Strasbourg, 19/10/2022 – Today, Pirate Party member Markéta Gregorová, along with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), hosted an exceptional conference focused on reprisals in Europe. The main focus of this event by the European Pirates and Greens/EFA is a new report consisting of 26 interviews with European diaspora communities’ members. These testimonies include Ahwaz Arab, Azerbaijani Turk, Crimean Tatar, Gilak, Kurd, Tibetan and Uighur activists, some of which were present at the event.
MEP Markéta Gregorová, member of the Czech Pirate Party, comments:
“It is my great pleasure to be a part of an event, which brings awareness to the atrocities, which are unfortunately still happening in today’s world. From my point of view, it is important to not only shine a light on reprisals, but also to give a voice to those experiencing them. Meeting with activists from the European diaspora and hearing their life stories was a heartbreaking experience for me. As a long-term human rights supporter, I promised to keep standing up for them.”
Zumretay Arkin, Advocacy Manager and Chair of the Women’s Committee of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), comments:
“Reprisals are often used by authoritarian governments as a tool of oppression. In the Uyghur case, we are at a great risk of reprisals. These include hostage diplomacy, intimidation, and defamation with the aim to criminalize the work of human rights defenders. It is therefore incumbent on governments to act to protect human rights defenders from reprisals.”
Mandane Kakai, Kurdish activist from Iran, comments:
“No person should ever be discouraged to be in charge of their own fate, their own freedom, their own rights. No one should live in fear of the regime.”
Shima Silavi, Project Manager at the UNPO and Ahwazi Arab activist, comments:
“I interviewed dozens of persons belonging to ethic minorities from Iran, Russia and China. Each of them shared their experience of reprisal. They are all people that paid a high price for standing up for human rights and the right of their people’s self-determination. We think we are safe in Europe but the authoritarian states are succeeding at home, so they are taking their fight abroad. Addressing these reprisals is not just important for the victims but for societies as a whole.”
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)
UNPO is a worldwide movement and a guardian of human rights. The people represented by UNPO share a common characteristic: they are unequally represented in governance institutions. UNPO therefore empowers them and raises their voices so they can be heard.