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Dubai sentence, unacceptable violation of human rights

The victim of the assault, a Norwegian citizen, was not protected by local institutions that on the contrary caused her imprisonment with a decision determined by religious conservativism

A worrying sign for Westerners that live in countries where the legislation is affected by the intervention of religious confessions has come from the injustice suffered by a Norwegian citizen, who after she has been a victim of violence in Dubai during a business trip (from Quatar where she worked) and having reported this to the local police, found herself sentenced to sixteen months in detention, due to the fact that Islamic laws of the United Arab Emirates do not protect the victims of violence, considering only men as witnesses.

The victim of this worrying story remains in a Norwegian center in Dubai, avoiding her so at least the detention (after the release agreed by the local authorities with the Oslo diplomacy) but what had happened is seriously disturbing for Westerners who work in similar contexts and describes what is the grave and unacceptable situation of women’s rights in many countries. Instead of being protected as a victim of violence, the Norwegian citizen has been accused of adultery.

There is a clear violation of the human rights by the local courts, conditioned by a reactionary interpretation of the Islamic religion. The incident has rightly drawn the attention of organizations of based in the UK and in other European states: people coming from the United Arab Emirates reveal (also following the case which is discussed) the intolerable situation of women in many Arab countries. The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Espen Barth Eide, underlined the extraneousness of this sentence to the principles of protection of human rights.

Aldo Ciummo

Anne Jensen (Denmark): EU has to promote economic recovery

The European Parliament, with its guidelines for the budget in 2014, intends to ask to all the European institutions a budget capable of fighting the crisis and stimulate the employment in the EU

During the plenary session of last week (voting session of Wednesday, March 13, 2013) the European Parliament approved in the guidelines for the 2014 budget the proposals of Anne Jensen (“Venstre”, Liberal Party of Denmark). Year 2014 opens the Multiannual Financial Framework, the result of which will be closely linked to the negotiations between the European Parliament and the EU Council for the period 2014-2020.

The definition of the budget for 2014 will depend very much on the correct execution of the budget for 2013: in this regard Anne Jensen expressed concern for the insufficient level of payments in the current year (as well as the delays of payment regarding 2012). The intervention of the Danish MEP is part of the orientation of the political group to which she belongs, the “Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe” (“Alde”).

Anne Jensen said that, although it is unusual to speak about the budget in 2014 while it is still unknown what will happen to the budget of 2013, nor what the outcome of the difficult negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the European Union on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will be, it is important to set iis guidelines, as also required by the budgetary procedure.

Policies with respect to the 2014 budget, said Jensen, fall into three categories: consolidating the legal basis of common policies to ensure financing the payment appropriations (underfunded because of the budget deficit in 2014 to be launched) in any scenario; ensure that savings are an end in themselves and ensure that growth and employment are promoted.

Anne Jensen stressed that European citizens require European institutions which are active in supporting the efforts to overcome the economic crisis, suggesting therefore that the budget will be aimed primarily at increasing the efficiency of infrastructure, transportation and research, and ensures the presence of a social orientation of European policies, reducing youth unemployment and strengthening education and training.

Aldo Ciummo