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Freedom on the Internet is a Fundamental human right to be enforced. Gunnar Hökmark MEP

Date

10 Feb 2011

Sections

InfoSociety

"Now is the time to clarify that closing down or limiting the access to Internet, as happened recently in Egypt and in China and too many other countries, is a serious breach of article 19 of the Universal Charter of Human Rights of the United Nations", said Gunnar Hökmark MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group speaking at the Centre for European Studies conference on "Freedom in the Days of the Internet".

"Never before have so many people enjoyed freedom of expression as today. Thanks to technical achievements and the development of ever improving software, this freedom will encompass ever more citizens of our world. Availability of frequencies for mobile broadband, which is now being processed in the European Parliament, will be an important element in securing access to information all over the world", underlined Gunnar Hökmark.

But just these last days we have seen serious threats to this basic and central freedom. While the Internet played a pivotal role in raising the Egypt citizens against their dictatorship, that same dictatorship, in clear breach of the universal human rights, closed down the Internet throughout Egypt.

The UN Charter declares that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

"It is now our responsibility to focus on how to enforce this article when UN Member States breach their commitments to human rights", concluded Gunnar Hökmark

For further information:
Gunnar HÖKMARK MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845822
Per Heister, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-496-645530

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.

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