This summer, Women Peacemakers Program staff interviewed Ben Hayes, a researcher on topics such as security policy, counterterrorism, border control and surveillance, about his current work. Ben Hayes has been one of the first to research and write extensively on how countering terrorism financing (CTF) policies have been affecting the right to freedom of association and financial access for nonprofits, and the role of intergovernmental institutions such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in these phenomena. In this interview, he talks about how this topic first came to his attention, current trends in trying to craft solutions for the obstacles faced by nonprofits, as well as his take on what it will take to move forward.
Revelations of UK covert propaganda operation to counter extremism reveals dangers of secretive state-sponsored 'civil society' initiatives. A healthy democracy depends on civil society groups staying independent of government and corporations, or otherwise open about their relationship.
United Nations human rights expert Ben Emmerson today urged governments across the world to ensure that the NGO sector be allowed to continue to play an indispensable role in co-ordinated efforts to counter the spread of terrorism.
Ben Hayes, Gavin Sullivan, Louise Boon-Kuo, Vicki Sentas
16 February 2015
For those interested in peace and the non-violent resolution of conflict the prognosis is not good. Not just because the war on terror keeps producing enemies with whom, it is said, there is no negotiating, but because the legal and political framework it has engendered has transformed the way in which political violence and armed conflict is understood and managed.
International counterterrorism guidelines are being used - and encouraging - authoritarian regimes to repress civil society worldwide. Countries with severe restrictions like Saudi Arabia receive stellar ratings under these guidelines, while much freer countries like Norway are considered non-compliant.
It is time for a closer look at the self-serving claim by nuclear weapons states that one of the greatest dangers is that of nuclear weapons being built or falling into the hands of ‘terrorist groups’.
Making banks and non-profits liable for the acts and social networks of their customers and beneficiaries while holding charities and CSOs responsible for the ‘extremist’ views and actions of their associates stifles freedom of association and expression and promotes self-censorship.
The media and government celebration over the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to allow the extradition of five individuals accused of terrorist offences from Britain to the USA obscures one of the most undemocratic, one-sided and duplicitous treaties that our political masters have ever signed.
The U.S. is 11 years into its current war in Afghanistan and still losing. We never had a chance to "win" this war of vengeance – and while few in Washington are ready to admit that, they’ve continued to revise and redefine just what "winning" might look like.
It wasn’t the events of September 11th that changed the world, but the events of September 12th and beyond, when the Bush administration took the world to war in response; that changed the world, and continues to threaten U.S. and global security, and shred U.S. democracy.
Debate over the 10-year-plus war in Afghanistan tends to focus on how and when it "can be won," obscuring the fundamental question of whether it was morally acceptable in the first place. Now as the US gets closer to consolidating its imperial presence in the region for decades to come, the high cost to the Afghani people continues to be ignored.