Reports 19/06/2023

Don’t call me terrorist, when I’m not

The objective is to understand how false accusations of terrorism by states and the media contribute to the rise of authoritarianism by suppressing pro-democracy movements and human rights defenders in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

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Ricard Gonzalez

The report assesses the extent to which unfair accusations of terrorism by state actors are widespread, analyzing cases in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, Spain, and a category that includes other EU countries besides Spain. The report also provides a series of policy recommendations to address this issue.

Governments worldwide have adopted new legislative frameworks that have expanded the state’s capacity to control, enforce intrusive surveillance measures, and restrict the freedoms of their populations. This trend has even intensified in some countries following the COVID-19 pandemic. This power is used to persecute and suppress social movements, dissenters, political parties, or civil society organizations that advocate for radical change or openly criticize government policies.

Picture: Xavi Ariza

As there is no internationally agreed-upon definition of terrorism, “terrorism” has become a word used as a tool against “enemies of the state,” whether they employ violent methods or not, in order to delegitimize them in the eyes of the public.