On 11 March 2010, Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, took part in a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Janez Potočnik, and Members of the EP, debated on the cases of Human Rights violation in Mexico and in South Korea. They also discussed the case of Gilad Shalit, in jail in Israel and who has been denied the rights of a prisoner of war.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the EP building in Strasbourg
||Soundbite by Bastiaan Belder, Chair of the Delegation for relations with Israel (in DUTCH) asking to Europe to make the difference in the Middle East, Mr Shalit and his family and all with them will continue to offer prayers for Gilad Shalit and what they dream of seeing is that their prisoners are brought back.
||Soundbite by Frédérique Ries, Member of the EP (in FRENCH) saying that for almost 4 years now this young man has been living in a cave, he has no rights to visits, no lawyers, no doctors, no post, no trial and no Geneva Convention applicable to Gilad Shalit; and yet Gilad Shalit was carrying out his military service like all other young people in his country.
||Soundbite by Proinsias De Rossa, Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (in ENGLISH): I agree with Gilad's father who had asked that his son's case should be addressed as a Humanitarian issue and not to be turned and used for political purposes; in the current phase of political debate we should never loose sight of the suffering both Israeli and Palestinian families who's loved ones have been taken in this conflict; the Geneva Convention must respected by all sides, it is totally unacceptable that Gilad Shalit has been denied the rights of a prisoner of war to which the Goldstone report categorically states he is entitled; his family has no information of the state of his health either physical or mental health.
||Soundbite by Charles Tannock Vice-Chair of the Delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (in ENGLISH): if Hamas has any claim to be taken seriously by the International Community, it should at least show unequivocally that the condition of his incarceration adhere to international Humanitarian laws; we demand more than that, we demand immediate and unconditional release.
||Soundbite by Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Member of the EP (in FRENCH) saying that it is time for European Union to call for International law to be respected in the Middle East; the answer will not come from doing one another in repression and in violence, like the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai, which condemn by EU.
||Soundbite by Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment speaking on behalf of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC (in ENGLISH): our thoughts and efforts are with him, and of course with all the others which are suffering the consequences of this long lasting conflict.
||Soundbite by Ramón Jáuregui Atondo Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee (in SPANISH) saying that he would like to say that Mexico is waging a very difficult war against organised crime and drug trafficking, but today they are talking about Mexico under Human Rights because there has been a huge increase in violence in Mexico and the victims are the Mexican people.
||Soundbite by Renate Weber, Member of the EP (in ROMANIAN) saying that Mexican women are victims of all types of violence, domestic violence, sexual violence and even torture; and this is being perpetrated by members of the Army and of the Police as well; the response of the Mexican Authorities has been fallen short and they have total impunity for those crimes in Mexico
||Soundbite by Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Member of the EP, (in SPANISH) saying that there have to be huge changes when it comes to Security and Justice and the Government has embarked upon a juridical reform in order to make sure that those who commit crimes are punished, but the Human Rights are respected.
||Soundbite by Barbara Lochbihler, Chairwoman of the Delegation for relations with Iran (in GERMAN) saying that it is a matter of impunity and this is something they must talk about in their contacts with Mexican Authorities; she thinks, it is a serious Human Rights violation and therefore the European Union should not actually continue with this Agreement with Mexico.
||Soundbite by David Martin, Member of the EP (in ENGLISH): we also have to know that South Korea is de facto an abolitionist country; no executions have been carried out since February 1998 and in 2007 Amnesty International categorized South Korea as a country that has virtually abolished capital punishment; however the serious of this issue comes back when we realise that the four leader of the Grand National party in Korea said just recently that this de facto moratorium on capital punishment should be ended and a swift execution should take place of certain prisoners.
||Soundbite by Marie-Christine Vergiat, Member of the EP (in FRENCH) saying that the recent decision of the Constitutional Court in South Korea is a worry for them and they must deplore it; the Commission and the Council believe that the death penalty is a violation of Human Rights and should have an impact on their relations with third countries; the President of the Republic who himself was condemned to death in 1981, should along with his government abolish the death penalty in line with the decision of the United Nations; they are very worried about 59 people who have been sentenced to death in South Korea, some of them are political prisoners and their sentences should be commuted.
||General view of the plenary session