Colombian human rights groups to hold hearing at European Parliament

25 November 2004

The European Parliament in Brussels is next week to host an important hearing on human rights in Colombia. The hearing, timed to precede a parliamentary debate on the situation in the country, will hear testimony from the International Federation for Human Rights, the small farmers’ group Coordination Paysanne Européenne, the International Bureau for Human Rights: Action Colombia, the Belgian Coordination for Colombia, and two Belgian trade union federations. Luisa Morgantini, MEP for the United Left Group, will host the hearing along with members of the Green, Socialist and Liberal political groups. Also taking part will be P. Javier Giraldo, the founder of "Justice and Peace in Colombia", author Hildebrando Velez, and a number of other Colombians.

A spokesperson for the Belgian Coordination for Colombia (CBC) said that "While the European Union is developing an ever closer and more intense cooperation with Colombia, it will be useful to hear and better understand a point of view independent of the authorities. A range of Colombian organisations have brought together their different areas of expertise to bring out a book which contains a balance sheet of the human rights situation as a whole. Our guests will be presenting this book and will illustrate what it has to say on the basis of their own experience. We hope that this hearing will serve better to orientate the EU’s contribution to human rights, peace and development in Colombia as well as helping the European Parliament and NGOs to follow what is going on there." The book will be available in English translation.

If you would like to attend the hearing, which takes place next Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. in Room 1 G 3 of the Spinelli building, European Parliament, rue Wiertz, you should register by sending your details to CBC at Don’t forget to have your passport or ID card with you. All speeches and discussion during the meeting will be interpreted into English, as well as Spanish, French, German, Italian and Dutch.