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Home arrow newsitems arrow Snowden to Eurofora(1): who Helps Whistle-Blowers is not Ennemy, but Friend of the Country concerned

Snowden to Eurofora(1): who Helps Whistle-Blowers is not Ennemy, but Friend of the Country concerned

Written by ACM
Friday, 15 March 2019

 snowdens_reply_to_aggs_1st_question__i_wanted_to_ask_the_world_coe_videoeurofora_screenshot_400

*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Choosing to Reply to the First of 2 "Eurofora"s Questions (See also : ...), at a CoE's Video-Conference, about Whistle-Blowers' Freedom, World Famous pro-Human Rights/Democracy Dissident Edward Snowden, stressed that who Helps a Whistle-Blower, instead of Harassing him/her, is, in fact, "Not an Enemy, But a Friend" of the Country concerned.

- In fact, by Leaving Abroad, "I Wanted to Ask the whole World : Where someone like me should Go ? Where am I Safe to Speak ?", he explained in his Reply to "Eurofora"s relevant Question (See Infra).

 

coe_videoconference_with_snowden_coeeurofora_screenshot_400 

- In that rare event, organized Today by the New CoE's Rapporteur on WhistleBlowers, vice-President of the French National Assembly, MEP Sylvain Waserman from Strasbourg, (Comp. also Waserman's relevant Statements to "EF", Yesterday, at : ...., etc), Snowden chose to adress mainly the 1st of 2 Questions that "Eurofora" had raised:

aggs_1st_question_to_snowden_in_coe_eurofora_screenshot_400 

Our 1st Question concerned, particularly, "WistleBlowers' Ability to continue to Speak on Fundamental Issues" (Individually and/or Collectively), and how to address, through a Socio-Political Struggle, the Fact that, in general, most WhistleBlowers are Threatened to become ..."Carbonized", by Harassment, Pressure and Attacks, shortly after they "come out" in Public at the Medias, Paying personaly a too Heavy price, with Hard Sacrifices for the sake of the General Interest Issue that they revealed,

snowden_hears_aggs_questions_eurofora_screenshot_400 

as a specialized and experienced NGO Representative had Earlier denounced, (preferring the Protective Secrecy of Anonymous Press "Sources", as far as she was concerned).

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- Snowden Replied that he Found "in there, an Interesting Question", "I think, about the WhistleBlowers' Ability to Speak", (choosing to Start Replying First by "Eurofora"s initial Query, among 3 Differend Participants in a row, who raised Various Issues).

- "Interesting Question : How to Protect them ? What can we do ?", he Wondered.

- "We certainly Can't, in the Current context (since 2013), in the USA, be able to Speak Freely to (Press) Reporters, (not) even about the most Serious Crimes,  without being driven into either Prison, or Exile. And I think, that's a Tragic thing", he Denounced.

- "I would like to say <<that's not the case in Europe>>. But, unfortunately, I have very Little Evidence, to believe it's Different. Especially (judging by) the National Security Context", he bitterly noted.

- "Quite famously, People Forget that I didn't choose to be in Russia", he reminded.

-  In fact, "I was on route from Hong Kong to Latin America, when the Secretary of State, then John Kerry, cancelled my Passport !"

- This was done "as soon as they heard that I left, which Trapped me in Russia".

 - "Now, I could have simply appealed to Russia for Asylum Directly, but I did Not".

- Simply "Because I Wanted to Ask the whole World !", he significantly stressed, (concerning also the Global aspect of Internet Mass Surveillance that he Denounced).

 - Indeed: -"Where can someone like me, go ?", Snowden wondered.

- "Where am I Safe to Speak ?"

- "We Revealed something like the Uniform Violation of the Rights of Every Man, Woman or Child, whose Communications pass through the Networks of the USA and its Allies", he reminded, as far as it concerns what is at stake.

- So, "I Applied to over +20 Differend Countries, for Protection, including France and Germany".

- "And, unfortunately, in Every case, they found a reason Not to accept the query", he denounced :  

- "In Many cases, because of <<US Pressure>>, they said : <<Oh, you know, we won't accept at all !>>. In other cases, it was : <<Oh, you have to Get to our Country First>>, which, of course, they knew it wasn't possible, because my Passport had been Cancelled", Snowden described bitterly.

 - "Even though they could, of course, have offered a Travel Document, (in order) to travel there, and, then, apply for Asylum, they were Not willing to do so".

- "Now, I think we all Undestand the Political Dynamics that Lead to that Common Decision : What Country wants to ask for a Problem ?", he realistically noted.

------------------------

 - "But, sometimes, if we don't take these problems, if we don't Willingly Accept these problems", (then),

=> "what we are allowing to happen, is that the Meaning of our Rights, the Protection afforded by our Commitment to the Ideal of Human Rights, is beginning to Shrink !", Snowden Warned.

 snowden_reply_to_agg_quest_1__beggining_to_shrink__coeeurofora_400

- "I think we all know, that, if I had (f.ex.) Belarussian, or Chinese, or North Korean Citizenship, and I had gone to the USA, (then) France and Germany would have Admitted me, they would have thrown me a Parade !", he joked critically..

- "Now, I understand that, and I am Not Angry about what happened. What happens to me is a very little problem of importance", he  said modestly.

>> - "But the (Wider) Dynamic, I think, Matters !

 - "I don't ask Europe, any more to let me in. Although I still, very much, look Forward to the Day that I can Freely Travel to Europe, once again", Snowden acknowledged.

 

=> -"But, I do, very Strongly, Ask Europe, to Make Sure they are Well Prepared for the Next Case, like mine !", he urged.

 - "Because Admitting someone into your Country, and Protecting someone in your Country, who is Trying to Serve the Public Good",

"Even if their Government - which might be a very Close Ally - Objects to it, if it makes them UnConfortable, it creates very Difficult Circumstances for them",

=> Nevertheless, "Admitting and Protecting a Whistle-Blower is Not a Hostile act. Not the act of an Ennemy"

>>> On the Contrary, "It's an Act of a Friend !", Edward Snowden Concluded.

* Since, then, in fact, "You are Upholding a Grieved Country, (f.ex.) USA's Commitment to Protect Human Rights",

"in a Situation where it's very Difficult for them, to do so (by) themselves. Because They are acting Emotionally, they are acting Irrationaly, they are Reacting Angry", he Explained, Realistically but Profoundly.

 - "Because We are All Humans, Governments are Comprised of Humans. We are All Embarassed. We may All make Bad Decisions in a Moment"...

--------------

 - "But, the Attorney General of the USA, who Charged me, with Crimes, ... by the time that he left the White House, said : - "I think that what Mr. Snowden did, was a Public Service. It was a Public Service !".

He was referring to former US Attorney General Eric Holder, who, despite persisting to criticize Snowden's revelations, nevertheless, acknowledged, since 2016, that he had offered a "Public Service" to the Country, by opening a much needed "Debate", which led to adequate "Reforms".

- "Now, we don't know how this Story is going to end, ... And, Honestly, it doesn't matter" so much, the most Famous WhistleBlower of the World, added modestly.

 - "But, if we don't Correct the (US) President, for the Next President. And we don't correct the President, for the Next Person After that, and the Next Person After that", ...

=> Then, "we shall find ourselves withOut WhistleBlowers, when we Need them the most  !".

 - "Because Noone is going to be willing to Sacrifice themselves, for a Public that doesN't, any longer, represent the Ideals that such an individual is Trying to Protect", he Warned.

--------------------------------------------------------

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+ Concluding that exceptional CoE's Video-Debate, the new Rapporteur of the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, Strasbourg's Centrist MEP Sylvain Waserman, expessed his Wish to "Invite" Snowden here, in the foreseable Future, this time "in Safety".

Such a move might be naturally made by Waserman, (who is also vice-President of France's National Assembly), most probably during the forcthcoming French Presidency of the CoE, i.e. between May and November 2019, when he intends to present his Report for Public Debate and Final Vote for Adoption by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, as he told "Eurofora", (See : ...).

coes_interior__pace_eurofora_400 

++ It's Interesting to note, also, in this regard, the fact that vice-President Waserman, almost at the same time, would like to give "an International Framework" to his Future Report, (according also to a Recent EU - CoE cooperation's Trend to use, more and more, Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation, and its Old and New, various Legal Conventions, often "Open for Signature and Ratification" also to 3rd Countries, from all over the World, particularly in some Key Areas, such as, f.ex., Protection of Private/Personal Data, Fight against Cyber-Crime, Constitutional Law and Human Rights, BioEthics, Children's protection and Struggle against Human Trafficking, etc), as he told "Eurofora" earlier Today.

+++ In this Context, CoE's Rapporteur also told "Eurofora" that he would like to Meet, inter alia, with some Key Officials from the USA, etc.

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(../..)

 

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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