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Amnesty International Says European Antiterror Laws Undermine Rights

Belgian police take part in a search in the Brussels borough of Schaerbeek following bombings in Brussels in March.

Counterterrorism measures that have been adopted across Europe in the wake of deadly terrorist attacks are eroding human rights under the guise of defending them, Amnesty International warns.

In a report released on January 17, the London-based group analyzed counterterrorism legislation passed by 14 EU member states over the past two years, and said they were driving Europe into a "deep and dangerous state of permanent securitization."

It found that these laws often enhanced government powers to increase surveillance and restricted freedom of expression.

A growing number of countries has made it easier to declare states of emergency and grant special powers to security services with little judicial oversight, the report said.

"Discriminatory measures have had a disproportionate and profoundly negative impact on Muslims, foreign nationals, or people perceived to be Muslim or foreign," it also warned.

With reporting by dpa
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