UNAOC chief condemns beheading of French teacher

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UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Miguel Moratinos, the high representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), on Saturday condemned the beheading of a teacher in the northwestern suburbs of Paris on Friday.

"The high representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, condemns in the strongest terms the decapitation of a French school teacher on Friday in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in the north-western suburbs of Paris, France. The high representative stresses that such heinous crime is unjustifiable whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed," according to a press statement issued by his spokesperson Nihal Saad.

The UNAOC chief stressed that togetherness, peace and tolerance are rooted in religions across the faith spectrum.

He reiterated that respect of the other regardless of their culture, religion, belief or race is crucial to living together in just, peaceful, and inclusive societies.

The high representative emphasized that freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression are anchored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He also stressed that hate speech and stigma sow division and fragments in societies.

The UNAOC chief reiterated that this horrific crime "should not deter our commitment and will to stand against divisive policies and extremist ideologies in all its manifestations."

Moratinos expressed his heartfelt condolences to the victims' family and the government and people of France.

On Friday afternoon, a decapitated man was found on the street near a middle school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburban area of northwest Paris. The victim was a 47-year-old history teacher who had reportedly shown to his students as part of a class on "freedom of expression" caricatures of Mohammad. Enditem

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