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Thursday, 22 October 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition


  Marietje Schaake, author. – Mr President, any government derives its legitimacy from providing for the well-being of its own citizens. Any regime that fails at this most basic responsibility loses its legitimacy in the international community.

Current self-isolation is leading to destruction in Iran and has a toxic impact on neighbouring countries and on the rest of the world. We cannot stand by and watch minor offenders being hanged, people being raped and arbitrary violence wrought upon citizens by their own regime. We stand here to restate that there cannot and will not be impunity for those guilty of committing crimes against humanity, and we will continue to stand with the Iranian people as they exercise their right to free speech and peaceful protest for freedom and democracy.

The European Union has a responsibility in keeping these universal rights on the agenda, including when trade interests or the nuclear programme of Iran are at issue. Only when the Iranian regime earns its legitimacy from its citizens can it be a credible player in the international community.

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