Mevlut Cavusoglu (Turkey)
"I think that everyone in this Chamber agrees that we do not want any political prisoners in the member states. That is why the Assembly needs a proper definition of political prisoners.
"We gave a mandate to our rapporteur and, as he said, he has been working on the report for three years.
"When we look at the resolution, we see that it is only five paragraphs long.
"Please do not connect this to any country. We are a standard-setting Organisation. We set it not only for the 47 member states, but for the European Union, other international organisations, including the United Nations, the courts, academic circles and think tanks.
"We are not stupid; the rapporteur does not need to remind us of the previous definitions.
"In the three years, did the rapporteur organise any hearings in the committee? No.
"Did he bring the judges of the ECHR together? No.
"Did he work with experts or academics? No.
"Everyone accepts that he was supposed to bring the judges of the Court together to make the proper definition. In the end, he came to the Assembly with what I am sorry to say is nonsense.
"This is nonsense. This undermines the credibility of this Organisation. We cannot set standards like this. This is not the standard we should be setting.
"People say that if we do not accept the resolution, the Assembly will lose its credibility. I think that if we do accept it, the Assembly will lose its credibility.
"When we make the proper definition we can rely on it. This is not the definition."