Foreign terrorist fighters

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Eighteen signatories open the way by signing new Additional Protocol to Convention on Prevention of Terrorism

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Press release – DC144(2015)

Foreign terrorist fighters: eighteen signatories open the way by signing new Additional Protocol to Convention on Prevention of Terrorism

Riga, 22.10.2015 – The Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, aimed at tackling the problem of “foreign terrorist fighters”, was opened for signature today in the presence of several European ministers.

The Protocol was signed by the following seventeen States: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The European Union also signed the Protocol together with the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism.

“For the first time in international law, we have an instrument that criminalises early preparations for acts of terror. The Additional Protocol to the Convention of Terrorism sets out how we can jointly take on foreign terrorist fighters within the rule of law and human rights. It is the vital, missing piece of the jigsaw,” said the Council of Europe Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, who called on all the governments to swiftly sign and ratify the instrument.

Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia, declared: “Europe is the first region in the world to set up a regional legal instrument to implement the provisions of the UNSC Resolution No.2178 on foreign terrorist fighters. The contribution of Latvia to the elaboration of the Additional Protocol to the Convention of Terrorism as well as hosting its opening for signature ceremony affirms Latvia’s commitment to the global fight against terrorism.”

“The Council of Europe is uniquely positioned to help find the right response to the major challenge posed by terrorism. This new Protocol on Foreign Terrorist Fighters is an additional powerful tool that can help States in their efforts to prevent extremism and radicalisation, particularly among young people.”, said Igor Crnadak, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Protocol criminalises a number of actions, including intentionally participating in a terrorist group, receiving training for terrorism, travelling abroad for the purpose of terrorism and funding or organising such travel.

It is open for signature by Signatories to the Convention. It will enter into force once ratified by six States.

Source: Council of Europe

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