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The Brief: Human rights organisation puts pressure on EU

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The Brief: Human rights organisation puts pressure on EU
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REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
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While world leaders gather at the UN General Assembly in New York, human rights charities want to put pressure on Europe to be more coherent in supporting victims.

An Amnesty International report accuses the EU of double standards.

The human rights organisation says the Europe has stayed silent on Saudi Arabia's crackdown, compared to louder criticism regarding China or Russia.

"We found many innovative approaches where the EU delegations have supported (human rights) defenders, they have named them, they have attended their trials and they have called for the release of defenders in prison. We want to see more of this. And particularly looking at the EU guidelines for human rights defenders, these need to be fully implemented and (its needed) a much bolder approach," Director of Amnesty International EU office Eve Geddie explained.

In addition to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia; the report also analyzed the situation in Burundi and Honduras, over the last 5 years.

Amnesty International says activists defending the rights of women, LGBTI, Indigenous people, land and the environment are all at risk.

And some lawmakers want human rights to be a condition for the EU's trade deals.

"We are at the moment negotiating (note: she means ratification process) the Mercosur Treaty with Brasil and I have no understanding if we do not put human rights and environmental safeguards in this trade deal. What we see is that there are specific national, egoistic, interests of some members states in specific states that inhibit the EU from taking a common standpoint," Hannah Neumann, German MEP said.

Several Brazilian human rights defenders were nominated by European Parliaments political groups for the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

The prize will be awarded in December.

And other news in brief...

EU member states are set to impose sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials for their links to cases of torture and human rights violations.

European ambassadors have also given approval to create a sanctions regime against Nicaragua.

Both decisions must be ratified by EU ministers.

Brussels. The first ever European Research and Innovation days kicked off.

The event brings together industry and science stakeholders to debate the about the future of innovation in Europe. One highlight was the award ceremony of the EU contest for young scientists.