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Commissioner's reaction to racist attacks on French Minister of Justice Taubira

Strasbourg 14/11/2013
Chritiane Taubira - photo Mathieu Delmestre Chritiane Taubira - photo Mathieu Delmestre

The racist attacks on Ms Christiane Taubira, the French Minister of Justice, over the last few months give serious cause for concern. Racist speech and, more broadly speaking, the rejection of diversity, seriously undermine human rights, human dignity and the values on which today's Europe is founded.

I therefore wish to express my solidarity with Ms Taubira.

Unfortunately this type of attack is becoming commonplace in European countries.  It is therefore necessary to act against racial hatred as quickly as possible and with determination, at both national and international level, by firmly condemning and prosecuting those responsible. Journalists also have a particularly important role to play by not allowing such speech to proliferate.

Indeed, the right to freedom of expression does not include racist or hate speech, which have no place in a democratic society where everyone, irrespective of their sex, religion or ethnic or social origin has the right to take part in democratic life. The future of this society depends very much on the ability of the authorities, the media and the public to reject this type of speech before it translates into acts of violence.