Texts adopted
Thursday, 18 July 2019 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Situation in Hong Kong
 Situation at the USA-Mexican border
 Russia, notably the situation of environmental activists and Ukrainian political prisoners
 Situation in Venezuela

Situation in Hong Kong
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European Parliament resolution of 18 July 2019 on the situation in Hong Kong (2019/2732(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Hong Kong,

–  having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the European External Action Service (EEAS) of 12 June 2019 on the ongoing protests against the proposed extradition reforms in Hong Kong,

–  having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the EEAS of 1 July 2019 on the latest developments in Hong Kong,

–  having regard to the Basic Law of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Hong Kong adopted on 4 April 1990, which entered into force on 1 July 1997,

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong of 19 December 1984, also known as the Sino-British Joint Declaration,

–  having regard to the joint report of the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to the European Parliament and the Council of 8 May 2019, entitled ‘Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: Annual Report 2018’,

–  having regard to the joint statement of the 21st EU-China summit of 9 April 2019,

–  having regard to the EU-China dialogue on human rights, launched in 1995, and to the 37th round of this dialogue, of 1-2 April 2019,

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the VP/HR to the European Parliament and the Council of 12 March 2019 entitled ‘EU-China – A strategic outlook’,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966,

–  having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the United Nations’ universal periodic review (UPR) of China carried out in November 2018,

–  having regard to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the promotion of and respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law should remain at the centre of the long-standing relationship between the EU and China, in line with the EU’s commitment to uphold these values in its external action and China’s expressed interest in adhering to these very values in its own development and international cooperation;

B.  whereas the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has proposed the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (FOO) and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance (MLAO);

C.  whereas Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam announced on 9 July 2019 that the widely loathed legislation was ‘dead’; whereas she stopped short of announcing that the bill would be withdrawn;

D.  whereas the proposed bill could facilitate the rendition to China of people for political reasons and their exposure to a judicial system with serious human rights failings; whereas under the proposed amendments, the Hong Kong court would not have the clear, explicit jurisdiction and legal obligation to examine the various human rights involved in cases being handled by the courts in mainland China or in other countries;

E.  whereas mainland China’s judiciary lacks independence from the government and the Chinese Communist Party and is characterised by arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, serious violations of the right to a fair trial, enforced disappearances and various systems of incommunicado detention without trial;

F.  whereas many citizens of Hong Kong, from pro-democracy activists to business people, fear being extradited to mainland China;

G.  whereas the people of Hong Kong have taken to the streets in unprecedented numbers, peacefully exercising their fundamental right to assemble and to protest; whereas on 12 June 2019, tens of thousands of protesters assembled around the Legislative Council building and its nearby roads, calling on the government to drop its proposed amendments to Hong Kong’s extradition law;

H.  whereas more than 70 human rights NGOs, including, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Monitor, the Hong Kong Bar Association and the Law Society of Hong Kong, had addressed a collective letter to Chief Executive Lam, requesting that her government drop the extradition bill as it posed a threat to respect for human rights;

I.  whereas the Hong Kong police used the violent acts of a small number of protesters as a pretext to use unnecessary and excessive force against the peaceful vast majority, including tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags and pepper spray, labelled the incident a riot and hence proceeded to make several dozen arrests; whereas several people were charged with rioting, which carries a 10-year prison sentence;

J.  whereas, over the years, the people of Hong Kong have witnessed mass demonstrations in favour of democracy and the full implementation of the Basic Law, such as the 2014 protests by the so-called Umbrella Movement, as well as demonstrations in favour of media freedoms and, among other things, against the disappearance of the Hong Kong booksellers;

K.  whereas at the end of 2015, four Hong Kong residents, among them Gui Minhai, and one non-resident associated with the publishing house Mighty Current and its bookshop, disappeared; whereas months later, information emerged that they were being detained in mainland China in undisclosed locations; whereas one of the booksellers who returned to Hong Kong has since moved to Taiwan out of fear of being extradited;

L.  whereas the Basic Law lays down provisions guaranteeing protection for human rights and individual freedoms; whereas Article 27 of the Basic Law guarantees freedom of speech, of the press and publication, and of association, assembly, procession and demonstration; whereas Articles 45 and 68 of the Basic Law stipulate that the Chief Executive and all members of the Legislative Council should ultimately be elected by universal suffrage;

M.  whereas the EU supports the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy;

1.  Calls on the HKSAR Government to withdraw the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019;

2.  Calls on the HKSAR Government to immediately release and drop all charges against peaceful protesters and all those detained for the peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression during or in the lead-up to protests;

3.  Calls for an independent, impartial, effective and prompt investigation into the use of force by Hong Kong police against protesters;

4.  Stresses that the EU shares many of the concerns raised by citizens of Hong Kong regarding the proposed extradition reforms and has conveyed them to the HKSAR Government; underlines that the bill has far-reaching consequences for Hong Kong and its people, for the EU and for foreign citizens, as well as for business confidence in Hong Kong;

5.  Urges Hong Kong to ensure that its legislation remains fully in line with its international human rights obligations, including provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

6.  Recognises that the people of Hong Kong have taken to the streets in extraordinary numbers in recent weeks, with estimates of more than a million people on 9 June 2019 and up to two million the following week, in mainly peaceful mass demonstrations triggered by high levels of concern regarding the proposed laws on extradition;

7.  Underlines that the rights of Hong Kong citizens have generally been upheld in Hong Kong, but expresses great concern at the steady deterioration of civil rights, political rights and press freedom; is deeply concerned by the unprecedented pressure on journalists and their increasing self-censorship with regard, in particular, to coverage of sensitive issues on mainland China or those concerning the HKSAR Government;

8.  Stresses that the Basic Law guarantees freedom of speech, of the press and publication, and of association, assembly, procession and demonstration; calls on the authorities in Hong Kong and China to ensure the protection of human rights and the freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law for all citizens;

9.  Strongly condemns the constant and increasing interference by China in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, as well the recent assertion by China that the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 is a historic document, and hence is no longer valid; stresses that the Chinese Government is bound by the Joint Declaration to uphold Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and its rights and freedoms;

10.  Notes with deep concern in this context that opposition candidates, including Anges Chow and former lawmaker Lau Siu-Lai, were not allowed to run in the Legislative Council by-election owing to their political affiliation or views;

11.  Calls for the EU, its Member States and the international community to work towards the imposition of appropriate export control mechanisms to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies used to violate basic rights;

12.  Urges systematic reform to implement direct elections for the position of Chief Executive and to the Legislative Council, as enshrined in the Basic Law, and calls for agreement on an electoral system that is overall democratic, fair, open and transparent and that it grants the people of the HKSAR the right to elect candidates and to stand for election in the selection process for all leadership positions;

13.  Repeats its call for the immediate release of book publisher Gui Minhai, a Swedish national;

14.  Underlines the EU’s commitment to strengthening democracy, including the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, fundamental freedoms and rights, transparency, and freedom of information and expression in Hong Kong;

15.  Recalls the importance of the EU continuing to raise the issue of human rights violations in China at every political and human rights dialogue with the Chinese authorities, in line with the EU’s commitment to project a strong, clear and unified voice in its approach to the country; further recalls that in its ongoing reform process and increasing global engagement, China has opted into the international human rights framework by signing up to a wide range of international human rights treaties; calls for the EU, therefore, to pursue dialogue with China in order to ensure that it lives up to these commitments;

16.  Calls on the VP/HR, the EEAS and the Member States to raise all these concerns and to ensure a dialogue with the governments of the HKSAR and of China;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and Parliament of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chief Executive and the Assembly of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Situation at the USA-Mexican border
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European Parliament resolution of 18 July 2019 on the situation at the USA-Mexico border (2019/2733(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which stipulates that the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration and that every child has the right to maintain a personal relationship and direct contact with both of his or her parents,

–  having regard to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families,

–  having regard to the statements made by members of the US Congress after visiting detention centres in July 2019,

–  having regard to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention) and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1967,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders of 2008,

–  having regard to the current US administration’s policy initiatives relating to migration and asylum and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP),

–  having regard to the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, of 8 July 2019,

–  having regard to the statement by the acting US Secretary of Homeland Security of 9 July 2019,

–  having regard to the memorandum of the US Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security for the acting US Secretary of Homeland Security on the situation in the Rio Grande Valley reception centre, of 2 July 2019,

–  having regard to the Global Compact for Migration, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 19 December 2018,

–  having regard to the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776,

–  having regard to Rule 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas both the USA and the EU consider human rights to be an inalienable and fundamental right inherent to all human beings;

B.  whereas in recent years, a complex crisis of violence and entrenched poverty has driven families, including young persons and children, to flee Mexico and the Northern Triangle of Central America – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – and seek safety, protection and economic stability in the USA;

C.  whereas the USA is historically a country of immigration encompassing diverse communities;

D.  whereas any sovereign state has the prerogative to decide on the conditions of entry and stay of foreign nationals, but must at the same time comply with all relevant international human rights obligations;

E.  whereas in 2018, the USA was by far the largest donor to the UN Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, contributing a total of USD 1 589 776 543;

F.  whereas the USA has adopted strict measures affecting migrants and asylum seekers crossing the border into the country in search of their inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;

G.  whereas there is a humanitarian emergency at the USA-Mexico border, where migrants and asylum seekers are detained on the US side after making the crossing; whereas the situation faced by children is particularly alarming and condemnable, as hundreds are languishing in tent cities on the border or are locked behind bars in detention facilities that do not meet minimum human rights standards, as they are overcrowded and lack adequate healthcare facilities, decent food and proper sanitation;

H.  whereas in a memorandum on the situation at the Rio Grande Valley reception centre, the US Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security highlighted ‘urgent issues that require immediate attention and action’ owing to ‘serious overcrowding and prolonged detention of unaccompanied alien children, families, and single adults that require immediate attention’, and therefore called for ‘immediate steps to alleviate dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley’;

I.  whereas depriving children of their liberty on the basis of their or their parents’ migration status is never in the best interests of the child, exceeds the requirement of necessity, becomes grossly disproportionate and may constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of migrant children; whereas any deprivation of liberty affecting adult migrants and asylum seekers should be a measure of last resort and, if it must occur, should be for the shortest possible period of time, with the safeguards of due process and in conditions that comply in full with all relevant international human rights standards;

J.  whereas according to data disclosed to Amnesty International by the US Customs and Border Protection agency, between 2017 and August 2018 approximately 8 000 family units were separated after crossing the border; whereas these estimates exclude many other cases of separation, such as those between children and their older siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents and other non-immediate family members;

K.  whereas a federal judge in San Diego ordered the US administration to halt separation in June 2018; whereas, nevertheless, separations have continued to be enforced by US Customs and Border Protection, according to data provided to the federal judge, with at least 245 children having been removed from their families since June 2018, in many cases with no clear documentation to help track the children’s whereabouts;

L.  whereas by December 2018, the US Department of Health and Human Services had identified 2 737 separated children, while recognising that thousands more might have been separated since 2017 without the administration being able to identify them owing to the lack of an efficient tracking system;

M.  whereas the act of family separation and indefinite detention constitutes ill-treatment; whereas children living in institutions away from their families are highly vulnerable to emotional, physical and psychological abuse, which can lead to lasting developmental problems, injuries and deep trauma, as well as having severe negative social consequences;

N.  whereas according to reports by the American Civil Liberties Union and different statements by spokespersons of the US Departments of Health and Human Services and of Homeland Security, at least six children are known to have died in immigration custody since last year, after almost a decade in which, it is reported, no child had died while in the custody of US Customs and Border Protection;

O.  whereas according to data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 197 people have died so far in 2019 trying to cross into the USA from Mexico, including at least 13 children; whereas the number of deaths has been constantly on the rise in the last 5 years, with a total of over 1 900 deaths occurring between 2014 and 2018;

P.  whereas in recent weeks the Mexican authorities have significantly increased the enforcement efforts in migration policies, leading to an increase in the number of migrants detained and deported;

Q.  whereas faced with dire circumstances, migrants, mainly from Central America, are impelled to travel to and cross the border with the USA; whereas pressure on the southern and northern borders is leading thousands of migrants, most of them women and children, to put their lives at serious risk;

R.  whereas according to its government, Mexico is currently facing a violent public security crisis; whereas under the US Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), asylum seekers are being returned to Mexico, including to two northern states that are among the most violent in the country – Baja California and Chihuahua – and live in extremely precarious conditions, where they risk becoming victims of serious crime, including kidnapping, sexual assault and violence;

S.  whereas large-scale pushbacks of asylum seekers, illegal family separations and the arbitrary and indefinite detention of asylum seekers without parole constitute cruel policies and flagrant violations of both US asylum law and international law;

T.  whereas on 27 June 2019, the US House of Representatives passed a USD 4.6 billion package to address the situation on the USA-Mexico border;

U.  whereas branches of the UN Human Rights Offices in Mexico and Central America have documented numerous human rights violations and abuses against migrants and asylum seekers in transit, including the excessive use of force, the arbitrary deprivation of liberty, family separation, denial of access to services, refoulement and arbitrary expulsions;

V.  whereas 195 parties have signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; whereas the United States is the only UN member state that has not ratified that convention;

W.  whereas the EU-US partnership is historically based on strong political, cultural, economic and historic links and on shared values such as freedom, democracy, the promotion of peace and stability, human rights and the rule of law; whereas strong EU-US relations are crucial to building a more democratic, secure and prosperous world;

1.  Is deeply concerned about the situation of migrants and asylum seekers at the USA-Mexico border, especially that of migrant children;

2.  Regrets the many deaths that have occurred of people travelling on the routes towards the US-Mexico border; expresses its utmost solidarity with all the victims and their families;

3.  Is concerned about the appalling conditions in which migrants and asylum seekers, particularly children, are held in US immigration detention facilities, which lack adequate healthcare, decent food and proper sanitation; deeply regrets the deaths in recent months of seven migrant minors who were in the custody of the US Department of Homeland Security, and supports all efforts by the US Congress and Administration to provide oversight, investigation, transparency and accountability concerning the circumstances of these deaths;

4.  Stresses that border management measures must comply with the US’s international human rights obligations and should not be based on narrow policies aimed at detecting, detaining and expeditiously deporting irregular migrants;

5.  Calls for human rights, safety and access to human rights-compliant asylum processes to be guaranteed, including by adhering to the principle of non-refoulement and providing dignified reception conditions;

6.  Deplores the use of family separation, which can cause the systematic traumatisation of children and their immediate families, and is a method that appears, under the current US administration, to be a tool of immigration policy aimed at deterring people seeking safety;

7.  Emphasises that family separation and immigration detention are never in the best interests of the child;

8.  Notes the memorandum by the OIG and similar reports, and calls on the US to revise all current migration policies and practices that violate international human rights law, including the core right to seek asylum, the principle of non-refoulement and the right to human dignity;

9.  Calls on the US Government to end the separation of families and, as a matter of urgency, to reunify with their families all children who are still separated from their parents or guardians in order to ensure their rehabilitation, devoting specific attention to the needs of the children concerned;

10.  Calls on the relevant authorities in the US to immediately ensure that all detainees have access to basic rights, such as the rights to water, food, health and shelter;

11.  Calls on the authorities in the US, as a matter of urgency, to find non-custodial alternatives for migrants and asylum seekers, both children and adults; demands that the children concerned be returned to their families;

12.  Urges the US Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was signed by the US in 1995 but never subsequently adopted, making the US the only non-adopting country in the world; urges the US Government to ratify the third optional protocol to the Convention, on a communications procedure for complaints;

13.  Expresses serious concern at the latest raids by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which are affecting undocumented migrants, primarily those from Central America, their parents and their children, and are resulting in their criminalisation;

14.  Believes that responding to migratory flows with repression or criminalisation favours xenophobia, hatred and violence;

15.  Is concerned about the recent changes in the migration polices adopted by the Mexican authorities, and calls on the Mexican Government to comply with international standards and human rights law when addressing migration;

16.  Considers that the army is not the right instrument for dealing with migration issues; points out that the situation at the border should be handled by specialised police who have been duly trained and instructed to respect human rights and the dignity of migrants;

17.  Acknowledges that migration is a global challenge and calls on the countries of origin, transit and destination to work together to address the root causes of migration flows through a comprehensive approach; reiterates, in this regard, its full support for the development and implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which provide a significant opportunity to improve the governance of migration and address the challenges associated with it;

18.  Reiterates its belief in open and fair trade and expresses its firm conviction that economic coercion and the threat of punitive tariffs are counter-productive and are not liable to help sovereign countries find constructive and sustainable solutions to political challenges such as migration;

19.  Pays tribute to the individuals and civil society organisations that have been ensuring that migrants enjoy the most basic of rights, such as the rights to water, food, health, adequate shelter and other such assistance, on both sides of the border and throughout the region; reiterates its call for the non-criminalisation of humanitarian assistance, and urges the Commission, once again, to adopt guidelines on the matter, in line with its resolution of 5 July 2018;

20.  Welcomes the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; would welcome a fact-finding mission by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) or the relevant UN experts in order to investigate the human rights situation at the USA-Mexico border;

21.  Undertakes to closely monitor EU development aid to the region in order to ensure efficient standards of development, since this can help tackle the root causes of forced migration;

22.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, US President Donald Trump and his administration, the US Congress, and the Government and Parliament of Mexico.

Russia, notably the situation of environmental activists and Ukrainian political prisoners
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European Parliament resolution of 18 July 2019 on Russia, notably the situation of environmental activists and Ukrainian political prisoners (2019/2734(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and on the situation in Crimea, in particular those of 11 June 2015 on the strategic military situation in the Black Sea Basin following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia(1); of 10 September 2015 on Russia, in particular the cases of Eston Kohver, Oleg Sentsov and Olexandr Kolchenko(2); of 4 February 2016 on the human rights situation in Crimea, in particular of the Crimean Tatars(3); of 12 May 2016 on the Crimean Tatars(4); of 16 March 2017 on the Ukrainian prisoners in Russia and the situation in Crimea(5); of 5 October 2017 on the cases of Crimean Tatar leaders Akhtem Chiygoz, Ilmi Umerov and the journalist Mykola Semena(6); of 8 February 2018 on Russia, the case of Oyub Titiev and the Human Rights Centre Memorial(7); of 14 June 2018 on Russia, notably the case of Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov(8), of 25 October 2018 on the situation in the Sea of Azov(9), of 14 February 2019 on the situation in Chechnya and the case of Oyub Titiev(10), of 12 December 2018 on the implementation of the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine(11) and of 12 March 2019 on the state of EU-Russia political relations(12),

–  having regard to the statements by the Spokesperson of the European External Action Service of 25 May 2018 on the cases of several detainees in or from the illegally annexed Crimea and Sevastopol, of 10 January 2019 on the cases of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, of 17 January 2019 on the continued illegal detention of Ukrainian servicemen by Russia, of 22 March 2019 on the sentencing of Pavlo Hryb, and of 17 April 2019 on the extended illegal detention of Ukrainian servicemen,

–  having regard to the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) of 28 June 2018 on Ukrainian citizens detained as political prisoners by the Russian Federation,

–  having regard to the PACE resolution of 24 January 2019 on the escalation of tensions around the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait and threats to European security,

–  having regard to the PACE resolution of 25 June 2019 on strengthening the decision-making process of the Parliamentary Assembly concerning credentials and voting,

–  having regard to the order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) of 25 May 2019 in Case No 26 concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels,

–  having regard to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

–  having regard to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, in particular Chapter 2 on the rights and freedoms of man and citizen,

–  having regard to UN General Assembly resolution 68/262 of 27 March 2014 entitled ‘Territorial integrity of Ukraine’ and to UN General Assembly resolution 71/205 of 19 December 2016 entitled ‘Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)’,

–  having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Protocol thereto, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,

–  having regard to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), to which the Russian Federation is a party, and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, to Article 9 of the UDHR which provides that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile, and to Articles 19 and 20 of the UDHR which provide for freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association respectively,

–  having regard to the Venice Commission report of 18 March 2019 on funding of associations,

–  having regard to the Venice Commission opinion of 13 June 2016 on Russian Federal Law No 129-FZ (Federal law on undesirable activities of foreign and international non-governmental organisations),

–  having regard to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949,

A.  whereas the Russian Federation, under the obligation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, and as a full member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has committed itself to the principles of democracy, rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights;

B.  whereas the European Union does not recognise the enforcement of Russian legislation in Crimea and Sevastopol and expects all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia to be released immediately;

C.  whereas the EU continues to fully support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and reiterates the utmost importance of the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol;

D.  whereas the Russian authorities and political leadership continue their repressive and authoritarian regime against their own citizens, civil society, political opposition and media workers; whereas Russia’s slide into authoritarian rule has had a negative impact on EU-Russia relations and on stability in Europe and the world; whereas such repression also takes the form of disqualifying opposition candidates from elections, as currently in the case of the municipal candidates, such as Ilya Yashin, Lyubov Sobol and Ivan Zhdanov, for the Moscow elections;

E.  whereas the 2015 ‘undesirable organisation law’ empowered the Prosecutor General of Russia to ban foreign and international organisations deemed ‘undesirable’ without any judicial proceedings; whereas this law is increasingly being used to penalise Russian NGOs and civil society activists;

F.  whereas use of torture and cruel and degrading treatment has been reported in various cases; whereas these allegations have not been adequately investigated to date; whereas torture has been used to obtain confessions and support false evidence of guilt; whereas Crimean lawyers who provide legal assistance to victims, human rights defenders who report cases of politically motivated enforced disappearance in Crimea and journalists who report on the situation of the Crimean Tatars have also been targeted;

G.  whereas many of the prisoners and detainees have faced harsh and inhumane conditions in prisons, causing physical and psychological risks to their health; whereas prisoners urgently require medical attention and treatment;

H.  whereas on 25 November 2018, 24 Ukrainian sailors were captured and their three vessels seized near the Kerch Strait by the Russian Federation using military force; whereas these Ukrainian servicemen have been illegally detained since 25 November 2018;

I.  whereas separatist forces supported by Russia are holding at least 130 Ukrainians prisoner in the Donbas region, including no fewer than 25 soldiers;

J.  whereas in its order of 25 May 2019, ITLOS ruled, by 19 votes to 1, that the Russian Federation ‘shall immediately release the Ukrainian naval vessels Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yani Kapu, and return them to the custody of Ukraine’, ‘shall immediately release the 24 detained Ukrainian servicemen and allow them to return to Ukraine’ and that both parties ‘shall refrain from taking any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute’;

K.  whereas by way of a response to the escalation in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, including the illegal detention of 24 Ukrainian servicemen, on 15 March 2019 the European Union added eight Russian officials to its list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine;

L.  whereas according to the OHCHR report of 25 June 2019, on 27 March 2019 Russia conducted 26 house searches and subsequently arrested 24 people, most of whom are Crimean Tatar activists and who now face unlawful prison terms of up to 20 years; whereas at least 37 Ukrainian citizens were unlawfully arrested by Russia in illegally occupied Crimea within the first six months of 2019; whereas nearly all of them are representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people;

M.  whereas as of the beginning of June 2018 more than 70 Ukrainian citizens have been detained for political reasons in different regions of the Russian Federation and in occupied Crimea; whereas according to estimates by the Memorial Human Rights Centre, as of March 2019, 297 people are currently being held as political prisoners in Russia, up from 50 four years ago, including filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, 2018 laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought;

N.  whereas in December 2017 Andrey Rudomakha, head of the NGO Environmental Watch for the North Caucausus, and his colleagues Victor Chirikov, Aleksandr Savelyev and Vera Kholodnaya were brutally attacked by masked men, after which Mr Rudomakha was diagnosed with a brain concussion and multiple facial fractures; whereas although the authorities have substantive evidence at their disposal, including CCTV footage and the assailants’ fingerprints, the investigation has produced no tangible results, and the perpetrators and architects of the brutal attack continue to enjoy impunity; whereas instead, Mr Rudomakha faces an ongoing criminal investigation for ‘slander’ of a member of the State Duma;

O.  whereas according to the Russian law on ‘foreign agents’, NGOs that receive foreign funding and are engaged in ‘political activity’ must apply for inclusion on a special government list of foreign agents subject to additional and close scrutiny by the government, and are required to state in all publications, press releases and reports that these have been produced by a foreign agent;

P.  whereas one of the oldest and most prominent environmental defenders in the country, Alexandra Koroleva, head of the NGO Ekozaschita!(Ecodefence!), based in Kaliningrad, had to flee the country and seek asylum abroad in the light of criminal charges against her for failure to pay fines in connection with the group’s continued refusal to register as a ‘foreign agent’; whereas if found guilty, she could face up to two years in prison;

Q.  whereas Ekozaschita! is one of the 49 Russian NGOs that have applications pending before the European Court of Human Rights (application No 9988/13), arguing that the law on foreign agents violates several human rights norms, including on freedom of expression and association, a conclusion endorsed by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights;

R.  whereas in recent months at least two criminal cases were opened against environmental defenders Andrey Borovikov and Vyacheslav Yegorov for repeated violations of legislation on public assemblies in connection with environmental protests in the Arkhangelsk and Moscow regions;

S.  whereas the European Union and Ukraine in their joint statement following the most recent EU-Ukraine summit on 8 July 2019 called for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned Ukrainian citizens in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia, including Crimean Tatar activists;

T.  whereas four Ukrainian political prisoners – Oleg Sentsov, laureate of the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Oleksandr Shumkov and Volodymyr Balukh – were on hunger strike in June 2018 in protest against Russia’s continued detention of Ukrainian political prisoners;

U.  whereas the PACE has allowed the Russian Federation delegation to return to the Council of Europe, Europe’s leading human rights organisation, and on 25 June 2019 reinstated its right to vote, insisting that this reengagement be matched by compliance with its values and norms;

1.  Calls on the Russian authorities to release without further delay and unconditionally all illegally and arbitrarily detained Ukrainian citizens(13), both in Russia and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, and to provide for their safe return, including Crimean Tatars, the recently detained Red Square peaceful demonstrators of 10 July 2019, Ukrainian citizens detained on politically motivated charges and the 24 crew members of the Ukrainian naval vessels;

2.  Calls on the Russian authorities to immediately and unconditionally end any act of harassment, including at judicial level, against Alexandra Koroleva and Ekozaschita!, and against all human rights defenders and environmental activists in the country, and allow them to carry out their legitimate work without any interference;

3.  Urges the Russian authorities to withdraw the so called ‘foreign agents’ law and to seek support and fully implement all recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, in compliance with its international obligations in this respect;

4.  Calls on Russia to publish a full list of prisoners held in occupied Ukrainian territories in Donbas and Luhansk and to facilitate their contact with families and lawyers;

5.  Strongly condemns Russia’s continued violations of fundamental principles and norms of international law, particularly its refusal to comply with the decisions of international tribunals and courts; urges the Russian Federation to implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on the violation of the human rights of persons detained in the Crimean peninsula and in the Russian Federation;

6.  Emphasises that Russian courts, whether military or civilian, are not entitled to rule on acts committed outside the internationally recognised territory of Russia, and points out that judicial proceedings in such cases cannot be regarded as legitimate;

7.  Calls on the Russian Federation to guarantee unhindered access to the occupied Ukrainian territories of Crimea and Donbas for international intergovernmental organisations, in particular, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, the OSCE Human Rights Assessment Mission on Crimea, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, other conventions and institutional mechanisms of the Council of Europe, and international humanitarian organisations, in particular the International Committee of the Red Cross;

8.  Calls on the Russian authorities to ensure full cooperation with UN Special Procedures, including by extending invitations to visit the country to the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and the Special Representative on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, so that they may report on the situation of environmental and human rights defenders;

9.  Points out that human rights defenders in the Russian Federation, including environmental activists, are often subject to acts of harassment, surveillance, physical attacks, threats, raids and searches of their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment, as well as violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly;

10.  Proposes that the European Union consider introducing permanent monitoring of the trials of victims of political persecution in the Russian Federation and occupied Crimea, and calls for the EU delegation to Russia and the embassies of the Member States to continue monitoring and attending the trials of human rights activists and Ukrainian political prisoners, and to organise missions involving independent physicians for Ukrainian citizens detained for political reasons in the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea in order to monitor their detention conditions and state of health;

11.  Urges the Russian authorities at all levels to recognise the crucial role of environmental defenders in protecting the environment and in ensuring respect for environmental rights and to publicly condemn all attacks, intimidation, harassment and criminalisation of environmental defenders;

12.  Urges the Russian authorities to stop curtailing the peaceful and legitimate activities of environmental organisations by fabricating criminal cases against local environmental activists, arresting participants in peaceful local protests and imposing disproportionately heavy fines on them;

13.  Calls on the Russian authorities to take the appropriate legal steps and use all available legal tools to prevent and put a stop to the attacks against environmental activists; urges the Russian authorities to ensure effective investigation and accountability in the case of Andrey Rudomakha and other cases of attacks against environmental defenders;

14.  Calls for the European Union’s Special Representative for Human Rights, the EU delegation to Russia and the embassies of EU Member States to pay continuous attention to the situation of the environmental defenders; calls for the EU and its Member States to take extra steps to support the Russian environmental and human rights defenders;

15.  Expresses its concern about reports of the conditions of detention, including allegations of torture and ill-treatment and denial of access to essential health care, and therefore reiterates its call on the Russian authorities to ensure full respect for the rights of all detained persons, to ensure that all prisoners receive proper medical attention and treatment, and to respect medical ethics, including no imposition of unwanted treatment or force-feeding in the case of hunger strikes that may amount to torture and other ill-treatment;

16.  Welcomes the Council decision to prolong the restrictive measures; reiterates its strong belief that the EU sanctions must not be lifted until Russia complies with its international obligations, including respecting the Minsk agreements; calls for Member States to remain firm and united in their commitment to the agreed sanctions against Russia and to consider targeted measures against the individuals responsible for the detention and trial of the political prisoners; calls on the international community to intensify pressure to secure the release of all political prisoners detained in Russian-occupied territory;

17.  Calls on the next Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to elaborate a new comprehensive EU-Russia strategy aimed at strengthening peace and stability; underlines that the necessary dialogue should be based on firm principles, including respect for international law and the territorial integrity of Russia’s neighbours, while at the same time strengthening people-to-people contacts with the citizens of Russia; underlines that the sanctions against Russia can only be lifted when the country fully respects its obligations; stresses, however, that the EU should also stand ready if necessary to adopt further sanctions, including targeted personal sanctions, and to limit access to finances and technology if Russia’s violation of international law continues;

18.  Reiterates its support for a European human rights violations sanctions regime, the so-called Magnitsky Act, which should sanction perpetrators of serious human rights violations, and calls on the Council to pursue its work on this matter without delay; stresses that perpetrators of human rights abuses should not be granted EU visas nor be allowed to keep assets in Member States;

19.  Reiterates its strong condemnation of the act of aggression committed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine on 25 November 2018 near the Kerch Strait off the coast of illegally occupied Crimea; underlines that ITLOS ordered Russia to release the vessels and the servicemen immediately and unconditionally; underscores that failure to implement the ITLOS order constitutes another gross violation of international obligations; considers Russia’s ‘conditions’ for releasing the vessels and the servicemen outlined in its note to Ukraine of 25 June 2019 to be in clear contravention of the order and possibly violate it even further by aggravating or extending the dispute;

20.  Calls on the European Union’s Special Representative for Human Rights to pay continuous attention to the human rights situation on the Crimean peninsula and in the non-government controlled areas of Eastern Ukraine;

21.  Calls on the Russian Federation to fully implement the resolutions of the UN General Assembly of 27 March 2014 entitled ‘Territorial integrity of Ukraine’, of 19 December 2016 entitled ‘Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)’, of 19 December 2017 and of 22 December 2018, and the order of the International Court of Justice regarding provisional measures in the case Ukraine v. Russia regarding the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;

22.  Recalls with concern that many of the Russian court judgements against Ukrainian political prisoners are related to espionage (including in the cases of Pavlo Hryb, Oleksiy Stogniy, Gleb Shabliy, Volodymyr Prysych, Volodymyr Dudka, Dmitry Shtyblikov, Yevlen Panov, Andriy Zakhtey, Valentyn Vygovskyi, Viktor Shur and Dmytro Dolgopolov), which recalls the repressive period of the 1930s to the mid-1950s of the last century, when many citizens of the then Soviet Union were detained and convicted on these grounds;

23.  Protests against the decision issued by Russia’s Prosecutor General, declaring the Ukrainian World Congress a threat to Russia’s national security;

24.  Expects that the PACE decision of 25 June 2019 will lead to an immediate improvements with regards to respect for human rights and Council of Europe standards in Russia, and in particular as regards the implementation of rulings by the European Court of Human Rights;

25.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, and the President, Government and Parliament of Ukraine.

(1) OJ C 407, 4.11.2016, p. 74.
(2) OJ C 316, 22.9.2017, p. 198.
(3) OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 38.
(4) OJ C 76, 28.2.2018, p. 27.
(5) OJ C 263, 25.7.2018, p. 109.
(6) OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 86.
(7) OJ C 463, 21.12.2018, p. 31.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0259.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0435.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0115.
(11) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0518.
(12) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0157.
(13) The non-exhaustive list includes: Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Oleksiy Chyrniy, Mykola Karpyuk, Stanislav Klykh, Valentyn Vyhivskyi, Yurii Primov, Rustem Vaitov, Ruslan Zeytullayev, Ferat Sayfullayev, Viktor Shur, Andriy Kolomiyets, Roman Sushchenko, Pavlo Hryb, Oleksiy Syzonovych, Enver Mamutov, Rustem Abiltarov, Zevri Abseitov, Remzi Memetov, Henadii Lymeshko, Yevhen Panpv, Hlib Shablii, Volodymyr Prisich, Ihor Kyiashko, Teimur Abdillaiev, Uzeir Adsullaiev, Rustem Ismailov, Aider Saledinov, Emil Dzhemadenov, Volodymyr Balukh, Dmytro Shtyblikov, Muslim Aliyev, Emir Usein Kuku, Vadym Siruk, Inver Bekirov, Refat Alimov, Arsen Dzhepparov, Oleksandr Shumkov, Tofik Abdulgaziev, Izzet Abdullaev, Vladlen Abdulkadyrov, Mejit Abdurakhmanov, Bilyal Adilov, , Osman Arifmemetov, Farkhod Bazarov, , Servet Gaziev, Dzhemil Gafarov, Reza Izetov, Alim Karimov, Seyran Murtaza, Yashar Muyedinov, Erfan Osmanov, Seytveli Sietabdiev, Rustem Siethalilov, Ruslan Suleymanov, Shaban Umerov, Marlen Asanov, Seiran Sakiiev, Memet Belialov, Tymur Ibrahimov, Server Zekiriaiev, Ernes Ametov, Oleksiy Bessarabov, Volodymyr Dudka, Oleksii Stohnii, Mykola Shyptur, Evhen Karakashev, Nariman Memedeminov, Oleksandr Steshenko, Enver Seitosmanov, Server Mustafaiev, Edem Smailov, Edem Bekirov, Diliaver Gafarov, Renat Suleimanov, Eskender Abdulganiev, Rustem Emiruseinov, Arsen Abkhairov, Raim Aivazov, Aider Dzepparov, Taliat Abdurakhmanov, Seiran Mustafaiev, Arsen Kubedinov, Mustafa Dehermendzhi, Ali Asanov, Arsen Yunusov, Eskender Kantemyrov, Eskender Emirvaliev, Suleiman Kadyrov, Taliat Yunusov, Mykola Semena, Musa Abkerimov, Vitaliy Kuharenko Asan Chapukh, Bekir Dehermendzhi, Kiazim Ametov, Ruslan Trubach, Shaban Umerov, Rustem Seytkhalilov, Riza Izetov, Farid Bazarov, Dzemil Gafarov, Seyran Murtazi, Alim Kerimov, Tofik Abdulgariev, Bilyala Adilov, Medzhit Abdurakhmanov, Rustem Sheykhaliev, Alim Sheykhaliev, Seytveli Seytabdiev, Yashar Muedinov, Asan Yanikov, Enver Ametov, Ruslan Suleymanov, Akim Bekirov, Erfan Osmanov, Server Gaziev, Remzi Bekirov, Osman Arifmetov, Vlaslen Abdulkadyrov, Izzet Abdullaiev, Tair Ibragimov, Ayder Dzepparov, Eldar Kantermirov, Ruslan Mesutov, Ruslan Nagaiev, Enver Omerov, Riza Omerov, Eskander Suleymanov and Lenur Khalilov.

Situation in Venezuela
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European Parliament resolution of 18 July 2019 on the situation in Venezuela (2019/2730(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Venezuela, in particular those of 27 February 2014 on the situation in Venezuela(1), of 18 December 2014 on the persecution of the democratic opposition in Venezuela(2), of 12 March 2015 on the situation in Venezuela(3), of 8 June 2016 on the situation in Venezuela(4), of 27 April 2017 on the situation in Venezuela(5), of 8 February 2018 on the situation in Venezuela(6), of 3 May 2018 on the elections in Venezuela(7), of 5 July 2018 on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its terrestrial borders with Colombia and Brazil(8), of 25 October 2018 on the situation in Venezuela(9), of 31 January 2019 on the situation in Venezuela(10) and of 28 March 2019 on the emergency situation in Venezuela(11),

–  having regard to the report on Venezuela by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 4 July 2019,

–  having regard to the declarations by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Venezuela of 10 January 2019, 26 January 2019 and 24 February 2019, 28 March 2019, 4 April 2019, 30 April 2019, 18 June 2019 and 16 July 2019,

–  having regard to the Organisation of American States (OAS) Report on Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees of 8 March 2019,

–  having regard to the Fourth International Technical Meeting of the Quito Process, held in Buenos Aires on 4 and 5 July 2019,

–  having regard to the Lima Group Statement of 30 April 2019,

–  having regard to the Lima Group Declaration of 3 May 2019,

–  having regard to the statement on the joint meeting of the International Contact Group and the Lima Group on the situation in Venezuela of 3 June 2019,

–  having regard to Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1656 of 6 November 2018 amending Decision (CFSP) 2017/2074 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Venezuela(12), which renews until 14 November 2019 the targeted restrictive measures currently in place,

–  having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC),

–  having regard to the Venezuelan Constitution,

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas between 2018 and 2019 the political, economic, institutional, social and multidimensional humanitarian crisis has significantly worsened; whereas increased shortages of medicines and food, massive human rights violations, hyperinflation, political oppression, corruption and violence are endangering people’s lives and forcing them to flee the country;

B.  whereas from 19 to 21 June 2019 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, visited the country; whereas she urged the de facto government of Venezuela to take immediate, concrete measures to halt and remedy the grave violations of human rights documented in the country; whereas it has also been acknowledged that for over a decade Venezuela has adopted and implemented a series of laws, policies and practices which have restricted the democratic space, weakened public institutions and affected the independence of the judiciary;

C.  whereas more than 7 million people in Venezuela are in need of humanitarian assistance; whereas the de facto Maduro government has violated the right to food, including the state’s obligation to ensure that the population is free from hunger; whereas according to the UN, 3.7 million Venezuelans are malnourished, which is particularly damaging for children and pregnant women; whereas 94 % of the population live below the poverty line and 62 % in extreme poverty; whereas 70 % of children are not attending school; whereas some women have been forced to exchange sex for food and have faced violence on numerous occasions;

D.  whereas the health situation in the country is dire, with hospitals lacking staff, supplies, medicines and electricity, resulting in at least 1 557 deaths between November 2018 and February 2019; whereas there are shortages of essential drugs of 60 to 100 % in four of Venezuela’s major cities, including Caracas; whereas maternal mortality has increased and many women have had to leave the country to give birth;

E.  whereas more than 3.4 million Venezuelans have had to flee the country; whereas the total number of Venezuelans forced to migrate will have surpassed 5 million by the end of 2019, making this the second biggest migrant and refugee crisis in the world; whereas this migration flow is putting particular pressure on neighbouring countries, but also increasingly on the European Union and on EU Member States’ territories in the Caribbean;

F.  whereas according to the UNHRC, nearly 7 000 people have been extrajudicially killed during security operations in Venezuela in the past year and a half; whereas the de facto authorities are using FAES (the Special Actions Force of the Bolivarian National Police) and other security forces as part of their policy of social control; whereas the families of those killed extrajudicially during the protests continue to be prevented from exercising their rights to truth, justice and reparation;

G.  whereas torture is used as a systemic tool by the regime to intimidate and dissuade protestors, thus creating a climate of terror; whereas the UNHRC report found that security and intelligence services, in particular the SEBIN (the Bolivarian Intelligence Service) and the DGCIM (the Directorate-General of Military Counterintelligence), have routinely resorted to such practices; whereas political prisoners in Venezuela are being subjected to torture, and many currently find themselves incommunicado, with no way of contacting their lawyers or their family members, who fear for their lives and physical integrity;

H.  whereas 22 parliamentarians, including the President of the National Assembly, have been stripped of their parliamentary immunity; whereas 2 parliamentarians are in detention and 16 have either sought protection in embassies, left the country or gone into hiding;

I.  whereas indigenous peoples are being subjected to violent and criminal acts; whereas 63 members of indigenous communities have been arbitrarily detained and tortured, 7 have died and more than 23 have been injured and had to travel to hospitals outside the country to be treated;

J.  whereas mining and oil exploitation, especially in remote and biodiversity-rich regions, destroy the livelihoods of minorities, such as indigenous and black communities, who face severe violence and displacement by military forces, organised criminal gangs and armed groups if they oppose these activities and reclaim their rights;

K.  whereas on 29 June 2019, Rafael Acosta Arévalo, a naval captain who was arrested and tortured over an alleged assassination plot against Nicolás Maduro, died in custody; whereas the de facto authorities seized and illegally concealed his remains for 11 days before burying them, without respecting his family’s basic rights and wish to mourn their deceased;

L.  whereas on 2 July 2019, Rufo Chacón, a 16-year-old Venezuelan boy, lost his eyesight after being shot in the face by government officers at a protest over the lack of cooking gas;

M.  whereas the EU has mobilised EUR 117.6 million in emergency relief and development assistance in response to the crisis, working with vulnerable populations in both Venezuela (60 % of the funding) and neighbouring countries (40 %); whereas thus far the support collected by the UN for its regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan only represents around 22 % of the total requested (USD 159 million out of an appeal for USD 738 million);

1.  Reiterates its deep concern at the severe state of emergency in Venezuela, which is seriously endangering the lives of its citizens;

2.  Reiterates its full support for legitimate interim President Juan Guaidó and for the National Assembly, which is Venezuela’s legitimate democratic body and whose powers need to be restored and respected, including the prerogatives and safety of its members; condemns the revocation of the parliamentary immunity of 22 parliamentarians and the incarceration of two; reiterates its concern over the lack of legitimacy of the May 2018 presidential elections;

3.  Condemns the fierce repression and violence, which have resulted in killings and casualties; expresses its solidarity with the people of Venezuela and extends its sincere condolences to the families and friends of those affected;

4.  Highlights, in accordance with the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Bachelet, the direct responsibility of Nicolás Maduro, as well as the armed and intelligence forces in the service of his illegitimate regime, for the indiscriminate use of violence to repress the process of democratic transition and the restoration of the rule of law in Venezuela; condemns the use, under all circumstances, of arbitrary detentions, torture and extrajudicial killings, which are banned under international conventions, including those to which Venezuela is a signatory;

5.  Denounces, in accordance with the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Bachelet, the abuse by law enforcement officers and the brutal repression carried out by security forces; calls for the establishment of an impartial and independent national mechanism, with the support of the international community, to investigate extrajudicial executions carried out during security operations so as to ensure that those responsible are held accountable, and that the families of the victims are provided with redress and afforded protection against intimidation and reprisals;

6.  Urgently calls for the availability and accessibility of food, medicines and healthcare services to be guaranteed, while paying special attention to maternal and child services; calls on the de facto Venezuelan authorities to ensure that humanitarian aid is distributed to the entire population without any political bias;

7.  Stresses the need to cease, publicly condemn, punish and prevent all acts of persecution and selective repression for political reasons; calls for the release of all persons arbitrarily deprived of their freedom;

8.  Recalls that all intimidation of and attacks against indigenous peoples, including leaders, must be stopped, and that the authorities should ensure their protection and take all necessary measures to protect their individual and collective rights, including their right to land;

9.  Underlines the need to refrain from engaging in megaprojects in search of sources of income to overcome the economic crisis which are damaging to the environment, the climate and the livelihoods of communities in the area; calls for the unconditional protection of indigenous and black people in remote areas who defend the environment against activities such as gold-mining in the Arco Minero del Orinoco area of Venezuela;

10.  Draws attention to the increasingly serious migration crisis across the entire region and praises the efforts of and solidarity shown by neighbouring countries, especially Colombia, Ecuador and Peru; requests that the Commission continue to cooperate with these countries, not only by providing humanitarian assistance but also by providing more resources and through development policy;

11.  Reaffirms that a peaceful, democratic and inclusive solution is the only sustainable way out of the current political impasse and the severe social and humanitarian crisis it has provoked; points out that the ongoing dialogue must take into account the roadmap adopted in the National Assembly of Venezuela; supports the ongoing facilitated process led by Norway and welcomes the agreement by both sides to engage in a dialogue for peace; stresses that for a facilitation process to be successful the minimum confidence-building measures should be enacted; insists that the dialogue’s exclusive aim must be the creation of conditions leading to free, transparent and credible presidential elections based on a fixed calendar, fair conditions for all actors, transparency, and the presence of credible international observers;

12.  Calls on the Council to impose additional sanctions targeting the de facto state authorities responsible for human rights violations and repression; believes that the EU authorities must restrict the movements of the individuals concerned, and freeze their assets and visas, as well as those of their closest relatives;

13.  Asks the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to lead the EU policy on the situation in Venezuela and to continue cooperating with the Contact Group and with the democratic countries of the region represented by the Lima Group;

14.  Reiterates its support for the investigations by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the extensive crimes and acts of repression perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime; urges the EU and its Member States to join the initiative of several ICC State Parties to investigate the crimes against humanity committed by the de facto Maduro government in order to hold those responsible to account;

15.  Supports the initiative to establish a Commission of Inquiry with the UNHRC for the determination of individual responsibilities in the systematic violations of human rights in Venezuela;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the legitimate interim president of the Republic and the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the governments and parliaments of the Lima Group countries, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States.

(1) OJ C 285, 29.8.2017, p. 145.
(2) OJ C 294, 12.8.2016, p. 21.
(3) OJ C 316, 30.8.2016, p. 190.
(4) OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 101.
(5) OJ C 298, 23.8.2018, p. 137.
(6) OJ C 463, 21.12.2018, p. 61.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0199.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0313.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0436.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0061.
(11) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0327.
(12) OJ L 276, 7.11.2018, p. 10.

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