We stand in solidarity with victims of extremist attacks: human rights must be upheld while fighting terror

Press release
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Attacks in churches and hotels shook Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, 21 April. A total of eight explosions left 253 people dead. The government determined that a local extremist fringe group, National Tawheed Jamath, was behind the attacks, and the Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

FIDH and its 184 member organizations condemn this barbarous attack in the strongest terms. We stand in solidarity with the victims’ families and with the people of Sri Lanka, a country which is still contending with the legacy of a devastating quarter-century civil war that ended just a decade ago.

From the heinous attack against the Parisian satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on 7 January 2015 to the extreme-right terrorist attack claiming 49 lives in Christchurch, New Zealand mosques on 15 March, radicalism kills, regardless of the ideology motivating it. Yet another extremist attack on religious minorities occurred on Saturday, 27 April, when a gunman in San Diego, California opened fire in a synagogue.

Our Federation fights tirelessly to defend human rights around the world. These rights have served as a compass guiding us since our founding in 1922.

Defeating the terrorist madness requires placing respect for human rights at the center of states’ and institutions’ responses. Eroding fundamental freedoms in the name of fighting terror is a disturbing trend in democratic societies.

In addition to our solidarity with the victims, we are ever-conscious of our duty to stay vigilant against security-motivated human rights abuses, which we document meticulously.

As we mourn together the loss of human life, is of utmost importance that human rights do not become another casualty.

We were Charlie. We were Christchurch. Today we are Colombo and San Diego.

We remain determined, as ever, to defend human rights for everyone, everywhere.

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