By the initiative of MEP Antanas Guoga, a group of MEPs addressed Amazon Inc. in a collective video message, urging to cease the sale of goods featuring Soviet symbols on the Amazon online shopping platform. This call is a follow-up on the official letter, which Members of the European Parliament sent to Amazon Inc. on 16 November 2018 regarding the selling goods with the Soviet symbols on Amazon marketplace.
The answer is still pending from Amazon to explain its position and corporate responsibility standards towards selling such items, which for millions of Europeans represent mass oppression against freedom, human rights, dignity and democracy MEP Antanas Guoga office announced.
“It is clear that we need to educate especially our young generation what totalitarian regimes caused in Europe if we want to prevent it. Therefore, multinational companies such as Amazon has to take corporate responsibility. The Soviet symbols should not be placed on cups and teddy bears to sell to customers. The promotion of such symbols is very hurtful for millions of Europeans” – says MEP Guoga. To stress the importance of this issue the group of MEPs have chosen this initiative as their final coordinated action during this mandate in the EP.
MEPs were urged to launch this initiative and contact the world’s trade giant by the initiative #WhyNotSvastika which has started by active Lithuanian citizens on social media. The results of the same civic group’s initiatives have been already successful– the companies Walmart Inc. and Adidas, who were contacted just like Amazon Inc., withdrew goods with Soviet symbols from sale in response to the protest. An appeal by the Lithuanian ambassador to the USA and a group of MPs from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in September also contributed to this.
The European Parliament passed a resolution over European conscience and totalitarianism already in 2009. This resolution condemned totalitarian crimes. Also, a common position, aimed against any totalitarian rule, regardless of its ideological basis, was approved. In 2011, the European Court of Justice banned the use of the Soviet Union’s symbol of the hammer and sickle for commercial intentions because it is a sign of despotism in many EU countries. In most European countries and around the world, the symbols of the Soviet regime are banned because they symbolise a regime, which performed crimes against humanity.
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