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Postopek : 2017/2647(RSP)
Potek postopka na zasedanju
Potek postopka za dokument : B8-0256/2017

Predložena besedila :

B8-0256/2017

Razprave :

PV 06/04/2017 - 4.2
CRE 06/04/2017 - 4.2

Glasovanja :

Sprejeta besedila :

P8_TA(2017)0126

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 258kWORD 50k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0253/2017
4.4.2017
PE603.684v01-00
 
B8-0256/2017

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 Belarus (2017/2647(RSP))


Elena Valenciano, Victor Boştinaru, Soraya Post, Josef Weidenholzer on behalf of the S&D Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Belarus (2017/2647(RSP))  
B8‑0256/2017

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Belarus, in particular the most recent of 24 November 2016 on the situation in Belarus,

 

- having regard to the Statement by the EEAS Spokesperson of 25 March 2017 on the events in the run up to and during today's Freedom Day in Belarus,

 

- having regard to the Statement by the EEAS Spokesperson of 17 March 2017 on the recent protests and arrests in Belarus,

 

- having regard to the related statements by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Belarus of 14 and 28 March 2017,

 

- having regard to the Council conclusions on Belarus of 15 February 2016,

 

- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

 

- having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

 

A. whereas on 25 and 26 March 2017 hundreds of people participated in a peaceful protest against the government, triggered by the so-called “social parasite tax” on unemployed, in line with decree N. 3 “On the Prevention of Social Dependence” signed by President Alexander Lukashenko in 2015 and started to be implemented as of February 2017, stipulating that all adults who have not paid income tax covering at least 183 days of employment per year have to pay a fine/special tax of approximately €240, which is about two thirds of the average monthly wage in Belarus;

 

B. whereas more than a hundred opposition members have been arrested preventively before the protests and over 200 people have been reportedly fined or jailed over street protests that took place in several Belarussian cities, since the beginning of March;

 

C. whereas the Mikalay Statkevich, prominent opposition figure who was expected to lead the demonstration in Minsk, was arrested and kept in a Committee for State Security (KGB) detention centre for 3 days, with no information as to his whereabouts; whereas Uladzimir Nyaklyayew, well known Belarusian poet and presidential candidate in 2010, was also illegally detained prior to the rally of March 25 and, as a consequence, had to be hospitalised due to weakened health conditions; whereas several other opposition leaders, activists and many protesters were beaten, arrested and some sentenced to prison terms of up to 25 days on a charge of participation in an unauthorized rally;

 

D. whereas internet was shut down across the country and journalists have been sanctioned for covering the events; whereas courts in the cities of Minsk and Vitebsk sentenced eight journalists to prison on charges of hooliganism or for disobeying police orders; whereas the Belarusian Association of Journalists have been denied a meeting with deputy interior minister to discuss this issue; whereas the police raided the office of the Viasna human rights group in the Belarussian capital;

 

E. whereas the KGB is refusing to disclose the number of people arrested in connection to the so-called “mass riot case”; whereas human rights organisations report that a total of 177 people have been convicted under administrative procedures (144 in Minsk and 33 in other regions), out of which 74 resulted to administrative detention and 93 to fines, as a consequence of participating in unsanctioned protests; whereas a number of detainees had to be hospitalised after sustaining injuries in custody;

 

F. whereas the EU has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to further engagement with Belarus; whereas, however, the respect of fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and human rights constitute a clear precondition for better relations between the European Union and Belarus;

 

G. whereas these events are the most serious following the harsh crackdown of demonstrations in 2010 and can be seen as a regretful setback;

 

1. Condemns the undue restrictions to the right of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of association and, most in particular, the harassment and detention of independent journalists, opposition members, human rights activists and other protesters;

 

2. Demands the full respect of the fundamental freedoms and the recognition of people’s right to peacefully protest, expressing openly their opinion about social issues; recalls that right to freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest are crucial in a democracy and these fundamental freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and many international instruments that the country has co-signed;

 

3. Considers the practice of preventive arrests totally unacceptable and is appalled by the forced disappearance of Mikalai Statkevich for 3 whole days; urges the authorities to immediately disclose information about all those arrested to their families and broader public and to effectively investigate alleged ill-treatment by the security forces;

 

4. Urges the authorities to end the harassment of independent media for political reasons, to immediately release all arbitrarily detained journalists, politicians, human right activists and peaceful protesters, and to lift the charges against them;

 

5. Recommends the repeal of Presidential Decree No. 3 that, according to several civil society organisations, violates the country’s own constitution and its enforcement can be morally questionable;

 

6. Calls on the Belarussian government to engage in a constructive dialogue with the opposition and civil society organisations, as well as to cooperate fully with the UN, carrying out long-overdue reforms to protect human rights and strengthen democracy; calls on the EU and its member states to promote and support the extension of the UN Special Rapporteur’s mandate in order to continue to monitor the situation in the country; calls, furthermore, on the EU Special Representative for Human Rights to examine ways and means to promote the full and effective protection of the human rights in Belarus;

 

7. Reiterates the EU's staunch and principled position against the death penalty for any crime; deeply regrets that a new death sentence was pronounced in Belarus on 17 March 2017, in contradiction to the previous commitment of the authorities to consider the introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty;

 

8. Welcomes the Council decision of 27 February 2017 to prolong the restrictive measures on four individuals and the arms embargo against Belarus until 28 February 2018; calls on the EEAS to continue to closely follow the situation in the country and on Council to reconsider the EU policy of constructive reengagement with the Belarus, if the government does not take immediate and tangible steps to ensure the respect of universal fundamental freedoms, strengthen the rule of law, and protect human rights in the country;

 

9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission, to the President, the government and the parliament of Belarus, as well as to the Parliamentary Assemblies of OSCE and the Council of Europe.

 

 

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