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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Jailing People for Political Opinions is Not Civilized

Jailing People for Political Opinions is Not Civilized, Andrew Brons Tells Hypocritical Liberals

European Union member countries who jail people just for expressing political opinions are not civilized, Andrew Brons MEP told shocked liberals in the EU Parliament yesterday.

Speaking to a meeting of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), Mr Brons said that a “common area of Justice is a fine ideal—an area in which Justice prevails throughout.

“However, that does not mean that there should be harmonisation of law or legal systems,” he said.

“Law can vary from country to country, whilst all might achieve Justice by different routes and channels. Furthermore, harmonisation is not a sufficient condition for Justice; it is not a guarantor of Justice.

“However, we cannot be complacent. Countries—and I mean countries in the European Union which that seek to gaol people for expressing political opinions, or which ban political parties that pursue their aims by peaceful means, or which seek to prescribe and proscribe different opinions about what happened in Armenia in 1915, are not civilised countries that subscribe to any ideal of Justice.

“History should be left to historians. The only politicians that impose views of history are totalitarian politicians,” Mr Brons said.

“Before we try to impose a common template on twenty-seven—soon to be twenty-eight—different countries, we must, at the very least ensure that the template is itself just and that the countries, from which the template is drawn, practise justice.

“Attempts to build complementary legal devices, like the European Arrest Warrant, have not served the interests of Justice.

“This device has facilitated people being extradited and gaoled, pending trial, without the court in the extraditing country being able to judge the strength or weakness of the case.

“These attempts to harmonise and make complementary, different legal systems are not motivated by service of Justice but by building EU competence, brick by brick.

“Spending money works wonders for the conscience but it does not guarantee the achievement of Justice, any more than the sale of indulgences, in the Middle Ages, guaranteed the achievement of Virtue.”