Kox: The fight against terrorism and the defence of human rights are complementary

12 December 2018

Kox: The fight against terrorism and the defence of human rights are complementary

SP Senator Tiny Kox, a frequent visitor to Strasbourg, reacts to the gunning down of innocent citizens in the city.

I have just expressed my condolences to the families of the people of Strasbourg who were killed or wounded in last night's terrorist attack. As a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, I have paid many visits to the city in which the Assembly has its main seat and where it holds its plenary meetings. This week I am in another French city in which the Council of Europe frequently meets, Paris, but the whole country has of course been plunged into shock by the latest horror.

It was excruciating to see that Strasbourg's celebrated Christmas Market was the sinister choice of this practitioner of the new barbarity. Thousands and thousands of people visit the market every year, to celebrate 'peace on earth' in this symbolic city which has so often been affected by war and other violence. I've told my French colleagues in the Parliamentary Assembly that I am hoping for broad international support for Strasbourg and for France in the struggle to overcome this latest terrorist calamity and to be able resolutely to continue their fight against all forms of terrorism.

France has been subject to many acts of terrorist violence. Three years ago Paris was hit by the mass murder in the Bataclan concert hall. Hundreds of music fans, most of them young, arrived anticipating an enjoyable evening, but ended up living through – or dying in – the nightmare of their lives. At the request of the Council of Europe I prepared a report on this and on the broader question of terrorism, in which I included proposals on how terrorism can be combated while continuing to observe the fundamental values and standards in relation to human rights. That report, in which I set out to establish that this was indeed possible, that the fight against terrorism and the defence and furtherance of human rights, far from being in conflict, are complementary, gained virtually unanimous support. In my view most of its recommendations remain relevant.

Read Senator Tiny Kox's report to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

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