Blasphemy laws are condemned by human rights advocates all over the world because they don’t really require any proof or evidence to incarcerate the accused.
Millions of innocent people are sentenced to life imprisonment or death because more often than not they do not have or – in some extreme cases – are not allowed to produce any kind of evidence to prove their case.
Although the government has always vehemently opposed such dubious laws that limit the religious freedom of people, a leaked source has revealed that President Obama has approved an equally controversial terrorist watch list system at home.
Last year, the National Counterterrorism Center issued a secret 166-page paper entitled the “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance” that included the government’s rules to determine which individuals can be listed on its terrorist database.
The secret government document was recently published by The Intercept news website in a detailed investigative report which revealed that authorities can place Americans as well as foreigners on a terrorist watchlist indefinitely on the basis of vague rules without concrete evidence.
“The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither ‘concrete facts’ nor ‘irrefutable evidence’ to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist,” the Intercept article stated.
In addition, blacklisted people can be banned from flying or subjected to additional searches and security screening at airports and border crossings.
Even worse is the fact that individuals included in the watchlist have no way of finding out exactly why they are deemed suspicious by the authorities.
Following the revelations by Intercept, human rights organizations slammed the guidelines for the watchlist, arguing that they were flawed and provided the government a little too much power over the accused.
"Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future," said Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s national security project.
Although, a lot of people might say that the authorities already don’t require evidence or proof to single out a person as a terrorist suspect, this document is undoubtedly just another step in the wrong direction.