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de Brún raises human rights at European Social Forum

15 October, 2004


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún in an address to a session of the European Social Forum said that 'Human rights and equality are damaged and denied when those in power defend the erosion of internationally accepted standards'. Ms de Brún made her remarks on the theme of 'Criminalising Communities'.

The European Social Forum is taking place in London between the 15th and 17th October. Ms de Brun is this morning addressing the session 'Living in Fear: Civil Liberties and 'The War on Terror''.

Other speakers at the session include Gareth Peirce ˆHuman rights lawyer, Thomas Mathiesen - Norwegian academic, Dr Siddiqui -Britain, Muslim Parliament, Martxelo Otamandi -Basque journalist.

Speaking at the event Ms de Brún said:

"Human rights and equality - the basic rights and entitlements of all - are damaged and denied when those in power defend the erosion of internationally accepted standards, irrespective of whether such actions are carried out in the name of 'defending democracy' or protecting 'national security'.

"Bringing about an end to criminalisation can often appear to be an uphill struggle for those communities trying to engage in rational and reasonable debate. But the key as is always the case, is to persist, to widen out the debate, to seek allies and build your strength from the local to the national to the global, in order to bring about change.

"This debate, and indeed the entire European Social forum provides us all with a wonderful opportunity to do just this, and find ways to move forward together in building societies which are based on the principles of equality, liberty and solidarity."ENDS

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