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Procedure : 2015/2732(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0585/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 11/06/2015 - 5.1

Texts adopted :


PDF 166kWORD 72k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0575/2015

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Syria, in particular in Palmyra and the case of Mazen Darwish (2015/2732(RSP))

Josef Weidenholzer, Arne Lietz, Victor Boştinaru, Richard Howitt, Elena Valenciano, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Silvia Costa, Afzal Khan, Nicola Caputo, Claudia Tapardel, Janusz Zemke, Jeppe Kofod, Liliana Rodrigues, Michela Giuffrida, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Miroslav Poche, Momchil Nekov, Alessia Maria Mosca, Andi Cristea, José Blanco López, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Zigmantas Balčytis, Goffredo Maria Bettini, Vincent Peillon, Elena Gentile, Enrico Gasbarra, Demetris Papadakis, Nikos Androulakis, Tonino Picula, Jonás Fernández, Julie Ward, Brando Benifei, Theresa Griffin, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Eric Andrieu, Marlene Mizzi, Isabella De Monte, Hugues Bayet, Biljana Borzan, Victor Negrescu, Emilian Pavel, Flavio Zanonato, Krystyna Łybacka, Nicola Danti, Marc Tarabella, Renato Soru, Maria Grapini, Siôn Simon, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Tibor Szanyi, Javi López, Csaba Molnár, Viorica Dăncilă, Péter Niedermüller, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Jytte Guteland, Olle Ludvigsson, Marita Ulvskog, Neena Gill on behalf of the S&D Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Syria, in particular in Palmyra and the case of Mazen Darwish (2015/2732(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Syria, including of 30 April 2015,


- having regard to its resolution of 17 November 2011 on EU support for the International Criminal Court,


- having regard to the Council Conclusions on Syria of 15th December 2014,


- having regard to the statements and reports from the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the conflict in Syria,


- having regard to the reports of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, established by the United Nations Human Rights Council,


- having regard to the UNSC Resolution 2139 (2014),



A.  Whereas over 220,000 people, mostly civilians, have lost their lives since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011; whereas massive and recurrent violations of human rights and international humanitarian law have been committed by all sides in the conflict; whereas the overwhelming majority of these crimes have so far gone unpunished;

B.  Whereas the terrorists from the Daesh/ISIL seized the control of the historic Syrian city of Palmyra from the forces loyal to the Syrian government; whereas following the conquest, Daesh/ISIL summarily executed soldiers and government workers;


C.  Whereas Daesh/ISIL systematically attacks and destroys the cultural heritage of both Iraq and Syria as a tactic of war to spread terror and hatred; whereas, as a result of Daesh/ISIL seizure of Palmyra, historical heritage of this city is under threat of destruction;


D.  Whereas a deliberate destruction of cultural heritage constitutes a war crime;


E.  Whereas on 3 June, a ministerial meeting of the international coalition against Daesh/ISIL took place in Paris, with the participation of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini;



F. Whereas Mazen Darwish, a Syrian journalist and activist, president of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, is imprisoned since 2012, as well as Hani Al-Zaitani and Hussain Ghrer, for their work defending the freedom of expression; whereas Mazen Darwish has been awarded the UNESCO Press Freedom Prize this year, as well as other important international awards, such as Preis der Lutherstädte - "Das unerschrockene Wort" 2015, Bruno-Kreisky-Preis für Verdienste um die Menschenrechte 2013, PEN-Pinter Prize 2014; whereas thecontinued imprisonment of Mazen Darwish, Hani Al-Zaitani and Hussain Ghrer is another evidence of a repressive nature of Bashar Assad´s regime in Syria;


G. The UN General Assembly, in its Resolution 67/262 adopted on May 15, 2013 called for the release of Mazen Darwish, Hani Al-Zaitani and Hussain Ghrer; whereas in January 2014, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) also found that the three defenders had been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty due to their human rights activities and called for their immediate release; whereas the UN Security Council Resolution 2139, adopted on February 22, 2014, also demanded the release of all arbitrarily detained people in Syria.


1.  Expresses serious concerns about the expansion of Daesh/ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra and other extremist jihadist groups in Syria; warns about the catastrophic consequences for the stability and security of the region, the lives and rights of the ethnic and religious minorities and the region´s rich historical and cultural heritage if these groups are allowed to continue their expansion;


2.  Welcomes the commitment to redouble collective efforts to defeat Daesh/ISIL made at the ministerial meeting of the international coalition against Daesh/ISIL in Paris on 3 June; calls on the coalition to step up efforts to implement a common, multi-dimensional and long-term strategy to weaken and eventually eradicate Daesh; stresses the need to complement this strategy with strengthened cooperation with all regional state and non-state actors committed to fighting Daesh/ISIL;


3.  Demands an immediate halt to the destruction of the cultural heritage of Syria and Iraq, including religious sites or objects, emphasizes that no such acts committed by Daesh/ISIL or other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida can be tolerated, and also calls for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Iraq by protecting cultural and religious properties and sites consistent with international humanitarian law;


4.  Reiterates the high value of the cultural heritage for the whole humanity and therefore considers they should be considered as imprescriptible war crimes , urges the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and all other relevant actors to take all necesary efforts to preserve and protect it and stresses the importance of holding accountable perpetrators of attacks intentionally directed against historic monuments and buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes;


5.  Underlines the need for join efforts of the international community to prevent the illegal trade of cultural property and the illicit traffic of cultural artefacts that contribute to the financing of ISIS;



6.  Calls for an immediate and unconditional release of Mazen Darwish and other political prisoners in Syria arrested solely for exercising their right to the freedom of expression;


7.  Welcomes and underlines the critical importance of the work of local and international civil society organisations in documenting human rights violations, evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other violations; calls on the EU and its Member States to provide further assistance to these actors;


8.  Calls on the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to work with all parties towards a genuine political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enables them independently and democratically to determine their own future;


9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President / High Representative, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria, and all the parties involved in the conflict in Syria.



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