EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT INVESTIGATOR Kader Arif has quit his post over the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that the European Union (EU) signed yesterday in Japan.
Arif is apparently sick to his back teeth about the murky agreement and the behind closed doors manner in which it was created. Fair enough we say.
He published his reasons in French on his own web page, but they have been translated by La Quadrature Du Net, and we'll observe that he didn't mince words.
"I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament's demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly," he wrote.
"As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens' legitimate demands."
He added, "Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic," and said it is likely to cause problems in areas such as generic drugs manufacturing and leave users open to punishment with little protection.
"This agreement might have major consequences on citizens' lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade."
Although the ACTA treaty has been signed by a number of countries it still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament, at which Arif was the rapporteur. This is a French term for a person appointed to facilitate an investigation or negotiation process. µ
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