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Vietnam's recent ratification of both the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a crucial and welcome step. The EU stands ready to assist Vietnam in the full implementation of these key human rights Conventions.

The EU encourages all countries worldwide to ratify these Conventions and to respect their provisions.

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The conviction and sentencing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim raises serious questions regarding due process of law.

The European Union regards Malaysia as a key political and economic partner in South East Asia. In that spirit of partnership, the EU wishes to underscore that trust in the administration of justice is an essential component of the democratic process.

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Brussels, 19 January 2015 – High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini met today with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Brussels.

The European Union and Vietnam held on 19 January 2015 in Brussels the fourth round of their annual enhanced Dialogue on Human Rights in the spirit of the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) signed in June 2012.

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I congratulate Maithripala Sirisena on his election as President of Sri Lanka. The EU looks forward to working with him to further develop its relations with Sri Lanka.

The EU will continue to support Sri Lanka in its development as a prosperous and inclusive democracy for the benefit of all its citizens.

I also wish to pay tribute to the Sri Lankan people and authorities for the overall conduct of the election and the strong voter turnout, which augur well for the democratic process.

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[Check against delivery]

The Commission, which I represent here today for this matter is, like you, appalled by the findings of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Programme, part of which was released on 9 December (most of the inquiry remains classified).

This report raises important questions as regards serious violations of fundamental rights by the US authorities and by other persons at the service of the CIA between late 2001 and January 2009.

The attack today on a military school in Peshawar leaves all of us in shock. When innocents are killed, when children are targeted in their place of study, it is an attack not only on universally recognised values and rights but also on the future of the country, on all our futures. 

I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and my support to the people and the authorities of Pakistan on this tragic day.

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