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(London) – The March 22, 2017, attack in Westminster was a despicable act of violence. Four people, including a policeman, were killed, and at least 40 more were injured. Some remain in a critical condition. Human Rights Watch extends its deepest sympathies to all those affected by this horrific incident.
Armed police respond outside Parliament during an incident on Westminster Bridge, London UK. © Reuters

While the background and motivations of the assailant are still being investigated, there is little doubt that it was a planned act, targeted at the heart of British democracy, and intended to kill and spread fear. Less than a year after the murder of British MP Jo Cox at the hands of a far-right extremist, and coming the same month as mass casualty attacks in Kabul, Mogadishu, and Baghdad, as well as on the anniversary of the Brussels bombings which cost 32 lives, it is stark reminder of the threat posed by individuals driven by hate or by extremist views.

In the face of these threats, the best response is to robustly defend the principles of democracy, human rights, the rule of law and tolerance.

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