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Terrorist attacks: combating these violent crimes and making the care of victims another priority

Samuel Paty

"In an already difficult context of the health crisis and now of lockdown, France has once again been struck by cowardly violence and a blind brutality that shatters lives and families. My thoughts and condolences go out to the relatives of the victims," said Marietta Karamanli (France, SOC), former Assembly rapporteur on protecting and supporting victims of terrorism.

"All victims of terrorist attacks, including their families, have specific physical, material, emotional and psychological needs and must receive adequate protection and support to ensure that their dignity and human rights are fully respected. The State must also help them to emerge from their status as victims by ensuring that they regain control over their lives,” she added.

"At the same time, we must remain firm in our determination to counter fanaticism and violent extremism of all kinds, without weakness and without compromise, in line with the fundamental values of the Council of Europe, while also ensuring that social cohesion and collective solidarity are preserved. When an attack is carried out against one country, the entire international community is targeted, and no country can consider itself safe," Ms Karamanli concluded.

By adopting Resolution 2303 and Recommendation 2164 in October 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly stressed the need for a more systematic approach to the protection and support of victims of terrorism and proposed to member States a package of measures concerning the recognition of the status of these victims, specific support at national and international level, as well as co-operation with civil society.

In particular, the Assembly drew attention to the need for the implementation of Article 13 of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism entitled "Protection, compensation and assistance to victims of terrorism", as well as the revised guidelines of the Committee of Ministers on this issue. Finally, it encouraged the European Union, in consultation with the Council of Europe, to adopt a European Charter on the Rights of Victims of Terrorism.