OSCE PA human rights leaders urge action on combating intolerance in wake of Hanau shootings

Special debateSpecial Debate on combating anti-Semitism, discrimination and intolerance in the OSCE region, held in Vienna on 21 February 2020COPENHAGEN, 25 February 2020 – Following up on the special debate on combating anti-Semitism, discrimination and intolerance at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Winter Meeting on 21 February, the leaders of the PA’s human rights committee today recalled the importance of discrimination and extremism being high on the international agenda. They condemned the attacks in Hanau, Germany, on 19 February, and noted that they serve as a tragic reminder of the need for all public figures to renounce intolerance.

Today Chair Kyriakos Hadjiyianni (Cyprus), Vice-Chair Michael Georg Link (Germany), and Rapporteur Kari Henriksen (Norway) issued the following joint statement: “As last Friday’s debate in Vienna demonstrated, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is a powerful forum for sharing best practices and experiences in counteracting intolerance and extremist violence. We in the OSCE PA’s human rights committee underline that all Members of the Parliamentary Assembly should continue this work in their home countries, speaking out against intolerance and building bridges with marginalized communities. Politicians and leaders cannot remain complacent and allow discriminatory rhetoric to be normalized. Racist speech leads to hate, and hate leads to violence.”

Rapporteur Kari Henriksen is preparing a report and draft resolution for the OSCE PA’s Annual Session in Vancouver this summer. Presenting her ideas for the report last week, she said: “Intolerance takes many forms. Racism, anti-Semitism, bias against Muslims, against Christians, against non-believers, against Roma, against people with disabilities, based on sexual orientation, and, of course, bias based on gender. None of these is acceptable, and we must all work to fight this. We must raise knowledge, encourage inter-religious dialogues and implement legislation against hate – violence and hate speech.”

Watch the special debate on combating anti-Semitism and intolerance here.



Нэт Пэрри

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