Turning Up the Volume on Rights

By Dempsey, Judy | International Herald Tribune, July 9, 2013 | Go to article overview

Turning Up the Volume on Rights


Dempsey, Judy, International Herald Tribune


The E.U. and European governments face a dilemma: How can human rights -- supposedly at the center of Europe's foreign policy -- best be promoted?

When Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, and Stavros Lambrinidis, her human rights envoy, recently visited the Gulf state of Bahrain, there were high hopes from democracy activists that both would speak out about that country's human rights record.

During the two-day ministerial meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council, hosted by Bahrain, Mr. Lambrinidis spent much time discussing human rights with officials and nongovernmental organizations.

He also visited Jaw Prison, where many activists are being held for participating in pro-democracy demonstrations that were crushed in 2011 by the Bahraini government. Despite the meetings, democracy activists criticized the E.U. officials. In their view, they did not speak out loudly enough against Bahrain's suppression of human rights.

The dispute over Ms. Ashton and Mr. Lambrinidis's visit confirms the dilemma facing the European Union and its member governments: How can human rights -- supposedly at the center of Europe's foreign policy -- best be promoted?

On the one side are diplomats like Ms. Ashton, who believe in quiet diplomacy. On the other are human rights organizations, which favor a much more vocal stance.

In her remarks after the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting, Ms. Ashton put trade before human rights. Even then, the comments about Bahrain's record on human rights were cautious. "We do have honest and open discussions on issues, for example on human rights," Ms. Ashton said. "We may have different perspectives at times, but we're able to have that honest dialogue."

Maryam al-Khawaja, who is acting president of the independent Bahrain Center for Human Rights, said she was extremely disappointed with Ms. Ashton's public statement.

"The regime barely received a slap on the wrist," said Ms. Khawaja, whose father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the democracy demonstrations of 2011. This was all the more disheartening, she added, because hundreds of activists remained behind bars, torture was common, and social media were under strict surveillance.

A new report by the European Union Institute for Security Studies, based in Paris, said the Bahraini prime minister, Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has been in power since 1971, showed no willingness to change. "Bahrain is caught between reforms it is not willing to undertake and an uprising it is unable to suppress," wrote Florence Gaub and Boukja Kistemaker, the report's authors.

This has placed the European Union in a situation in which it is torn between pursuing quiet diplomacy, in order to be able to keep the lines of communication open with the Bahraini government, or speaking out publicly with the risk of Bahrain breaking off any dialogue on human rights. The Bahraini government already canceled a visit by Juan E. Mendez, the United Nations' special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Turning Up the Volume on Rights
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.