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AUSTRIA: OHCHR’s comments on the Anti-Terrorism Act

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24/08/2021 – Comments by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the Austrian Anti-Terrorism Act – AUT 2/2021

At the end of August, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – namely the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the Special Rapporteur on the protection and the promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief – sent a letter to the Austrian government on the recently enacted Anti-Terrorism Act.

This new legislation introduces “religiously motivated extremist association” as a basis of criminalization and implements a new electronic surveillance system for individual on conditional release – all in potential contravention of Austria’s international and human rights law obligations.

The five Special Rapporteurs expressed concern that the Act will result in the infringement of fundamental human rights, including the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association, privacy, liberty, movement, work and education.

Read the Comments here.