COPENHAGEN, 20 December 2016 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) condemned in the strongest terms the attack Monday at a Christmas market in Berlin, offering condolences to the families of the victims and wishing the survivors speedy recoveries. In a statement issued today, she stressed that indiscriminate acts of violence can never be justified or tolerated, and called for increased international co-operation to counter all forms of violent extremism.
“I was deeply saddened to hear the news of the senseless attack in Berlin, which has killed at least 12 innocent people, and I extend heartfelt condolences to the people of Germany and to the OSCE’s Chairperson-in-Office, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. This terrible attack by the driver of a lorry recalls the similar tragic incident earlier this year in Nice while the people of France were celebrating their national holiday. These acts of violence are tragic at any time, but seem to be even more reprehensible when they target people engaging in festivities and celebrations. I wish the families of the victims peace and solace in this holiday season as they deal with this tragedy,” President Muttonen said.
Following the attack in Berlin, news emerged of a gunman opening fire at a mosque in Zurich, Switzerland, seriously injuring three worshippers. Although authorities are not investigating it as an act of terrorism and said that it is too early to say whether there might be any link to the Berlin incident, President Muttonen noted that violent extremism impacts people from all backgrounds and constitutes a serious threat to international security regardless of its motivations.
“As the shooting at a mosque in Zurich sadly demonstrates, violent extremism claims victims from all walks of life and cannot be associated with any race, religion or culture. I urge all of our countries to unite against this scourge and increase our co-operation to detect, prevent and punish acts of extremist violence in all of its forms,” Muttonen said.