For Immediate Release: March 19, 2012
Washington, DC – Human Rights First today praised French officials for their response to a horrific shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse that resulted in the death of four people, including three children, and two seriously wounded. The group condemned the violent attack and noted that swift government response to such violence sends a clear message that bias-motivated crimes will not be tolerated.
“We send our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have been murdered by such brutal antisemitism”, said Human Rights First’s Tad Stahnke from Human Rights First. “We applaud the French government’s strong words condemning the Jewish school murders and officials’ vow to track down and bring the perpetrator of this violence to justice. As issues of prejudice, hatred and xenophobia continue to pervade the French public sphere, and it remains all the more crucial to combat xenophobic violence.”
In response to today’s shootings, the French government has forcefully condemned the incident, stepped up security at schools and religious establishments, and placed its national judicial police in charge of the investigation. That team will include anti-terrorist investigators and experts in serial killings at their disposal. It is possible that this crime may be linked to two previous shootings that occurred recently and targeted soldiers.
“It is crucial that governments take steps to curb hate crime and antisemtism before attacks happen. Moving forward, France should not only work to solve this case, but it should reevaluate steps it can take to prevent future violence,” Stahnke concluded.