Plenary speech on Human rights in the world 2009 and EU policy on the matter

Marietje Schaake (ALDE) - Madam President, we are celebrating a significant day with the award of the Sakharov Prize today, but we have a lot more work to do than that. I would like to highlight a few elements from this comprehensive and well-drafted report. There is the necessity to fight for justice over impunity, whether through the ICC or otherwise. It is not only important to bring perpetrators to justice, because this is often a long-term process, but in the meantime, for those who fear that violations of human rights are unnoticed or in fact tolerated by liberal democracies, starting to hold individual human rights violators accountable is an acknowledgement of the suffering and of our credibility in the EU. In this report we ask for sanctions on Russian officials responsible for the death of Mr Magnitsky and for Iranian officials involved in the systematic censorship, rape, crackdown and executions of citizens who have done nothing other than act according to their inalienable and indeed universal human rights.