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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Civil-Political
  • 2013.07.19
  • 2419

Over 50 international lawyers, human rights, civil rights and civil society groups and networks issue a statement criticising certain EU member states response to Snowden's relevantaions as it contradicts the EU's commitment to democracy, human rights and international law. The statement is initiated by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, the Transnational Institute and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights. PSPD endorses the statement as below. 


Grounding of Bolivian presidential jet and treatment of Edward Snowden shames European Union

Civil society statement


The refusal of entry into their airspace by certain European states for the Bolivian presidential jet on the basis of suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board was an astonishing manoeuvre that flies in the face of the EU’s commitment to democracy, human rights and international law.


The potential damage that this action does to both the reputation of the European Union and respect for international law within and beyond its borders cannot be overstated. The forcing down and searching the Bolivian President Evo Morales’ jet was a clear breach of fundamental principles of diplomatic immunity and inviolability. Such principles are the bedrock of good international relations and customary international law.


The blocking of routes to asylum coupled with the failed attempt to apprehend Mr. Snowden suggests that some EU states are prepared to disregard the European Conventions on Human Rights and expeditiously transfer him to the USA to face the same fate as Bradley Manning and other whistleblowers – that is solitary confinement, the prospect of an unfair trial and a charge that carries the death penalty.


States such as Spain and Portugal were among the many EU governments that permitted hundreds of CIA “extraordinary rendition” flights through their airspace between 2001 and 2006, facilitating repeated acts of torture, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention by the USA. Their failure to prosecute those responsible and compensate the victims of rendition is now compounded by the EU’s apparent readiness to engage in the practice once more.


The European Union should investigate the forcing down and searching the Bolivian President’s jet and act swiftly to safeguard the fundamental rights of its people by putting an end to the unwarranted mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden.


The ruthless persecution of whistleblowers is a grave threat to investigative journalism. It will undermine openness and transparency and further erode public trust in government.  The issues now at stake – the protection of whistleblowers, the regulation of surveillance powers and the ability of journalists’ to protect the confidentiality of their sources – are at the very heart of what it means to live in a democracy.


Many European countries have a proud history of providing refuge to people facing prosecutions of a political nature. If they are to avoid the same international reputation for injustice that increasingly plagues their Transatlantic partner they should cease and desist in their efforts to apprehend Mr. Snowden, recognise his service to European democracy and guarantee him safe haven or passage.





Acção Acadêmica para o Desenvolvimento das Comunidades Rurais (Mozambique)

Access to Information Programme (Bulgaria)

Action from Ireland

Africando (Spain)

Alianza Social Continental - Hemispheric Social Alliance

Asociacon de Cubanos Residentes en Portugal

Asociación Americana de Juristas

ATTAC Argentina

ATTAC Austria

ATTAC Finland

ATTAC Hellas

ATTAC Mallorca

Arab Lawyers Association (UK)

AdvokatPRO (Barrister bureau, Russia)

Alliance for Global Justice

Alternative Intervention of Athens Lawyers

Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition

Begegnungszentrum fuer aktive Gewaltlosigkeit (Center for Encounter and active Non-Violence)

Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation

Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (UK)

Ceartas, Irish Lawyers for Human Rights

Center for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America (Germany)

El Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM)

Comité du Forum Social Lémanique, Genève

Confederación Intersindical Galega

Convergencia de Movimientos de los Pueblos de las Américas

Corporate Europe Observatory

Ecologistas en Acción (Spain)

Eskubideak (Basque lawyers association)

Europe solidaire sans frontiers France

European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH)

European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

FIAN International

Focus on the Global South

German Association of Democratic Lawyers (VDJ)

Global Social Justice

Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network

Greek Helsinki Monitor

Grupo 'Solidair met Guatemala' de Bélgica

Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Humanist Association of Hong Kong

Indian Association of Lawyers

Institute for Policy Studies

International Association of Democratic Lawyers

International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms, (IALANA), German section

Italian Association of Democratic Lawyers

Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie (Germany)

Latinamerikagrupperna (Sweden)

Latin America Solidarity Centre

Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas

National Lawyers Guild

Nicaragua Center for community Action

Observatório para a defensa dos direitos e liberdades (EsCULcA)

Otros Mundos AC/Amigos de la Tierra (México)

Partito della Rifondazione Comunista – Sinistra Europea

People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (South Korea)

La Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD)

Progressive Lawyers of Turkey (CHD)

Red Europea de Comités Oscar Romero

La Red Nacional Genero y Economia (Mexico)

Soldepaz Pachakuti

Transnational Institute

Transnational Migrant Platform - Europe

Unión Universal Desarrollo Solidario

VD AMOK (Netherlands) 



For more information

UN rights chief urges protection for individuals revealing human rights violations: 



European Parliament Resolution on the US National Security Agency surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ privacy, 4 July 2013: 



Amnesty International, USA must not hunt down whistleblower Edward Snowden:



Human Rights Watch, US: Statement on Protection of Whistleblowers in Security Sector:



European Parliament Resolution on alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA, 2 Aug. 2012:



Open Society Justice Initiative, Report on “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition”:



European Court of Human Rights, judgment in El-Masri v. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:



The Global Rendition System database:


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