The European Green Party (EGP) has expressed its solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and their fight for European orientation, democracy, peace and independence. Russia has invaded Crimea and is threatening an even broader invasion of Ukraine. The military control of Russian troops over the Crimean peninsula is a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. Russia is blatantly ignoring its own treaty obligations, international law and its obligations under UN charters. We are highly alarmed by this aggression and call for it to end immediately.
The 2014 Winter Olympics, opening tonight in Sochi, Russia, is the most expensive Olympics ever. Reports about the catastrophic environmental damage caused during the construction of the games, and Russia's poor human rights record, have overshadowed what should be a joyous international event.
The Russian parliament has approved the third reading of amnesty legislation that grants freedom to some of the government’s most vocal critics. Russian MPs passed the law today, granting amnesty to the members of the Arctic 30, and the two jailed members of Pussy Riot, among 20,000 other prisoners. The European Greens have welcomed the move, calling it an important step for improving human rights in Russia.
This week, the Dutch government announced that they would take legal proceedings to secure the release of the "Arctic 30", thirty Greenpeace activists who were arrested while peacefully protesting against off-coast oil drilling at the Gazprom Prirazlomnaya oil platform, located off the Russian coast.
In the context of mass inspections of Russian NGOs by public prosecutors since the beginning of March on the basis of the so-called “NGO-foreign-agents-law”, now also the non-profit, sociological Levada Center for polling and research has come under attack. In the international scientific community the Levada Center enjoys a high reputation with its independent, empirical sociological research. It significantly contributes to knowledge about society, politics and public opinion in Russia.
On the eve of the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels, the presidents and chairs of four European political parties – the European Greens, as well as the ALDE, EPP and PES - have sent an open letter to Presidents van Rompuy and Barroso, expressing serious concerns for the deterioration of the human rights situation in Russia.
Should a blogger be a candidate for the Sakharov Peace Prize? Does society understand the threat to freedom of speech or the pressure placed on bloggers in countries with a highly controlled internet? Is the European Union guilty of double standards, expecting to dictate freedom of speech and security without practicing what they preach?
There is a fundamental gap in public understanding of information technology and potential. And the gap extends into legislation and legislative needs. There was no shortage of speakers demonstrating the contradiction of Europe, the European Union, so quick to advocate human rights and civil liberties while doing little to nothing to prevent the sale of technology that allows regimes to track online critics, violating liberties, often in the most violent forms.