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 Loutfi, a parliamentarian representing Bulgaria:
Mr Loutfi thanked the rapporteur for an excellent report. He said Bulgaria was not spared the excesses of the totalitarian communist regime. Between 1984 and 1989, Bulgarians were imprisoned without trial in prison camps because they had been against the regime or because they had not been sympathetic to communism. Approximately 200,000 people were imprisoned without trial, of whom 30,000 had been killed. In addition, thousands had “disappeared”. Between the years 1984 and 1989, there were many flagrant abuses of human rights through violence, assassinations and incarceration in camps. The communist regime undermined human rights and the identity of human beings.
One million ethnic Turks were forced to take Slavic names and 5,000 were detained in the Belene prison camp. Between May and September 1989, 350,000 ethnic Turks were forcibly deported to Turkey in order to make Bulgaria uni-ethnic without any minorities. That was a brutal example of the grave violation of human rights committed by the communist regime. It was ethnic genocide, aimed at undermining the religious, political and ethnic identity of a minority.
Mr Loutfi has experienced tragedy on a personal level and shared the fate of the ethnic minority. He wanted to pay tribute to the deceased victims of the communist regime, and also to the courage of those who had survived. It is important for future generations that those events did not happen again. A catharsis is needed.
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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