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Cablegate: Portugal: Input for the President's Human Rights

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLI #2379 2570912
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 140912Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6249
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS LISBON 002379

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR G, DRL/SEA, AND NSC/DEMOC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL: INPUT FOR THE PRESIDENT'S HUMAN RIGHTS
ROUNDTABLE AT 2007 UNGA

REF: A. SECSTATE 125456

B. LISBON 2301

1. (U) Embassy Lisbon works closely with the Portuguese
government to strengthen its already well-developed democracy
and human rights infrastructure. Per ref A request, this
cable details Post's efforts to promote the Freedom agenda in
Portugal.

Promoting Democracy
-------------------

2. (U) Since Portugal's peaceful 1974 revolution, Portugal
has established a strong, transparent democracy, and sought
ways to promote more stable democratic institutions in former
colonies in Africa and Asia. As a Mission, we look for
avenues to engage through multilateral organizations such as
the Community of Portuguese-language Speaking Countries
(CPLP) and the Community of Democracies. Post has encouraged
CPLP outreach to Guinea Bissau and East Timor for election
observers as well as Portugal's participation in the UN
mission to stabilize the fragile government in East Timor.
In Angola, the Department of Commerce is working with the
Portuguese to computerize and advance Angola's judicial
system. Embassy Lisbon supports Portugal's outreach efforts
to both nations and meets frequently with MFA interlocutors
to encourage a robust Community of Democracies chairmanship
beginning in November.

3. (U) Emboffs have stressed with MFA officials the
importance of promoting freedom of the press and freedom of
speech, especially beyond Portugal's borders. Although
Portuguese press is free, we urge the Portuguese to dialogue
with other nations in Europe and Africa where that is not the
case.

Defending Human Rights
----------------------

4. (U) Embassy Lisbon is active in promoting human rights
awareness, most notably on the issues of trafficking and
religious tolerance. We support ongoing Portuguese efforts
to combat human trafficking by coordinating Embassy visits to
NGOs, participating in anti-trafficking conferences, writing
op-eds to raise awareness, and sponsoring human rights
activists for International Visitor programs. To further
religious freedom and tolerance, Post hosts an annual Iftar
during Ramadan and has coordinated outreach events with a
local Muslim school. Our Office of Public Affairs organizes
separate press roll-outs for the annual TIP and Human Rights
reports, and provides electronic distribution of these
materials in both English and Portuguese.

5. (U) During Portugal's EU Presidency, DRL DAS Barks-Ruggles
and IO DAS Manisha Singh met with Portuguese MFA counterparts
to consult on our human rights agenda at the UN (ref B).
Portugal intends to present several human rights initiatives,
both country-specific and thematic, to the Human Rights
Council and the UN's Third Committee.
Hoffman

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