“On Human Rights Day, political leaders and parliamentarians should take a step back from the political turmoil and look at the world through the prism of human rights… Human Rights are violated or threatened every day and sometimes we may feel helpless in the face of the challenges, be they Syria, the refugee crisis, the economic crisis, conflicts amongst our own member states, the rise of hate and xenophobia or terrorism.
Combatting terrorism as one of the numerous challenges. It brutally attacks all our freedoms. It attacks freedom of speech by targeting and trying to muzzle free media. It attacks freedom of religion by abusing and hijacking religious beliefs. Terrorism also attacks freedom of movement, it attacks the economy and people’s livelihood, and it takes life indiscriminately. Facing such great threats, we have to be even more watchful not to sacrifice human rights and fundamental freedoms. The temptation is strong to try and reassure our citizens by resorting to greater security measures, sometimes at the cost of the rights and freedoms of each and every one of us.
We have to be honest and clear: there is no free society without threats to security. Human rights should not be sacrificed on the altar of the fight against terrorism – this is precisely what the terrorists want! We must not give this to them.”
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Jean-Claude Frécon, stated that “this day is not only a commemoration, but it is also a stark reminder for us all, because humanity is still far from the ideal it set for itself in 1948”. He addressed in particular the difficult nature of the current situation. “The economic crisis, the refugee crisis, and terrorist threats are all challenges which, if we are not careful, could endanger human rights and fundamental freedoms. Democracy cannot be alive and well without respect for human rights” he added.
Source: Council of Europe