Secrets and lies

The principle of lawfulness means that if a state is carrying out activities that interfere with human rights, they must have a clearly codified basis in law. A cloak of secrecy chokes our rights. If a state wants to carry out secret surveillance, it needs to have a law that explains how, why and who it may surveil, and that law must be compliant with human rights standards. Any surveillance interferes with the right to private life. Without law, surveillance will be not just an interference with but a violation of privacy…The chance of an individual losing their freedom of thought has a chilling effect on all our freedoms.

Above words of Susie Alegre from her book Freedom to Think (2022) are a chilling reminder to the state institutions in Pakistan to desist from curbing the fundamental right of the citizens to think and express their thoughts without inciting hatred and violence.

Tariq Khosa
Director CGR
29 July 2022.