No murder can be justified regardless of what is happening in the Middle East, the PACE rapporteur said. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calls for strengthening actions against terrorism.
STRASBOURG, January 28 (Sputnik) — The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Wednesday adopted a resolution denouncing the January terrorist attacks in Paris as a coordinated act aiming to silence the media.
On January 7, alleged Islamic extremists attacked the editorial office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people. The following day, Amedy Coulibaly, a gunman who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, shot dead a police officer and on January 9 killed four hostages at a kosher food shop in Paris.
“Freedom of expression, in particular that of journalists, writers and other artists, must be protected and governments of member States should not interfere with its exercise be it in printed or electronic media, including the social media. In this respect, the Assembly condemns declarations against media freedom made by certain authorities in the aftermath of the attack on Charlie Hebdo,” the resolution stated.
The document also called for the strengthening of legal action against terrorism, granting “appropriate means to law-enforcement bodies and security and intelligence services and provide training to their members to cope with the rising threats of terrorism, including the jihadist threat,” as well as ensuring that European intelligence services collaborate more.
On top of that, PACE noted that the terrorists, who claimed to be acting in the name of Islam, in fact insulted the religion they claimed to defend, prompting "many Muslim religious leaders, representatives of Islamic associations but also a large number of citizens of Muslim confession to condemn the attacks and warn against the risk of stigmatisation.”
The rapporteur, French Senator Jacques Legendre, stressed, “The attacks in Paris are the attacks that we all feel that attack the heart of what we believe in in Europe – that is freedom, tolerance, culture and civilisation.” He also pointed out that 12 journalists were killed “in cold blood” with a goal of punishing them for the cartoons they have done and “of course to shut them up.”
He also stressed that a killing can never be justified, no matter what is happening in the Middle East.
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