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G20 leaders must not use Paris tragedy to fuel anti-refugee agenda

World leaders must show true statesmanship and refrain from bowing to a knee-jerk anti-refugee agenda in the wake of the despicable attacks in Paris, urged Amnesty International today.

Amnesty’s Director for Europe and Central Asia, John Dalhuisen said:

“The tragic events in Paris have sickened and stunned the world and our hearts and thoughts go out to all those affected by this atrocious attack. The threat of terrorism must always be responded to resolutely, with the utmost regard for security and respect for human rights.

“Now is also the time for world leaders to show true statesmanship and refuse to bow to the conflated anti-refugee rhetoric which is already emanating from some quarters. We have to remember that many of those trying to gain sanctuary have fled violence, fear and conflict, and indeed often by the very same group known as the Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq.”

“Right now Europe faces two urgent challenges. The first is the long-standing threat of terrorism. The second, more recent, is an increased number of refugees and asylum seekers on its borders. They are not the same challenge and only one of them is a threat. European leaders must be careful to distinguish between them and be clear that Europe’s security is not best served by turning its back on a global refugee crisis, but by ensuring the orderly, organised and humane admission of those fleeing similar horrors.” 

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