Brussels (13 January) With the presentation tomorrow by the Greek prime minister Costas Simitis of his country’s EU Presidency programme to the European Parliament, Amnesty International has released a detailed set of recommendations under the theme:
- (click on title to open, faster download version) “Standing up for human rights in Europe and the world: Amnesty International memorandum to the Greek Presidency“. (for the Greek language version, go to the link at the end of the page).
- (click on title to open, document with logo, longer downloading time) “Standing up for human rights in Europe and the world: Amnesty International memorandum to the Greek Presidency” .
At the same time, as the Secretary-General of the Council Javier Solana oversees the official ceremony in Sarajevo on Wednesday for the new EU Police Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Amnesty International urges the Mission to give high priority to ensuring that the outstanding legacy of human rights violations committed during the war is investigated.
“Taking over from the United Nations, this first EU mission in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy marks an important new phase in the EU’s ambition to assume direct and meaningful responsibility for the implementation of human rights,” said Dick Oosting, Director of Amnesty International’s EU Office.
“However, we are seriously concerned about the apparent lack of a human rights strategy for Bosnia-Herzegovina generally on the part of the international community. As long as impunity for crimes of the past persists in the country, true respect for human rights remains elusive,” he said. “We call on the Greek Presidency to ensure that the EU Police Mission responds to the quest for justice by thousands of people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.”
Amnesty International has raised its concerns and set out detailed recommendations in a memorandum sent to Javier Solana: “Bosnia-Herzegovina: Amnesty International’s recommendations on the European Union Police Mission” (click on title to open document).
Among the recommendations:
- The establishment of a human rights department in the EUPM organizational structure;
- Employment of specific measures to address the lack of local police investigations of human rights violations and to support and supervise that task.
Amnesty International’s general recommendations to the Greek EU Presidency include, in particular, a call to:
- Confront the world’s worst human rights crises by placing a higher priority on human rights imperatives;
- Guarantee human rights protection in the drive against “terrorism” and “illegal immigration”;
- Establish proper accountability at EU level for human rights observance within the European Union itself.
For further comment/background and interviews:
Amnesty International EU Office (Brussels):
Email: [email protected]