Threading the silver thread

The EU’s attempt to sew human rights into its policies shows the lessons of Burma and Arab revolutions.

“To be forgotten is to die a little,” said Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader, when she accepted her Nobel Peace Prize this month. Her words are an important reminder that strong statements on human rights in one part of the world do not fall on deaf ears in the rest. Not only do prominent dissidents and human-rights defenders take heart from political support for their cause, but the message is also heard by ordinary people suffering oppression and indignity.

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