Human rights best protected by stricter laws, not moral high ground

By Wang Wenwen Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/1 22:38:39

It seems that European leaders have started to learn how to strike a fair balance between security and freedom, after a number of European countries were hit by terror attacks, killing hundreds of people in the past few years.

French President Emmanuel Macron signed controversial anti-terror legislation into law on Monday, ending a two-year state of emergency enacted after the deadliest terror attacks on French soil in modern history exactly two years ago when militants killed 130 people in coordinated attacks across Paris.

The new law gives police greater powers when they crack down on terror acts, including shutting places of worship deemed to be fostering extremism and searching the homes of terror suspects without having to seek a court's approval first.

Critics have decried the measure for its restriction of civil liberties and for targeting minorities. However, Macron defended the law at the European Court of Human Rights, saying "jihadist terrorism" remained the biggest security threat to his country.

Enhancing anti-terror measures has become an inevitable and imminent option taken by Western leaders. US President Donald Trump, following the fatal truck terror attack in New York City on Tuesday afternoon, ordered vetting of travelers to be increased.

Standing on moral high ground, the West once took pride in the limitless freedom it enjoyed and pointed its finger at other countries over their efforts to address security concerns and ensure public order. In Western rhetoric, China is an opponent of liberty and human rights.

As terrorism is sweeping across the globe, China is not immune. China passed its anti-terror law in late 2015 to combat the growing threats the country faces. However, Western media has always found fault with China's anti-terror efforts by adopting a double standard, and critics say the anti-terror law infringes citizens' liberty and targets dissidents and religious minorities.

It is worth pointing out Chinese authorities and Chinese people attach no less importance to these values than their Western counterparts, but they also realize the importance of public security as China is such a big country to govern.

Every incident of bloodshed and the resulting social panic have prompted the West to review its stubborn demand for its so-called freedom and human rights. After the latest truck attack in New York City, Westerners, who endorse human rights more than their lives, need no more such tragedies to convince themselves that stricter anti-terror laws are the best protection for human rights and that China has some experience to offer. Without strict enforcement of anti-terror laws, anyone can become the victim of terrorism some day.

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