Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-04-23-Speech-1-035"

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"Mr President, in its attempts at fending off demands for more democracy, Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime is having recourse to more and more violent means. Demonstrations organised by the opposition over recent months have been roughly put down. In an attempt at intimidation, more and more people are being arrested and interrogated, and police brutality reached its high point thus far the weekend before last, when they even attacked and arrested passers-by who were not involved – including journalists from the German television stations ARD and ZDF. The people running Russia are, then, no longer using only the law courts – as they did in order to deal with Mr Khodorkovsky and Mr Lebedev – but are now also bringing the whole security apparatus to bear in order to intimidate and silence their political opponents. With negotiations on the new partnership agreement with Russia in the offing, the European Union cannot, therefore, allow itself to be led by its dependence on that country where energy is concerned. If there is to be further cooperation, it is very important that human rights – particularly the free expression of opinion and the freedom of the press – should be secured and that it should be established who is behind these goings-on, and the assorted contract killings that have been carried out."@en1

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