Terrorists are not freedom fighters: Justice AS Anand

via Pioneer News Service | Kochi published on October 7, 2006

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Justice AS Anand has said that describing terrorists as freedom fighters is an ‘insult’ to those involved in real freedom movements.



Justice Anand was delivering a lecture on “Human Rights – challenge of the 21st century” organised by the VR Krishna Iyer National Foundation for Law and Social Justice here on Saturday.


“One country’s terrorist cannot become another’s freedom fighter. There cannot be alibis or justification for terrorism. A terrorist who violates human rights of innocent citizens must be punished, but his human rights should not be infringed except in the manner permitted by law,” Anand said in an apparent hint at the current debate on the issue of granting clemency to Mohammed Afzal Guru, who is facing execution for his role in the 2001 attack on Parliament.


“Did freedom fighters hijack aeroplanes, rape women, burn mosques and temples?” he asked. There are countries that want to give the cloak of respectability of freedom fighters to terrorists, he said. He pointed out that terrorism and human rights are natural enemies with no possibility of co-existence.


Although terrorism has to be curbed and the war against it should be waged relentlessly, no democratic society can be allowed to “chill” the civil liberties of its citizens.


In the fight against terrorism, sensitivity towards human rights cannot be allowed to be sacrificed, he said. The Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, VK Bali, presided over the function. Justice N Dhinakar, Chairman Kerala Human Rights Commission Chairman, released a book on ‘Justice Krishna Iyer at 90’ edited by barrister MPR Nair.


Kerala Advocate General CP Sudhakara Prasad, senior advocate Kelu Nambiar, and the president of the Kerala High Court Advocates Association attended the meet.



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