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Address to the Commemoration of the victims of the 22 July 2011 massacre

Address to the Commemoration of the victims of the 22 July 2011 massacre
Oslo, 22nd July 2015

Your excellences, Ladies and gentlemen,

It has been four years today since this brutal and unacceptable killing of 77 people, mostly young people, shocked your country, Norway, shocked our continent, Europe, and the entire world.

It has been four years since the hopes and dreams of these young men and women, who believed in the highest values of tolerance, diversity and mutual understanding, were broken.

Unfortunately, during these four years, many other acts of violence reminded us of the atrocities human beings are capable of, and that the fight against hatred and intolerance is a never ending task. Two days ago an explosion in Suruç, Turkey, has killed 32 young people during a summer expedition to help rebuild Kobane.

This and other similar atrocities must be stopped.

We must stand and honour the dead by fighting even stronger for a more democratic and inclusive society.
On behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, I want to reiterate in Oslo our strongest support to declare 22 July as European Day for Victims of Hate Crime in order to show our solidarity with all those who have been victims of hate crimes and to promote a collective effort to fight against the scourge of hatred and intolerance.

I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families and the friends of the victims.

We will never forget.