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Human Rights

Der blinde Fleck der EU-Visapolitik

Weltweit setzen sich mutige Menschen für Menschenrechte ein und riskieren dabei oftmals ihre Freiheit, sogar ihr Leben. Menschenrechtsverteidiger*innen sollten deshalb geschützt werden und einfacher in der EU Zuflucht finden können.

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Humanitarian aid for Libya: My interview with RND

Last week the EU foreign ministers held a video conference to discuss the catastrophic situation in the civil-war country Libya. Especially in times of the Corona crisis, increased humanitarian aid is needed for Libya and the refugees there.

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Young People in face masks

Covid-19: What global aspects EU foreign policy must not forget!

The main streets of major European cities are empty, the borders are partially closed and most people are sitting at home to slow down the spread of Covid-19 through "social distancing". But while Europe is looking inwards, the corona virus poses new challenges internationally. EU foreign policy must help to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in particularly poor countries and to protect human rights worldwide even in these times. This involves many different aspects - from health, political freedoms or the rights of refugees, to trade relations, sanctions or the issue of gender & security. In my Twitter thread I have highlighted the different dimensions:

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Activists need protection: How women face repressions for fighting for our planet

Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) safeguarding environmental rights are a fundamental pillar in the protection of their communities and natural resources for future generations. However, today they are confronted with an unprecedented scale of persecution and repression. This Tuesday, in cooperation with ProtectDefenders.eu and MEP María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Renew) I hosted a conference on this issue at the European Parliament…

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Screenshot RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland

"Iranians don't put up with everything anymore" - RND-interview

"Iranians no longer put up with everything, and many are willing to take a high risk for it," I explained to the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) on Friday. After the killing of General Soleimani by the USA initially silenced domestic protests, the tragic shooting down of the plane brought government critics back onto the streets. After the chaotic back and forth, the RND asked me for an assessment of how the situation in Iran is now developing.

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Speech on the US-Iran conflict: For peace we must listen to the demonstrators

The nuclear agreement is still alive and the EU must do everything possible to get Iran and the USA back on board. In this difficult situation, however, those who are fighting for democracy in Iran and Iraq must not be forgotten. The EU must strongly condemn the violence and repression against the demonstrators. I called for this yesterday in Parliament. Because there will be no peace in the region if the people on the streets continue to be silenced.

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Report: Visit to Egypt, Qatar and Iraq

Just as I planned my visit, another round of protests sparked in the Middle East: Anti-government protests resurfaced in Algeria. Critical voices by Egypt’s youth against the government were suffocated in September in a fierce clampdown with thousands detained. In October, young people in Iraq and Lebanon took to the streets calling for political reforms and an end of corruption.

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„The strongest bridges are built from the stones of fallen walls“

When I was in eighth grade, my German teacher asked me to choose a poem that meant a lot to me. After giving it much thought, I picked out this one sentence by Andreas Tenzer. It was 1999, exactly 10 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, 20 years later, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the wall.

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Back from Iraq: Baghdad protesters resist the violence

A day before I arrived in Iraq, the Lebanese Prime Minster had resigned following weeks of protests. While people in Lebanon were celebrating in the streets, Iraqi security forces continued to kill people in the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere. Over the past month more than 250 of the largely peaceful protesters have died. Here is one of the few English articles about the protest.

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Conflict in Iraq: protecting activists!

Earlier this month, over 100 people were killed and more than 4,000 injured in Iraq. They took to the streets against corruption and were fired upon by state security forces. These security forces are being advised by an EU mission! The mission has been on the ground for two years and is supposed to help reform the Iraqi security sector. How could this disaster occur despite this and how do we as the EU react to it? I asked this last week in Parliament:

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Turkey/Syria: EU must impose arms embargo and targeted sanctions

„Die Bundesregierung und die Europäische Union müssen klar verurteilen, dass Moskau und Ankara Syrien unter sich aufteilen und sich der russische Präsident auf dem Rücken der Kurden als Friedensengel inszeniert. Der Einmarsch der Türkei muss klare Konsequenzen haben. Es dürfen nicht noch mehr europäische Waffen in diesem Krieg eingesetzt werden.“

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Protests in Egypt: What the EU can do for the safety of protesters

On Friday protests against the al-Sisi regime are expected again in Egypt. More than 1000 people have been arrested since last week's protests. It was also reported that social media and messaging platforms were blocked. The current wave of arrests in Egypt shows once again how the government under President al-Sisi is proceeding with systematic severity against legitimate protests by the population. The EU should prevent the use of arms from its member states in this process.

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Urgency Resolution: Support women's rights activists in Iran!

If human rights are disregarded elsewhere, we cannot remain silent here! On International Women's Day, March 8, Iranian women took off their headscarves in the subway in Tehran and distributed flowers. This was a peaceful and courageous protest against the compulsory wearing of headscarves. The Iranian regime reacted with hard prison sentences. As human

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