Paris attacks show freedoms must be protected, says Alex Neil

Alex Neil has said the terror attacks in Paris show freedoms must be protected. Picture: John Devlin
Alex Neil has said the terror attacks in Paris show freedoms must be protected. Picture: John Devlin
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THE terror attacks in Paris show how the freedoms taken for granted can be threatened by those out to cause harm, Scotland’s social justice secretary Alex Neil has said.

Mr Neil - who was launching a campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of human rights - said that such freedoms should be “protected at all costs”.

The Scottish government scheme, named #FlyTheFlag for human rights, was launched as research carried out by YouGov found one in five Scots believe human rights are for minority groups only.

The campaign aims to show people that human rights can be related to the wider population on a daily basis and contribute significantly to an equal and liberal society.

Mr Neil said: “In the last few days, with the terrible tragedy in Paris, we have seen how easily the freedoms we take for granted can be threatened by those who would seek to cause harm.

“Creating a better understanding of our human rights is important and will help build a stronger and more cohesive society, which is more fair and equal.

“Human rights are for everyone and they should be protected at all costs. As a modern, progressive country we have a duty to uphold the highest standards.

“Many of us enjoy the benefits, freedoms and protection that human rights offer us without actually knowing much about the rights themselves, and without that knowledge it can be hard for us to reaffirm and protect them.”