Seanad debates

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Freedom of Speech

2:30 pm

Photo of Paul GavanPaul Gavan (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

It is so disappointing. We have a seat on the UN Security Council yet the Minister of State says the Government will not comment on perhaps the biggest human rights case facing the western world. What a contrast with the situation in Belarus. That is a situation involving a legal case.That is a legal matter and the Government has no problem commenting on it. It has no problem commenting on legal proceedings in Russia but it will not offer a word of condemnation or stand for human rights when it comes to a man who has done more to expose war crimes than any other individual in my lifetime. The Minister of State is here to say there is nothing to see here and he will not comment.

Where are the values of this Government? How can this be acceptable in the face of the horrendous plight of Mr. Julian Assange? We all know why this is happening. The US wants to send a message to the world that if anybody tells the world what it does, this is the treatment that will be meted out. This is the punishment that will be received. We can see that happening to Julian but the Minister of State is here saying he has no comment. It is appalling.


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