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Debates
Thursday, 16 December 2004 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 115)
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  Attard-Montalto (PSE). Mr President, I have just returned from a private visit to Zimbabwe. It is interesting to note that the situation on the ground does not appear desperate. However, according to the statistics, the situation is probably worse in other parts of the country which I did not visit.

When debating such countries as Zimbabwe, where human rights are not even discussed because of fear of repression, we must consider the right attitude to take in order to try to influence the powers that be. We know we are dealing with a regime that is not democratic, that has taken tried to use almost all its powers to take away the democratic and fundamental rights of part of its population. On the other hand, we have seen recently that there is a silver lining. The courts, for instance, are striving from a very difficult position to try to retain some form of impartiality.

Sometimes I wonder whether a carrot-and-stick policy might be more appropriate and more fruitful than just passing motions of condemnation. We may pass this motion but what effect will it have? Very little, I think, with a regime like Mugabe's. We must start to think in different terms if we are to be effective when dealing with a regime of this sort.

 
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