Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-262"

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"Mr President, the Ahmed transitional government must concentrate on its real goals: fighting corruption, making the country safe and creating the preconditions for elections to take place – in August at regional level and in December for the whole country. However, the elections must be conducted fairly, respect international conventions and give ethnic and religious minorities the opportunity to be involved, both passively and actively. Electoral observers, including from the European Union, should perform the necessary monitoring within the country. Obviously, extremist attacks must be prevented. The new Counterterrorism Ordinance 2008, aimed at achieving this, must comply with international law, however. That is not yet the case. Currently, it is being used mainly to target people who are victims of political persecution. It is no wonder that Bangladesh is a place of fear, when human rights activists and citizens who express criticism are arbitrarily arrested. Those arrested have a right to due process. The human rights organisation Odhikar has stated that information about mass arrests and maltreatment has been substantiated. As a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) delegation of the European Parliament, I have visited Bangladesh several times. Many Members here today were also present. In that moderate Islamic country, there are many in positions of responsibility who are favourably disposed. They are waiting desperately for input from outside, namely from the European Union – the Commission and the Council. Mr President, I congratulate you on the decision you have just taken regarding quorums in the European Parliament. Mrs Gill, I wish we could keep all our urgencies alive and did not constantly have to say that they would be handled by the relevant committee. Mr Matsakis is absolutely right. One step further in this regard would be that suddenly there were no more intergroups. That would also be fatal, because committees cannot do this work. We must make the most of the opportunity of having enough time, so that we no longer see the situation we now have, where the poor President has to use the gavel – because, in the future, we shall hopefully have twice as long to speak, so that the European Parliament will be known as the voice of human rights and can become stronger – and that takes time."@en1

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