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When backwards views on rights issues are championed as an issue of national sovereignity, all sense is lost. However, Morus's poll rightly points in the direction that a principled EU opposition to the death penalty shouldn't just focus on EU citizens.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 03:55:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo: When backwards views on rights issues are championed as an issue of national sovereignity, all sense is lost.

But that begs the question:  "backwards" according to who?

Same goes for Ivan Lewis's statements:

'China cannot expect to receive the respect they yearn from the international community until they abide by minimum standards of human rights.'

'.... it needs to be clear as that country plays a greater role in the world they have to understand their responsibility to adhere to the most basic standards of human rights.'

China's execution of Akmal Shaikh enrages British leaders | World news | guardian.co.uk

The presumption here is that the English/Europeans/Westerners have a monopoly, or at least the last word, on determining what the "minimum/basic standards of human rights" are.  It doesn't seem to occur to them that others may beg to differ, especially in light of the track record of the English/Europeans/Westerners as perceived by those others.

Morus is probably right that if Europeans want to compel other societies to abide by and adopt current European principles and values, then a good strategy would be to bring to bear the collective economic and political weight of the European Union.  But, as you point out, obviously it had better not be in terms of special treatment for EU citizens.

La Chine dorme. Laisse la dormir. Quand la Chine s'Úveillera, le monde tremblera.

by marco on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 05:46:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that begs the question:  "backwards" according to who?

Death penalty opponents around the world... Note I am posting not from a core EU member, but from a a region abolishing the death penalty only after 1989, and that against majority public opinion, which persists from the polls I have seen; thus populist politicians regularly call for its reinstatement.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 07:36:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'China cannot expect to receive the respect they yearn from the international community until they abide by minimum standards of human rights.'

As with the USA---the leader in death sentences?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Dec 31st, 2009 at 01:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about sentences, but it's not the leader in executions, whether on a per capita basis or in absolute terms.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 31st, 2009 at 02:41:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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