“Without human rights defenders there are no human rights”

Hautala was interviewed for the EP website on human rights.

Hautala commented: “It is sad that people who put themselves on the line often are placed, on a variety of excuses, to criminal liability, or are inflicted with administrative sanctions to hamper their activity. [:]This is the pattern worldwide. I recently got a world map on my wall, and when there’s an ambassador in front of me, I can tell that oh yes, that’s your country there, we understand your situation, but you should stop condemning people for their opinions.

I feel I have received a great gift when I get to do this job, which is probably the best thing I have until now been able to during my lengthy political career. Parliament has influence, and when we appeal on behalf of an imprisoned journalist, it sometimes helps. So many people rely on Parliament. Obviously, it is not always able to meet expectations, but inspires confidence in human rights issues. This needs nurturing.”

She also brought up the issue of Wikileaks and the safety of human rights defenders: “On the other hand one needs to accept the fact that human security can be compromised. For example, it is not necessarily good for an African human rights defender’s security that his name is displayed. In order to know about human rights violations, we need more transparency, and other institutions can not keep the EP in the shade. Wikileaks is a good thing, as long as they make sure that sensitive information, mainly on human security, is removed.”

Read the whole interview: