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Attempt To Silence Debate In Warsaw :: Liberties Alliance

Attempt To Silence Debate In Warsaw

By • on October 2, 2009

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ICLA met with the Pax Europa representative over the last couple of days and was impressed with their tact, civility, open-mindedness and willingness to engage with groups and individuals with opposing views.  The reception at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs certainly provided such an opportunity which was the principal reason why ICLA attended that particular event.  It was most instructive to note that that groups with opposing views were actually trying to address the same difficulties but from opposite directions.  This in itself demonstrates why bodies such as the OSCE, that are willing to open their doors to differing viewpoints, are so necessary.  For the OSCE to succeed in its noble efforts protect human rights and maintain stability in the geographic area in which it operates, it is vital that views and opinions are out in the open so they can be discussed.

In the conference discussions it was interesting to note that groups trying to highlight human rights issues in former Soviet republics cited Government tactics that included attempts by the authorities to label dissidents as extremists.  This is exactly the same issue that many in the West now face.

We were surprised therefore that there was an apparent attack by I CARE News on Pax Europa.  This seemed reminiscent of the tactics used by oppressive regimes to silence opposing view points and stifle the full and frank debate that is acutely necessary in the OSCE area.  ICLA reiterates its statement of 30 September which relates to this broad issue.

The I CARE opinion piece and Pax Europa’s reply can be found HERE.