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Terrorist attacks in Paris: together for a democratic response

Doc. 13684: collection of written amendments | Doc. 13684 | Final version

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ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly is outraged by the barbarian terrorist attacks in Paris on 7, 8 and 9 January 2015, which led to the death of 17 people. Among them were journalists, cartoonists and staff killed in cold blood at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, policemen and people of the Jewish faith. The Assembly conveys its sympathy to the families of the victims and expresses its solidarity with the French people and authorities.
2More than an assault on freedom of expression or yet another act of anti-Semitic violence – which they also were – these were attacks against the very values of democracy and freedom in general, against the type of society that our pan-European Organisation has aimed at building since the end of the Second World War.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 2, insert the following paragraph:

"These attacks are the result of a murderous ideology: radical Islamism and jihadism. As Prime Minister Manuel Valls said before the French National Assembly, "France is at war with terrorism, radical Islamism and jihadism"."

3These were terrorist attacks based on hatred, which no arguments can justify and any attempt to find excuses for the actions of the murderers must be firmly rejected. There must be no “but”. As the Assembly put it in its Resolution 1258 (2001) on democracies facing terrorism, “[t]here can be no justification for terrorism”.
4In addition, the Assembly wishes to emphasise that these terrorist attacks were obviously not the result of an alleged plot to stigmatise Islam or Muslims but a co-ordinated act designed to silence, through crime, journalists and a newspaper that symbolise freedom of expression, and to kill people for the sole reason that they are Jewish or policemen because they embody the defence of institutions and the rule of law.

27 January 2015

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr Alain DESTEXHE, Ms Tinatin KHIDASHELI, Ms Kristýna ZELIENKOVÁ, Mr Deniz BAYKAL

Votes: 127 in favor 4 against 3 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 4, insert the following paragraph:

"Recalling the recent outrages directed against Jews in Toulouse and Brussels, the Assembly reiterates its condemnation of any acts of anti-Semitism. It wholly rejects any suggestion that the Arab-Israeli conflict, or other events in the Middle East or elsewhere, could possibly justify such acts within our European democratic societies."

5The Assembly recalls that, in line with well-established case law of the European Court of Human Rights, the use of satire, including irreverent satire, and information or ideas that “offend, shock or disturb”, including criticism of religion, are protected as part of freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5). Such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance and broad-mindedness without which there is no democratic society.
6Freedom comes with responsibility and it is for the democratic institutions, including the courts, to strike a fair balance between freedom of expression and its authorised limitations, such as hate speech or incitement to violence – which should be laid down in the legislation of all European States – under the ultimate control of the European Court of Human Rights. In this context, the Assembly recalls its Resolution 1510 (2006) where it stated that “freedom of expression as protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights should not be further restricted to meet increasing sensitivities of certain religious groups”.
7The Assembly notes that the fact that the terrorists claimed to be acting “in the name of Islam”, thus insulting the very religion they claimed to defend, has prompted 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 Assembly strongly condemns all malicious acts, the number of which is currently on the rise, against citizens of the Muslim faith and their places of worship.
8The Assembly recalls its constant condemnation of any development of anti-Semitism. It considers that the Israeli-Arab conflict cannot justify any increase in such acts within European democratic societies.

27 January 2015

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr Alain DESTEXHE, Ms Tinatin KHIDASHELI, Ms Kristýna ZELIENKOVÁ, Mr Deniz BAYKAL

Votes: 126 in favor 3 against 4 abstentions

In the draft resolution, delete paragraph 8.

9At the same time, the fact that the three jihadists were French, born and brought up in a disadvantaged neighbourhood, as well as the fact that many people claiming to be Muslims, especially among the young, took the side of the terrorists in the social media networks, has prompted a twofold debate: on the one hand, on the urgent need for a common, international but also specifically European response to the jihadist threat; on the other, on the need to combat social exclusion, discrimination, violence and segregation, as the breeding ground for terrorism and religious fanaticism.
10The whole of Europe joined in condemning the attacks and in mourning the innocent victims of 7, 8 and 9 January and the whole of Europe marched alongside France on Sunday 11 January 2015 to express its rejection of terrorism and its stand for the values of democracy and freedom. The whole of Europe must now find, together, a democratic response to the rise of terrorism and radical Islamism. The values on which Europe is founded are not outmoded. Democracy, freedom and human rights are worth fighting for.

27 January 2015

Tabled by Mr Reha DENEMEÇ, Mr Ömer SELVİ, Mr Ahmet Kutalmiş TÜRKEŞ, Mr Egemen BAĞIŞ, Ms Tülin ERKAL KARA, Mr Şaban DİŞLİ

Votes: 25 in favor 100 against 9 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 10, replace the words "radical Islamism" with the following words: "all forms of extremism".

Explanatory note

Associating a religion with terrorism is unacceptable and would prove counterproductive in the long run by further stigmatising, segregating and isolating adherents of a religion and culture.

11Europe must continue to show that it is not afraid and keep using humour and satire. Not to do so in the name of political correctness would mean that terrorists had won. Secularism, i.e. the principle of the separation of State and religion, must also be protected.
12Freedom 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 attacks on Charlie Hebdo.
13The Assembly firmly believes that democracies have the right, and the obligation, to defend themselves when attacked. It thus finds that the fight against terrorism and jihadism must be reinforced while ensuring respect for human rights, the rule of law and the common values upheld by the Council of Europe.
14In this respect, the Assembly recalls its Resolution 1840 (2011) on human rights and the fight against terrorism, in which it stated that the concept of “war on terror” was misleading and unhelpful and was a threat to the entire framework of international human rights. Terrorists are criminals, not soldiers and terrorist crimes are not akin to acts of war. It calls in particular on member States to:
14.1ensure that a fair balance be struck between defending freedom and security and violating those very rights at the same time;
14.2refrain from indiscriminate mass surveillance which has proven to be ineffective for the prevention of terrorism and therefore is not only dangerous for the respect of human rights but also a waste of resources;
14.3grant 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;
14.4ensure that intelligence services from different European countries increase their collaboration. Co-operation with other democracies as well as countries in the Middle East and the Arab world is also important;
14.5share national records of persons condemned on terrorist charges as well as information on airline passengers posing security threats, subject to appropriate data protection guarantees;
14.6pay serious attention to the ways into which money and weapons end up in the hands of potential terrorists, in order to dismantle such networks and punish the culprits.
15With a view to strengthening the legal action against terrorism, the Assembly also:
15.1calls on Council of Europe member States, and neighbouring countries, which have not yet done so, to sign and ratify, as a matter of priority, the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196);
15.2welcomes and fully supports the preparation of an additional protocol on “foreign terrorist fighters” to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, an issue which the Assembly itself follows closely;
15.3supports the demands by several member States of the European Union asking the European Parliament to re-consider its position on the Passenger Name Record (PNR) system, which it has been blocking for almost two years, subject to appropriate data protection guarantees.
16The Assembly invites newspapers and television channels to consider a code of conduct regarding coverage of terrorist events, striking a balance between the need for freedom of information and the imperatives of police action.
17The Assembly underlines that security responses must be accompanied by preventive measures aimed at eradicating the root causes of radicalisation and the rise of religious fanaticism, especially among young people. In this respect, the Assembly asks member States in particular to:
17.1study carefully the situation in prisons and the ways into which prisoners are indoctrinated into terrorism, and in particular jihadism, and take measures to counter this phenomenon;
17.2closely monitor the Internet and social media with a view, in particular, to fighting hate speech, radicalisation and cyber-jihadism;
17.3grant appropriate means and resources to schools and teachers to promote education for democratic citizenship and human rights, with special emphasis given to education in marginalised and disadvantaged contexts;
17.4promote intercultural dialogue and the “living together” model, including in schools;
17.5take measures to combat marginalisation, social exclusion, discrimination and segregation, especially among young people in disadvantaged neighbourhoods;
17.6support families in their role to educate their children to respect the values of democracy and tolerance;
17.7protect journalists, writers and other artists from extremist threats and refrain from any interference with the exercise of their freedom of expression, in full compliance with the law, be it in printed or electronic media, including social media;
17.8support action by the Council of Europe in the above-mentioned fields and allocate appropriate means and resources, in line with the proposals made by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
18For its part, the Assembly resolves to continue to follow closely and try to tackle, through the work of its committees and the newly launched No Hate Parliamentary Alliance, the main challenges rising from the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, namely: the need to live together; the upsurge of the jihadist threat and the issue of jihadists arriving from Europe to fight in Iraq and Syria; the protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism; the need to combat the root causes of radicalisation and religious fanaticism, such as social exclusion, discrimination or even segregation; the process of radicalisation in prisons; the continuing fight against hate speech, racism and intolerance, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; and the role of education for democratic citizenship, human rights and intercultural dialogue.

BDraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution … (2015) “Terrorist attacks in Paris: together for a democratic response” in which it expressed its outrage at the killing of 17 people, including journalists, cartoonists and staff killed in cold blood at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, policemen exercising their duty and people taken in hostage merely because they were of Jewish confession. The Assembly conveys its sympathy to the families of the victims and expresses its solidarity with the French people and authorities.
2The Assembly considers that, more than an assault on freedom of expression, aimed at silencing and intimidating critical voices, or yet another act of anti-Semitic violence – which they also were – these were attacks against the very values of democracy and freedom in general. It underlines that any security responses aimed at reinforcing the fight against terrorism and jihadism in full respect of human rights must be accompanied by preventive measures aimed at eradicating the root causes of radicalisation and the rise of religious fanaticism.
3The Assembly therefore asks the Committee of Ministers to:
3.1bring to the attention of the governments of the member States the specific recommendations addressed to them in this respect in Resolution … (2015);
3.2allocate appropriate means and resources to implement the proposals made by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe for “Immediate Action by the Council of Europe to combat radicalisation leading to terrorism”.