The Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy 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 – the terrorist attacks in Paris
in January 2015 were attacks against the very values of democracy
and freedom in general. They were based on hatred which no arguments
can justify. There must be no “but”.
Freedom 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.
Europe 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. The principle of the separation
of State and religion must also be protected.
The report 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. Therefore, it proposes specific recommendations to
the member States of the Council of Europe for these purposes.