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Attack against Charlie Hebdo: a hate crime based on rejecting freedom of expression

“We condemn with the utmost firmness the murders committed on Wednesday at the headquarters of the French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo, and we extend our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and those close to them,”,said Maria Giannakaki (Greece, SOC), PACE general rapporteur for the fight against racism and intolerance and Gvozden Srećko Flego (Croatia, SOC), rapporteur on protection of media freedom in Europe.

“These murders are hate crimes founded on fanaticism, intolerance and rejection of the other person for being different and of their freedom of thought and expression. These crimes must strengthen our determination to counter intolerance, peacefully and with dignity, and to act resolutely for freedom of the media, one of the foundations of freedom for us all.”

“Freedom in the media comprises the right to express political opinions and to criticise the public authorities and various groups of civil society. This freedom must not be further restricted to respond to the growing sensitivity of certain religious or political groups. The culture of critical debate is a necessary component of democratic societies. Satire, humour and artistic expression must therefore benefit from a high degree of freedom of expression.”