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Latvian MP in European Parliament against ACTA ratification

February 13, 2012, 18:03 UTC+3

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is incompatible with the guarantees of the right to fair trial in accordance with the European Convention for Protection of Human Rights a

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GORKI, February 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) runs counter to generally recognised rights and freedoms, and the Greens / European Free Alliance in the European Parliament is strongly against this document and will oppose its ratification in the European Parliament, Latvian MP in the European Parliament Tatjana Zdanoka said.

The Greens / European Free Alliance ordered two surveys to study the compatibility of the rules and procedures contained in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement with the existing European principles and standards concerning human rights, consumer rights, legitimate public interests and the freedom of competition.

“These surveys showed that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is completely incompatible with the guarantees of the right to fair trial in accordance with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights,” Zdanoka said.

The ACTA is designed to protect the interests of big corporations that own intellectual property rights but contains no provisions guaranteeing protection of the interests of Internet providers and Internet users, she said.

“The property right should not be placed above the right to freedom, inviolability of private life and home, the right to receive and disseminate information and the freedom of speech and secrecy of private correspondence,” the MP said.

The ACTA also violates ownership rights of the owners of computers, video and audio equipment, and cellular phones, Zdanoka added.

“I personally and our political group Greens / European Free Alliance will provide legal, organisational and political support to activists who oppose ratification of the ACTA by Latvia, and we will do everything possible to prevent its ratification in the European Parliament, which has the final say in this process,” the MP said.

The ACTA is a multi-national agreement aimed at establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement. The agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet, and would create a new governing body outside existing forums, such as the World Trade Organisation, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, or the United Nations.

The agreement was signed on October 1, 2011 by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States. In January 2012, the European Union and 22 of its member states signed it as well. After ratification by 6 states, the convention will come into force.

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