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National Security and Counter­terrorism

The Open Society Justice Initiative conducts strategic litigation, research, and advocacy to ensure that national security and counterterror policies conform to human rights standards and the rule of law. 

Too often, governments rely on “national security” and the fight against terrorism to curtail human rights, to justify criminal actions—including torture, kidnapping, disappearances, and extrajudicial killings— and to avoid accountability by relying on secrecy and exceptionalism.

We seek to challenge securitization, including the targeting of individuals in the name of “national security” and the use of “counter-radicalization” strategies that erode basic freedoms—such as restrictions on freedom of expression, illegal surveillance, and monitoring that stigmatizes communities because of their ethnic or religious identity. We also seek to protect the rule of law by exposing those responsible for illegal abuses, and holding them to account before national and international courts.

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