On January 25th 2006, The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), which brings together parliamentarians from 46 European countries, passed a resolution entitled “Need for international condemnation of crimes of totalitarian communist regimes” at its plenary session. The resolution was passed by 99 votes to 42, which caught the attention of countries all over the world. Europe is the place where the spectre of Communism was born. This resolution passed by PACE heralded a new beginning of an international condemnation of totalitarian communist regimes.
Before voting on the resolution, the plenary session held over two hours of intensive debates. Parliamentarians from different countries made speeches at the meeting, outlining their personal experiences and opinions of communist regimes. Clearharmony will publish these speeches to bring attention to the crimes of the world’s largest communist regime — the Chinese Communist Party — which has brutally oppressed Falun Gong practitioners for almost seven years resulting in almost three thousand deaths and at least 44,000 documented abuses of torture.
The following is a report on the speech by Mr Legendre, a parliamentarian representing France:
Mr Legendre said that the Council of Europe denounced crimes against liberty, the world over, part-session after part-session. Its stated mission is to maintain human rights. How could the Assembly not condemn crimes of communists when it had condemned fascists and Nazis? It is essential to condemn these totalitarian communist regimes. It is important to remember the policies the Communist Party had followed in the terrible 20th century, doing away with elections and imprisoning and executing citizens. The Council of Europe could not remain indifferent to those actions.
The numbers could be debated, but it was known that there were many victims, in numerous countries. Stalin was an assassin, and if he were alive today would have been in front of the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. That was not to say, however, that all communist leaders – for example, President Gorbachev – would be viewed in the same light.
Responsibility needed to be taken for those crimes. It was wrong to suggest that communists could not be denounced because they fought against the Nazis. Stalin should still be condemned for his crimes, as should other communists who had committed such crimes.
The Council of Europe needs to come back to the spirit of its creation. There needs to be a fight against nostalgia. The communist parties of the 20th century are tyrannical and Mr Legendre said he did not want any more of them.
More information on the resolution “Need for international condemnation of crimes of totalitarian communist regimes” can be found at http://www.clearharmony.net/articles/200601/31217.html
Note: Founded on May 5th 1949, the Council of Europe (COE) has 46 member countries and has its headquarters in Strasbourg, France. The COE aims to defend human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, to develop continent-wide agreements to standardise member countries’ social and legal practices, and to promote awareness of a European identity based on shared values and cutting across different cultures. The highest decision-making body is the Committee of Ministers, composed of the 46 Foreign ministers or their Strasbourg-based deputies (ambassadors/permanent representatives). The European Human Rights Court is a body under the Council of Europe.
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