Human rights: North Korea; persecution in Pakistan; vulnerable groups in Syria
The EP passed three resolutions on Thursday, supporting the recommendations of the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in North Korea; expressing deep concern at the increase in sectarian violence and religious intolerance in Pakistan; and condemning the recent attacks against religious and ethnic communities and the suffering of women and children in Syria.
MEPs call on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to put an immediate end to the grave, widespread and systematic human rights violations perpetrated against its own people and demand that those most responsible for the crimes against humanity committed in the DPRK be held accountable, brought before the International Criminal Court and subjected to targeted sanctions.
Parliament calls on the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the member states to support the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in establishing special structures to ensure accountability for the crimes committed, through the continued collection of evidence and documentation. The UN should convene, as proposed by the Commission of Inquiry, a high-level conference between the parties to the Korean War with the aim of concluding a final peaceful settlement of the war and establishing a procedure for intensifying cooperation, say MEPs.
Persecution in Pakistan
MEPs are gravely concerned that the controversial blasphemy laws are open to misuse which can affect people of all faiths in Pakistan. They ask the authorities to review them and their application. They also call for hate material to be removed from the curricula and for teaching on community and religious tolerance to be included in the basic syllabus.
All acts of violence against religious communities and all kinds of discrimination and intolerance on the grounds of religion and beliefs are strongly condemned by MEPs, who are concerned that minority women and girls often suffer twice, through the practice of forced conversion and targeted sexual violence.
Vulnerable groups in Syria
All vulnerable communities in Syria should be protected, say MEPs, by allowing humanitarian access and lifting all sieges of populated areas, including the Old City of Holms. They call for the establishment of safe havens and for the creation of humanitarian corridors. They express their support for all efforts at local level to avoid and combat sectarian violence in rebel-held areas and in Kurdish-majority areas and call for special attention to be given to the vulnerable situation of Palestine refugees in Syria.