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Thursday, 7 April 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

The case of Ai Weiwei in China
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  Ana Gomes, author.(PT) The disappearance of Ai Weiwei must be understood within the context of the increasingly desperate political repression carried out by the Chinese authorities. All this is happening due to their fear that the revolutionary spirit of the Arab world will infect Chinese society. However, the EU can make a difference. Violations of human rights by the Chinese authorities must be a constant theme in its political dialogue with China, and this dialogue should be rethought to ensure that there are concrete results, in particular, the review of court rulings that have kept human rights activists in gaol.

Negotiations on the new framework agreement cannot leave aside the issue of human rights, subjugating everything to commercial interests. When pursuing its economic interests, the EU itself has a responsibility to support activists like Ai Weiwei, Liu Xiaobo and Hu Jun, who have fought courageously for urgent political reform in China, against oppression, and for human rights and fundamental freedoms. China, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has particular obligations regarding human rights, contained in the UN Charter, and it must be accountable for these not only to its citizens, but also to the rest of the world.

 
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