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    Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland underlined Thursday that freedom of speech has limits, and called on the Council of Europe to be the voice of reason in the debate on freedom of expression.

    Secretary General of Council of Europe Says Freedom of Speech Has Limits

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    In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris, Thorbjorn Jagland urges the Council of Europe to act as "a voice of reason" in the debate over what limits the freedom of speech has.

    STRASBOURG, January 29 (Sputnik) — Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland underlined Thursday that freedom of speech has limits, and called on the Council of Europe to be the voice of reason in the debate on freedom of expression.

    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), an organization set up in 1949 to uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law, is currently holding its winter session. Media freedom and freedom of speech are key session issues, in the aftermath of the January gun massacre at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris by radical Islamists.

    Jagland said he was becoming increasingly concerned about the debate on the freedom of speech. "On one side, there are people who insist that it should be possible to publish anything and everything," he said, possibly referring to Charie Hebdo, known for its lampooning anti-religious cartoons, including those depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

    "On the other side, there are those who would prefer that we publish nothing at all," he continued. "But both are wrong, and I want the Council of Europe to be a voice of reason in this debate."

    Jagland stressed that protecting freedom of expression means to be "open about its limitations." Those limitations are imposed by individual countries, he said, urging European lawmakers to "continue to be the guardians of the freedom of expression."

    Later on Thursday, PACE is scheduled to hold a debate on the protection of media freedom in Europe.

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    World Reacts to Charlie Hebdo Attack (61)

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    France, freedom of speech, Charlie Hebdo attack, Charlie Hebdo, PACE, Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, Paris
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