Delegation’s Kat Craig addresses AISPP conference, TunisPosted: March 14, 2011
The delegation’s Kat Craig, a human rights lawyers based in London and co-Vice Chair of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, was invited to address the conference. Her speech follows below.
My name is Kat Craig. I am a British human rights lawyer. In my country I represent victims of state violence and abuse, including British former Guantanamo Bay detainees.
I am joined on this delegation by eleven colleagues, who are prominent lawyers and academics from Turkey, the US and UK. We are here on the invitation of the Tunisian Bar Association and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our hosts, and our many Tunisian friends who have made this delegation possible.
It is a great honour and privilege to celebrate this long awaited day with you.
We have come to Tunisia with the greatest respect for your victory. We come to show solidarity with the Tunisian people. We come to learn from your courage and experience, we come to document and pay tribute to your suffering and sacrifices. We come as friends of the Tunisian people and as friends of the Revolution.
We know that our governments, and the US and European governments in particular, have much to answer for. We know they are complicit in the terrible abuses many Tunisians have suffered, as a result our governments’ support of Ben Ali’s regime.
But we promise you that we do not stand with our governments, we stand with you and your ongoing struggle for political and social justice.
One of the aims of this delegation is to investigate the complicity of the US and European governments with Ben Ali’s regime through financial, military and diplomatic support.
Another key focus is the issue of political prisoners; the mistreatment of those who have been criminalized for their beliefs and how to hold those responsible to account.
We will be seeking to take a message back to the people and governments in our countries. We are looking to you for the content of this message. But one thing we will be saying, one thing we have already heard everywhere, is no more interventions and no more support for dictators.
We arrived yesterday afternoon. Already, we have been deeply touched and inspired by your bravery and commitment. We will aspire to mirror that bravery and commitment during our time here in Tunisia, and when we take your message back to our countries, in our words and our actions.
Thank you for your hospitality, your courage and the inspiration you have offered to people around the world.
Her speech was welcomed with loud applause.