Rik Daems, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), was interviewed by France 24 earlier this week on individual freedoms, coronavirus tracking applications, racial discrimination and other topical issues.
“It is clear that all governments have needed to take very strict measures to defend the health of citizens. […] But even if we know that life will be different after the crisis – let’s hope it ends soon – the values, the rights, the freedoms need to stay untouched,” Daems said of the measures adopted to contain the coronavirus outbreak, highlighting that the restrictions in different countries need to be of temporary nature.
Moreover, Daems discussed the increased number of domestic violence and discrimination cases, noting that the number of known cases has increased at least by one third during the confinement period. Daems also strongly condemned any discrimination against LGBT+ communities and noted that such action can’t be justified under any circumstances. Taking a strong stance on racism, Daems noted:
“We need to fight against racism with all our strength. […] We can’t deny the past, but we need to learn from it.”
Watch the interview in full here (in French)