I began my morning by listening to a podcast interview from the CBC with Helena Kennedy, a British scholar and broadcaster, who explores human rights challenges emerging in the 21st century. The interview was part of a series called, Fragile Freedoms: the Global Struggle for Human Rights on CBC’s Ideas.
Much of her insights in the podcast came from a legal perspective. She is a lawyer that takes on cases that focus heavily on human rights and international relations. Her insights were particularly interesting to me when she mentioned how countries set a legal precedence when constructing laws that are meant to prevent terrorism. Her argument was that when countries erode the fundamental human rights of suspected terrorists—in the name of protecting the state—it sets a precedence for other countries to further erode the rights of their own citizens. She gave the example of when the US government passed laws after the collapse of the twin towers in New York in September 2001. These laws allowed the US to hold a suspected terrorist indefinitely which, in part, gave countries like Syria the opportunity to rationalize their aggression against their own people in the name of fighting terrorism.
Hear more from the podcast by following this link:http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/ideas_20140402_45481.mp3