Earlier this month, the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked following display of some content by it, with two gunmen killing some of its employees and others. The attack led to French government resorting to stringent action.
"The whole idea of Charlie Hebdo was to raise voice against those objecting freedom of expression and if you take action like what is happening, it defeats the purpose," the human rights group Amnesty International's Secretary General Salil Shetty said.

"Freedom of expression is at the core of what we do at Transparency International. So, when something like Charlie Hebdo happens, we are very critical in condemning it.
"But, I think the challenge now is how the European and Western governments react in the aftermath of the backlash," said Shetty, who was here for the WEF Annual Meeting that ended this weekend.

"Everyone understands that every government in the world has a responsibility to combat hate crimes and attacks on freedom of expression. The question is how do you do it," Shetty said at the WEF Summit.

He said that "what the French government is doing is that they have already arrested, as per our estimates, 70 persons. "There was a change in anti-terror legislation and use of some vague and very broad legislation becomes very risky. By international standards and laws, such arrests would be difficult to be justified."
Shetty said similar things are happening in different parts of the world and vaguely defined legislations are going to be problematic. In India, the section 66A of the IT Act is another example of law that can be misused, he said.

"India also has a history of using laws on sedition and criminal defamation that fall short of international laws. It is used as a way to curb dissent. It has happened with media and now it is happening in Internet laws.

"We need to have a fine balance because when the government starts violating human rights, then we would be in a bad place," he said.
On accusations that NGOs only talk about human rights violations of the state entities, but not of terror organisations, he said, "This is not correct and we get accused from both the sides.
"We have talked about Boko Haram and killing of 2,000 people in Nigeria. There, even the government was pegging the number of people killed at much lower level. We have talked about Taliban and many others."

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