of the major reactions by states to terrorist attacks has been to adopt laws on surveillance which raise serious issues of compatibility with human rights standards.
The Commissioner was also worried by the tendency in certain states to normalise emergency measures by embedding them in ordinary legislation.
He underlined that all instances of misconduct by police forces are corrosive of the public trust and stressed that independent police complaint mechanisms, like the members of IPCAN, can play a vital role in upholding the rule of law and human rights standards.
The Commissioner stated that in this age of terrorism such safeguards are necessary to
prevent deterioration in the quality of democracies while fighting terrorism.
..... and lots more related to human rights issues and abuses cross Europe.
The Annual activity report 2017 from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights is available from Coe website