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Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq

Recommendation 2084 (2016)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 27 January 2016 (6th Sitting) (see Doc. 13937, report of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, rapporteur: Mr Dirk Van der Maelen; Doc. 13959, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Pieter Omtzigt). Text adopted by the Assembly on 27 January 2016 (6th Sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 2091 (2016) on foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, as well as to Resolution 2090 (2016) on combating international terrorism while protecting Council of Europe standards and values, and invites the Committee of Ministers to give appropriate consideration to the ideas and proposals contained therein.
2. The recent terrorist attacks which took the lives of hundreds of citizens of Turkey, the Russian Federation, Lebanon, France, Tunisia and many other countries, require the international community to step up co-operation in the fight against terrorism.
3. The Assembly is convinced that the Council of Europe, with its rich experience in consolidating democracy, protecting human rights, strengthening the rule of law and dealing with issues related to democratic security, can make a more substantial contribution to efforts to address the root causes of the phenomenon of foreign fighters, and to preventing terrorism in general.
4. The Assembly welcomes the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the Action Plan on the fight against violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism. It invites the Committee of Ministers to:
4.1 strengthen the Council of Europe’s contribution to the fight against terrorism, enhance its capacities and increase the resources available for activities in this area;
4.2 ensure the swift implementation of the measures aimed at preventing and fighting radicalisation contained in the action plan, and give more priority to education for democratic citizenship;
4.3 give substance to the proposal to draw up a Committee of Ministers recommendation on terrorists acting alone.
5. Furthermore, the Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to consider the feasibility of developing, at the level of the Council of Europe, a comprehensive legal definition of terrorism, which would greatly contribute to enhanced pan-European co-operation on preventing and suppressing terrorism, the efficient extradition of terror suspects and the provision of mutual legal assistance between member States in terrorism cases.
6. The Assembly invites the member States to work towards concluding agreements with third countries, the terms of which would guarantee:
6.1 that they stand ready to receive their nationals who have been expelled from Council of Europe member States on account of terrorist offences;
6.2 that, in accordance with international law, such persons will not be subjected to torture or capital punishment.