Koenders joins Tunisia human rights march against terror

Foreign minister Bert Koenders will take part in the march against terrorism in Tunisia on Sunday. ‘After the appalling attack in Tunis, which killed 21 people, I want to reaffirm our solidarity with Tunis,’ said Mr Koenders. ‘This protest march will send a clear message: the international community will not tolerate terrorism and it will stand up for human rights, without double standards.’

Mr Koenders was invited by the Tunisian authorities to take part in the peace march. Other leaders, including France’s president François Hollande and the Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, will also take part.

‘The Tunisian people and Tunisia’s politicians have shown over the years that they choose unity and dialogue over division and violence,’ the minister remarked. ‘It’s good to see that the Tunisians are now again united in their condemnation of violence, and that they are showing this to the world by organising this peace march.’

The Netherlands combats terrorism in many ways, for instance by participating in the anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq and focusing on deradicalisation at home. ‘It’s also very important to demonstrate solidarity within Europe and with Europe’s neighbours, and to show that we are and will remain partners in the fight against terrorism,’ Mr Koenders said. ‘We did so after the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, and we are doing so now in Tunisia. Freedom of expression applies worldwide.’