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Annual Report on human rights and democracy

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Published on Dec 16, 2016

We are constantly reminded in this Parliament of the many atrocities and acts of human rights abuse that tragically occur throughout the world, such as in Aleppo right now as I speak. We have heard the extremely moving testimonies of this year’s Sakharov laureates, Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, from the Yazidi community. What they have experience under the brutal regime of ISIS is as evil an ideology as anybody could possibly imagine. These are personal stories, but they serve to illustrate the plight of millions of others who find themselves in similar circumstances across the globe.

Member States throughout the European Union each enjoy their own histories and historical trajectories of course. They have each move from autocracies in the past to democracy today, enshrining the rights of all over the few, and developing legal systems that have delivered equality before the law, albeit in very different timeframes. These are the principles that have delivered the civil and political freedoms and protections that we all enjoy today, along with many other economic and social rights. These are the values of the European Union, respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law, freedom of the press and expression.

It is important that we recall that it is these fundamental values and other institutions that deliver the peace and prosperity we all see in Europe and the developed world today. It is also important that we continue to be a voice in advocating those values across other parts of the world, so we fully support the human rights report in the world as it is.

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