EMMA BONINO: THE EP SHOULD CALL FOR THE LIBERATION OF AUN SAN SUU KYI, EUROPE SHOULD CHANGE ITS POLICY TOWARD DICTATORIAL REGIMES


The arrest of Aun San Suu Kyi and the murder of some of his partners unfortunately demonstrates that the idea that we can “negotiate” with dictators, in the hopes of leading a progressive evolution towards standards of political democracy, is not only mistaken, but profoundly harmful to the human rights activists in those countries.

A few years ago, as European Commissioner, I was able to visit Aun San Suu Kyi, though only secretly, while he was under house arrest. A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, he is a symbol of democratic aspirations, the rule of law and the liberty not only of Burmans, but of all those – from Laos to Vietnam, Iran to Cambodia, China and Syria – that suffer each day from such fierce repression while our governments, in the name of an erroneous, cynical realpolitik, continue to close their eyes for fear of injuring economic relations with these countries.

As Radical deputes of the European Parliament, we ask that, in the Strasbourg plenary session that opens the day after tomorrow, Monday June 2, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers strongly condemn these repressive acts and ask for the immediate liberation of the Burman leader. At the same time, we ask that a full debate and review be opened on EU policy towards countries that daily trample on these most basic of human rights.