Parliament passed three separate resolutions on Thursday, expressing alarm at the recent violent clashes in Bangladesh; drawing attention to the plight of Iraqi Turkmen and other minority groups in Iraq; and demanding the trial or prompt release of Palestinians held in Israel without charge.
Death sentences and violent clashes in Bangladesh
Parliament is alarmed by the recent violence in Bangladesh, which led to over 60 deaths, after the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) sentenced Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, a Jamaat-e-Islami leader, to death for crimes during the 1971 independence war. MEPs fear more death sentences and stress their opposition to the death penalty in all cases. They call on the Bangladeshi authorities to commute all death sentences and introduce a moratorium on executions.
Upsurge in violence in Iraq; plight of minority groups, in particular Turkmen
MEPs condemn the recent surge of deadly sectarian violence in Iraq, between Sunnis and Shi'ites and also against vulnerable minority groups. They point out that Turkmen, who are in dispute with the Kurds over the oil-rich Kirkuk region, have been targeted recently by both Kurdish forces and Arab extremist groups.
The EP fears that the violence could cause the provincial elections scheduled for 20 April 2013 to be cancelled. It points to the guarantees of equality in the Iraqi Constitution and of autonomy in the Constitution of the Kurdistan Region and calls on the Iraqi and Kurdistan authorities to investigate the attacks and bring those responsible to justice. MEPs also deeply regret the high execution rate in Iraq, often following unfair trials and forced confessions.
Palestinians held in Israeli jails and the death in custody of Arafat Jaradat
Parliament is extremely concerned at the death in February of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat while in Israeli custody and at the renewed tensions in the West Bank following his death. It calls on the Israeli authorities to investigate this case and raises concerns about the Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge, demanding that they be charged and tried or promptly released.
The EP repeats its call for the immediate release of all imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including Marwan Barghouti.
MEPs want the European External Action Service and the member states to monitor the fate of Palestinian prisoners and detainees closely and to raise the issue at all levels of political dialogue with Israel.