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Uphold rights of all citizens, allow them to protest: Kerry

John Kerry

New Delhi : US Secretary of State John Kerry today stressed on the need for upholding rights of all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, language or creed, saying people should be allowed to protest in peace without fear of being jailed.

His remarks come just days after the US spoke out in support of freedom of expression after Amnesty International was slapped with a sedition charge in Bengaluru.

“The US and India will have to keep faith in our democratic values and uphold the freedom that defines our countries,” Kerry said a gathering at the IIT here.

He said one has to respect rights of all our citizens, regardless of ethnicity, language or creed.

“In order to express their views and allow them to protest in peace without fear of reprisal or retribution, without fear of being jailed for something you say,” he said while speaking on the need to strike at the root cause of terrorism, which he said differed from country to country.

He, however, singled out corruption and bad governance as one of the main reason for leaving youngsters frustrated.

“We have to work cooperatively and in good faith that terrorists have no place to run, no place to hide and no place to plan and prepare the future,” he said.

Kerry said one must not allow terrorists to succeed and it was important to strike at the root cause.

He said a society which does not give equal opportunities to its citizens makes them a potential extremist or terrorist.

“So it also means that we have to build bridges of tolerance and acceptance, compassion, mutual understanding among every religion and sect,” he said.

He urged those involved in interfaith efforts to reach out and define tolerance and also the beauty of their religion.

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