“No double standards: Condemn the appalling repression Syria, Bahrain and Yemen now”

“Following last night’s killing by Syrian authorities of unarmed civilians at the Al Omari Mosque, the EU must learn from the Libyan precedent and get rid of its double standards in calling for the respect for human rights in the face of peaceful demands for democracy. I urge the EU to not only condemn the killing and arrests of hundreds of demonstrators, including children, but also to call for profound political reforms, the end of the police state and the release of all political prisoners including the 1000 recently arrested”, said the Chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-Committee, MEP Heidi Hautala. [:]

 “The EU foreign ministers had on 21 March decided to review their policies towards Yemen, ‘should the safety of demonstrators not be ensured’. The time is NOW, as hundreds of peaceful Yemeni protesters have been killed with live ammunition. The EU must support the fight of Arabs for freedom and democracy in the whole region”, Hautala said.

Heidi Hautala added she was “shocked and worried about the statements made by a top representative of our diplomatic service”, referring to Baroness Ashton’s senior advisor Robert Cooper who defended the security crackdown against Bahraini protesters yesterday (“One should understand the authorities were right to restore calm and order and that’s what they’ve done”).

“It very disturbing to hear the EU quoted as defending a regime which has arrested and even killed peaceful human rights activists, doctors and protesters. The Arab youth in particular have the right to Europe’s clear and strong support.”