EP High Level Human Rights Conference Sakharov Network Event: - extracts from the conference
EbS news item
European Parliament, Brussels
Conference Sakharov Network with an official opening session in the morning and panel discussions in the afternoon has been hosted by EP.
Conference is an opportunity to interact with numerous human rights activists from several regions of the world, with many former EP Sakharov laureates and with several outstanding figures from the human rights field. The topics for the panel discussions have been proposed by the President in order to assist in the policy debates in the EU, as well as current challenges in the light of world events such as the Arab Spring.
Panel discussion and debate with Members on New communication technologies and the defence and promotion of human rights
Chaired by Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Vice-President of the European Parliament
• David John Collins, Director of Communication, Google
• Andrew Puddephatt, Director, Global Partners and Associates
• Frank LaRue, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion (tbc)
• Ali Novruzov, Activist/blogger, Azerbaijan
• Sami Ben Gharbia, Advocacy Director, Global Voices
• Marietje Schaake, MEP
Input by Sakharov laureates:
• Belarusian Association of Journalists, Laureate 2004
• Hauwa Ibrahim, Laureate 2005
• Wei Jingsheng, Laureate 1996
Libor Rouček, Vice-President of the European Parliament
The Conference will be closed by a high-level panel event open to the public in the Bozar Cultural Centre.
00:00:05 Exterior, European Parliament
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE, Zhanna LITVINA, Laureate 2004 (In Russian): I use the social networks and the internet and I associate this with democratic change in my country. I look forward to the day when there will be freedom and I hope that my country will never fall back into the situation of being a closed territory with no access to information so my hopes for democratic change are associated with access to information and exchange of information and access for the people in my country to the internet.
00:00:48 SOUNDBITE, Hauwa IBRAHIM, Lareate 2005 (In English): The way for the future, the way for human dignity, irrespective of our genders, of our race, of the colour of our skin, of wherever we come from, the one very uniting factor that is for the future is understanding the language of technology and of science.
00:01:15 SOUNDBITE, Wei JINGSHENG (In Chinese): Most of the Chinese people are now very brave; they very much hope China can be on the path of democracy. Though the Arab Spring and also though Chinese people's efforts I hope the Western Countries are reminded not only to think about the short term goals but also to think long term, for example in the Arab Spring, the Western Countries give very bad performance, because of too many things to think about and worry about and the Western Countries do not understand that people in those countries have the same wish as you, if you don't support them, once they get to democracy, then how the Western Countries can talk with them and relate with them. Same as on Chinese human rights. If you don't play active role, you will lose the love of Chinese people. The Chinese people admire human rights in the west, but they are disappointed.
00:02:24 SOUNDBITE, David John COLLINS, Director of Communication, Google (In English) (regarding the rights of freedom of speech and governments that don't recognise this right): This is a battle that activists and governments can win, but it's really incumbent upon the people in this room to continue pressuring authorities around the world, whether it's the European Parliament and beyond to take up this fight for people that are frankly a lot less fortunate than ourselves.
00:02:42 SOUNDBITE, Libor ROUCEK, EP Vice-President (In English): I don't want to say that there should be censorship, no may. The same way we don't want censorship in print media, TV, radio, of course we don't want censorship on the internet, but I think we should be looking for ways how to combine the free flow, the freedom of speech, the freedom of thoughts and of information, in the defence of democracy.
00:03:12 Cutaways (7 shots)