HSS condemns attack on freedom of expression

Twelve people were murdered yesterday as the result of an armed attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by Islamist terrorists.

This was a vicious attack on free speech and expression. The Humanist Society Scotland has released the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of this brutal attack. We wish to express solidarity with the family and friends of those involved.

“The freedom to openly discuss and criticize ideas is crucial to liberal democracy, and any moves to censor or restrict those freedoms will only ever be counter-productive.

“The rights to freedom of thought and expression are fundamental, and we will resist all attempts to silence it through violence and intimidation.”

Responding to the news HSS President, and Scots’ author, Christopher Brookmyre said:

“The freedom to criticise, challenge and ridicule each other’s ideas is what allows us to develop as a civilisation. It is always those whose ideas won’t withstand such scrutiny who wish to end that freedom.”

We support the following motion has been submitted to The Scottish Parliament by French-born MSP Christian Allard:

“Title: Je suis Charlie

Motion text:

That the Parliament is deeply saddened by the horrific shootings that have taken place at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris; expresses its sympathy for the families, friends and colleagues of those who have been injured or who lost their lives; believes that the people of Scotland are standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of France following the massacre of the sharpest satirical cartoonists of the French press, and notes that this attack on the freedom of the press has generated an instant response across the world, the message of solidarity, “Je suis Charlie”.”

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