Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-05-17-Speech-4-168"

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"Mr President, the slaughter of the Berbers is a fresh reminder of Algeria’s horrific reality. Once again, our courageous foreign affairs ministers have decided to put their heads in the sand. The entire world is being condemned, except for Algeria. However, neither the oil interests, nor the current negotiations are enough to keep the gross human rights violations under wraps. The MEDA agreements demand respect for diversity. One third of the Algerian population are Berbers. Pluriformity should form part of the state fabric. Cultural, linguistic, but mainly social rights must be recognised if Algeria wishes to become a Treaty partner. It is questionable whether we should enter into an agreement with Algeria where human rights are being violated on such a massive scale, even by government officials. In my view, this can only be done if the government assures us that it will make every attempt to prevent the wrong-doings, and to prosecute and bring to justice those responsible, from whatever quarter. An agreement on judicial cooperation is only meaningful if this is given substance by the Algerians. At this moment in time, I still have grave doubts as to whether that is the case. If I look back on ten years of oppression and extreme violence, I am shocked by the statistics. One hundred and fifty thousand killed and on top of that, 10 000 people who have disappeared without a trace, and Europe remains silent. President Bouteflika constantly promises to contain the violence. He pledges to investigate the recent tragedy in Kabylia, but will the guilty be punished? I should like to reiterate it: the State’s most fundamental task is to protect its population. It is shameful that the Algerian authorities should not be able to put an end to the abhorrent reality in their country."@en1

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