Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue condemns Peshawar attack, calls for concerted efforts to combat worldwide terrorism

GENEVA: The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on an army-run public school in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which militants from the Pakistan Taliban killed 141 people, 132 of them children, on 16 December. The centre also called for concerted international efforts to combat worldwide terrorism.

A press release from the Geneva-based, non-governmental and non-profit organisation said, “The centre strongly condemns these barbarian acts, and wishes to reiterate its full support to the fight against political and religious extremism, which clearly represent an attempt to the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms and other political and civil as well as social, economic, and cultural rights.”

This brutal attack is not an isolated case, and represents the peak of a long series of terrorist attacks whose ferocity cannot be neglected. It occurred one day after the strike taken place in Sydney Lindt Cafe, Australia, and less than two weeks after ‘Al Reem Ghost’ attack, which took place in a mall on Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.” Citing a recent study conducted by BBC in collaboration with King’s College in London, the centre said that the number of terrorist attacks’ victims during November 2014 reached more than five thousand persons in different regions of the world.

“The killings took place in 40 countries, mainly in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. The study also demonstrates that terrorism has no religion nor homeland, and defies all religions and societies, whether it is perpetrated for a religious, political, commercial, or any other purpose. For this reason, the Geneva Centre stresses the need to discern Islam from terrorism, and to consequently reject any form of Islamophobia throughout East and West,” said the centre.

In this context, Hanif Hassan Al Qassim, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Geneva Centre, called upon the international community to strengthen concerted efforts, at both a regional and international level, in order to fight individual, organised as well as State terrorism, and to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue between societies.

Al- Qassim stressed “the need to put together all efforts at the different levels in order to face the current challenges, particularly that the future might carry new tragic attacks by terrorist and extremist groups.” The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue works in cooperation with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Nations Human Rights Council to promote and protect human rights through global dialogue. The Centre is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest, or religion.