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January 27, 2012 | Peter Bradwell

ACTA rapporteur resigns over 'masquerade'

Kader Arif, rapporteur for ACTA in the European Parliament, has quit his role as rapporteur. Thanks to La Quadrature Du Net, here's his statement in English:

I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament's demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.

As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens' legitimate demands.

Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic, whether it is its impact on civil liberties, the way it makes Internet access providers liable, its consequences on generic drugs manufacturing, or how little protection it gives to our geographical indications.”

This agreement might have major consequences on citizens' lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.

 

Strong stuff and a brave move. Another clear signal that something is seriously wrong.  It's going to be our job to make sure that the public's voice is heard. Get ready to help us retrofit some democracy into the ACTA masquerade.

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