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Parliamentary questions
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17 April 2019
Question for written answer E-001915-19
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Aymeric Chauprade (EFDD)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Situation in Pakistan
 Answer in writing 

The case of Asia Bibi shed light on the oppressive blasphemy laws of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It is estimated that Pakistan has more people on death row than any other country in the world, many of whom belong to religious or ethnic minorities. In Pakistan 29 crimes are punishable by death, including non‐violent crimes such as adultery and blasphemy. Although the EU publicly condemns these laws, it still denied asylum to Asia Bibi, whose life continues to be at risk if she remains in Pakistan. Furthermore, the EU refuses to withdraw GSP+ benefits to Pakistan despite recognising that blasphemy laws violate international law, and thus that Pakistan is failing to comply with stringent GSP+ criteria.

In the light of the above:
1. Why is the EU keeping GSP+ in place in Pakistan even though the country is clearly failing to comply with the scheme’s requirements? Will the Commission review Pakistan’s export privileges?
2. How is the EU protecting religious minorities prosecuted in Pakistan?
3. After the Asia Bibi case, what measures has the EU put in place to encourage Pakistan to stop disproportionally applying blasphemy laws to religious minorities, and to revoke the death penalty for blasphemy crimes?
Last updated: 6 May 2019Legal notice