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Anti-terrorism fight must respect laws, says Vatican

The Vatican has stressed to the international community that terrorism cannot be combated by violating the laws and bases of democracy.

Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, head of the Vatican delegation, expressed this reminder during the two-week annual meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which began in Warsaw on Monday.

"There is no possibility of effectively addressing the scourge of terrorism without a functioning rule of law," the papal representative said. "The risk of undermining the very basis of democracy and the rule of law, even with the reason of coming to its defense, should be avoided."

He also presented the Decalogue of Peace, which religious leaders proclaimed in Assisi, Italy, in January. The decalogue rejected and condemned "every recourse to violence and war in the name of God or of religion."

Balastrero stressed that no "civil law on religious communities may, therefore, be used to limit the activities, which are expressions of the religious freedom of those communities and of their individual members."

"Those pressures would be, in fact, a lack of tolerance and could hamper the construction of an authentic peace," the monsignor warned.

Mons. Ettore Balestrero: Rule Of Law Against Terrorism, Human Traffic, Organized Crime (L'Osservatore Romano via (8/5/02)
Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe


13 Sep 2002