Extracts from the debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law: - Rule of law in Russia - Azerbaijan- Case of Ilgar MAMMADOV - Situation of Rohingya Muslims

Type: News   Reference: 93940   Duration: 00:04:42  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 13/06/2013   First transmission: 13/06/2013
The European Parliament held urgent debates on a number of topics relating to human rights and democracy. First debate on the agenda was on the rule of law in Russia and recent homophobic laws passed by Russian's Duma. The second discussed issue was the case of Ilgar Mammadov from Azerbaijan. Mr. Mammadov is a politician who was banned from TV and radio in 2009 after delivering a Republicanist speech protesting against a referendum which further permitted the Azerbaijan president to elected unlimited times in the office. The third debate dealt with the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Burma. Human rights and advocacy groups have heavily disparaged a long-awaited official report on last year’s sectarian violence in western Myanmar. The activist groups say a government-backed commission has placed undue emphasis on strengthening security while almost completely ignoring issues of discrimination and accountability. The commission was created in the aftermath of violence between Buddhists and Muslims that spiked in June and October in the western state of Rakhine. However no representation from the Muslim Rohingya community was selected to be part of the 27-member body inquiry commission. Rohingya Muslims are a heavily marginalised group that has suffered the greatest losses of life and home during the continuing violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

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00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 Exterior shot of the EP, Strasbourg 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (English) Marije CORNELISSEN (Greens-EFA, NL): "The EU has a strategic partnership with Russia, but accusing the EU of maintaining a secret service spy network by supporting Russian NGOs does not bring us any closer together (...) Then the bills that were passed in the Duma this week against 'homosexual propaganda' and for the protection of religious beliefs. These bills are a further setback for human rights in Russia, they violate the right of freedom of expression, they create yet another ground of politically influenced and selective persecution and they violate LGBT rights". 00:00:41
00:00:51 SOUNDBITE (English) Kristiina OJULAND (ALDE, ET): "I call once again the civil society across the West, including EU: we should re-establish the Helsinki committee movement inside the West to support the political opposition in Russian Federation and specially the civil society who is fighting for their democratic and constitutional rights". 00:00:39
00:01:30 SOUNDBITE (English) Richard HOWITT (S&D, UK): "I join with all of those in this debate protesting against Russian's draft law banning information about the so-called 'non traditional' sexuality. Sexual orientation is not a tradition, it is a right and the three homophobic murders in Russia reported in May show it is a right and a fatal threat". 00:00:07
00:01:37 SOUNDBITE (English) Janusz LEWANDOWSKI, EU Commissioner: "To date, Russian Courts and law enforcement authorities seem unable to fulfil their duties independently in a number of cases. There is a disproportionate number of Russian cases reaching the European Court of Human Rights". 00:00:16
00:01:53 SOUNDBITE (English) Marietje SCHAAKE (ALDE, NL): "Political trials, repression of civil society and media must end. Specifically Ilgar Mammadov must be released and charges against him dropped. The intimidation of journalists, fining of demonstrators or banning peaceful assembly altogether are unacceptable. I urge president Barroso to take up human rights and media freedom at the highest level when he meets President Aliyev on June 21st. Our economic, energy and strategic interest must not be overshadowing the very importance of human rights". 00:00:34
00:02:27 SOUNDBITE (Polish) Róża Gräfin von THUN UND HOHENSTEIN (EPP, PL): "Imprisoning opponents, torturing potential presidents is a scandal, especially when it happens in a country that is trying to dress itself up as a democratic country." 00:00:25
00:02:52 SOUNDBITE (English) Janusz LEWANDOWSKI, EU Commissioner: "I am pleased to tell you that the EU delegation in Baku visited Mr Yaqublu in jail early this week and as it is in his case, and in Mammadov case, generally we continue to monitor and intervene in all of the relevant cases and have a close view of the developments in Azerbaijan". 00:00:23
00:03:15 SOUNDBITE (French) Nicole KIIL-NIELSEN (Greens/ALE, FR): "Given the explicit statement given by the UN rapporteur and also several reports from international organisations that document the crimes committed against the Rohingya Muslims, we would call upon the EC to temporary withdraw the benefits of the preferential regime from Burma. This will be a clear political message from Europe; the Rohingya Muslims tragedy must stop, they must have access to citizenship and have access to the same rights as all citizens of Burma". 00:00:31
00:03:46 SOUNDBITE (English) Marietje SCHAAKE (ALDE, NL): "Sacharov Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has remained silent, too silent, so far on the situation of Rohingya Muslims. We urge her to be more vocal as a leader for human rights" 00:00:12
00:03:58 SOUNDBITE (English) Janusz LEWANDOWSKI, EU Commissioner: "The High Representative Catherine Ashton personally asked the authorities first to protect the civilian population from the violence, second to bring the relevant cases to justice, regardless of ethnicity or religion, and third to ensure humanitarian access to all affected communities. The EU will continue to provide humanitarian aid assistance to those in need, provided proper access in granted. This is the same with humanitarian efforts in Syria". 00:00:33
00:04:31 Cutaways (4 shots) 00:00:11
00:04:42 END 00:00:00
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