Hautala opens the One World Human Rights Film Festival

On 14th of April Ms Hautala addressed the opening ceremony of One World 2010 International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Brussels.[:] The International Film Festival is based in Prague in Czech Republic but includes selection of films to be presented abroad.

Chairwoman of the European Parliament Subcommittee, Ms Hautala, underlined the importance of films in promotion of human rights. She wished for the EU and the European Parliament in particular to look into ways to support this distinguished art form in more concrete ways. While its art credentials are evident, she underlined, the films create also a distinct forum for debate, discussion and learning.

While we applaud the excellence of these films we should not forget their authors. Many of them cannot live in their home countries, many who have left cannot return. EU should step up its act here and seriously ponder how we could better receive these people into EU for safety and help them to return to their home countries, should they wish to do so.

The festival started by showing the film “Anna, Seven Years on the Frontline”. Ms Hautala paid tribute to the memory and work of Ms Politkovskaya, who was also a personal friend to Ms Hautala. She recalled that many other courageous people had carried on in the footsteps of Ms Politkovskaya and that some of these people paid the same price, mentioning especially Ms Natalya Estemirova.

Ms Hautala noted that these remarks should not be interpreted as an EU’s attempt to preach to the Russian authorities or impose  some artificial values on them on how they should govern their country. Instead, she explained, we have common values as to the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights. This applies to EU too as the Union is now in the process of joining the European Convention on Human Rights. “The real question therefore is, how do Russia and EU live up to their own values.”

The One World 2010 International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival continues in Brussels until 19th of April. More information can be found from www.oneworld.cz/2010