Statement by Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland on the anti-Semitic acts committed last night in Alsace

Secretary General Strasbourg 19 February 2019
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Cemetery of Quatzenheim. © 2019 AFP

Cemetery of Quatzenheim. © 2019 AFP

I unreservedly condemn the anti-Semitic, barbaric and disgusting acts of desecration of the Jewish cemetery in the Alsatian town of Quatzenheim, not far from Strasbourg, where the Council of Europe has its headquarters. I express my complete solidarity with the Jewish community, which has once again been targeted. This defilement of graves, perpetrated in a context of recent anti-Semitic outbursts in France, as well as in a number of other member States of the Council, shows that the threat posed by racism, anti-Semitism and hate speech is sadly still very much a real one. That is why we have a duty to combat these phenomena, without any hint of compromise. The Council of Europe remains faithful to its original calling to uphold and protect human rights, which is just as vital today as it was when we started out.

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