Buzek on Human Rights Day
The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, made the following statement on the occasion of today's Human Rights Day:
"At this year's Human Rights Day, the eyes of the world are on Syria. We cannot look away when innocent civilians are murdered, tortured or arrested on a daily basis.
Together with other voices of the international community, I have repeatedly called the Syrian regime to cease all assaults and to step aside. We all have the responsibility to protect citizens' aspirations to pursue change by peaceful means.
This year's Human Rights Day is especially dedicated to the countless young women and men who have made history in the Arab Spring. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman is truly representing the spirit of these crowds who are standing up for their dignity and their rights.
Their huge sacrifices should remind us, Europeans, of our responsibility to support the fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly. Their courage should inspire us to be human rights defenders, to fight against discrimination, torture, arbitrary detention and censorship.
My thoughts are also with other human rights defenders in the world that are still suffering persecution and hardship. I repeat my call for the release of last year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo in China and I strongly denounce the house arrest of his wife Liu Xia. We will not forget them and we will stand by their side.
The defence and promotion of human rights must be at the heart of the EU's external action. There is no long-term stability without the respect of fundamental freedoms. I am looking forward to the review of the EU's human rights strategy that High Representative Ashton is expected to present shortly to the European Parliament.
If in Syria or in any other country of the world: human rights defenders must be able to count on the EU's support in their struggles. I would like to express my deep respect to all those who are risking their life in the fight for human dignity and human rights, for freedom and democracy."
Note to editors:
EP President Buzek received Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman on 30 November 2011 at the European Parliament in Brussels:
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