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Foreign Minister Westerwelle congratulates Rafik Schami on "Against Oblivion - For Democracy" prize

30.10.2011

Syrian-German writer Rafik Schami will receive today in Bremen the “Against Oblivion – For Democracy” prize for his services to democracy and human rights.

In this connection Foreign Minister Westerwelle today (30 October) issued the following statement:

“I congratulate Rafik Schami on this award. For years in his books and public pronouncements he has drawn attention to the brutal methods of the Syrian security services. When the current protests began in the land of his birth, he backed them from the first day.
The only way to end the ongoing crackdown – which undermines also the Arab League’s mediation efforts – is to step up international pressure on the Syrian regime. This pressure should increasingly come from within the region. In the European Union and at the United Nations, too, however, we will continue to urge the need for clear messages to be sent.
We will spare no effort to ensure that all those in Syria who are striving by peaceful means for a life of freedom and dignity should have their voices heard.”

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