cage

 

The Octopus-type tentacles of America’s discredited “War on Terror”, continues to have a devastating effect on civil rights.

Apart from military invasions, US-led wars have destroyed and destabilized many regions of the world, Muslim countries in particular, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

Under the guise of fighting “terrorism”, the insane brutality associated with deliberate mass murders of innocent people has yet to hold war mongers accountable and punished.

Instead we find that the legacy of illegal policies and practices contrived under the rubric of the “War on Terror”, keeps plundering freedom and liberties.

The latest casualty is a London-based human rights activist Mohamed Rabbani. As director of CAGE, an organization devoted to the protection of civilized values of truth and justice, Rabbani has been found guilty in a U.K. court for upholding a client’s confidentiality.

The judge’s verdict was clearly informed by intrusive anti-terror legislation. In other words, the right to privacy, especially attorney-client confidentiality, has yet again been sacrificed at the altar of the “War on Terror”.

The paradox is that despite not having anything to do with terrorism, Rabbani’s conviction under counter-terrorism legislation has brought to the surface the absurdity of maintaining such questionable laws.

Countries who value the rule of law and the legitimacy of fundamental human rights, must know that unless urgent steps are taken to scrap anti-terror legislation, civil rights groups and activists will be unfairly harassed, maligned and criminalized.

A suspended sentence and cost order of £600 means that he will be spared imprisonment. While it comes as a relief to his legal team and supporters, Rabbani has vowed that CAGE will contest unjust laws.

As in the case of South Africa, special legislation spawned in the wake of 9/11 at the behest of America, many member states of the United Nations were misled into enacting draconian laws.

These measures have extracted a huge toll on human dignity. Torture, rendition and detention without recourse to due process became an “acceptable norm”, as has been evident in the extensive web of “black holes” scattered across America’s client-states.

Guantanamo became synonymous with ruthless authoritarianism and a badge of ignominy for the so-called “leader” of the free world.

Rabbani’s case will hopefully reignite a fresh debate on the misguided “War on Terror” and its attack on basic human dignity. Justice is a compelling underpinning of universal values and cannot under any circumstances be forfeited.

“If privacy and confidentiality are crimes, then the law stands condemned” said Rabbani as he stepped out of court to address friends and supporters.

I agree: draconian laws must be consigned to the dustbin of history.

 

Iqbal Jassat

Exec Member: Media Review Network

Johannesburg

South Africa

Iqbal Jassat

Iqbal Jassat is an acclaimed writer, analyst and commentator and one of the founder members of MRN. His analysis is featured regularly in mainstream and alternate media outlets around the world.