Ladies and Gentlemen,
I hereby offer my support in your fight for the respect of human rights in China. I also express my support for women and men who take action worldwide in favour of human rights.
Those who practise discrimination, suppression, imprisonment, physical torture and psychological torture, those who aim at the elimination of women and men because they belong to a particular philosophical, political or religious trend, must meet with wholehearted disapproval and condemnation.
I regret that too often the demand for the respect of human rights, for the respect of freedom of conscience, expression and association, must give way to purely pecuniary considerations, influenced only by economic interests.
I often have the impression that the greater a country is, with immense markets, the more the Charter of human rights is put away in the cupboard, not to annoy powerful economic partners and not to shut the doors to future profitable markets.
How can we see otherwise, for example, the attitude of the French authorities during the demonstrations for the Chinese New Year in Paris?
How can we see otherwise, for example, the chill of certain political groups in Switzerland, when one speaks of human rights in China?
How can we see otherwise, for example, the tremendous difficulty experienced by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in broaching the subject of the suppression of Falun Gong?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is rightly universal. To demand its respect on a universal level is therefore not only normal but constitutes a duty.
China is a great country. A China which respects human rights could only increase in importance and grow in stature before worldwide public opinion.
The integration of respect for human rights in the Chinese Constitution, decided upon yesterday by the Chinese parliament, must be followed up without delay by concrete acts.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish you strength and courage to continue your fight. I wish you success in your commitment.
In conclusion, I assure you that my thoughts, like yours, go to all those who are suffering through lack of respect for human rights, in China of course, but also everywhere in the world!
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