Human rights: blasphemy in Pakistan; kidnapping in Iraq; war crimes in Serbia
Parliament passed three resolutions on Thursday, calling on the Pakistani government to review its blasphemy laws; condemning atrocities by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq; and calling for action against the "wartime rhetoric" and hate speech of provisionally released Serbian war crimes suspect Vojislav Šešelj.
Blasphemy laws in Pakistan
MEPs express concern about Pakistan’s "controversial blasphemy laws" which "make it dangerous for religious minorities to express themselves freely or engage openly in religious activities". They call on the government of Pakistan to carry out a "thorough review of the blasphemy laws and their current application" and to guarantee the independence of the courts, the rule of law and due process "in line with international standards on judicial proceedings". They also ask the European Commission to aid religious communities and "pressurise the Pakistani government to do more for the protection of religious minorities".
Kidnapping and mistreatment of women in Iraq
MEPs strongly condemn the "numerous atrocities committed by Islamic State, targeting specifically women, which amount to crimes against humanity" and call on the Iraqi government to ratify the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court in order to allow it to prosecute the war crimes committed by the IS. They also call on the Iraqi government to provide protection for the LGBT Iraqis, who are in an "extremely vulnerable" situation and ask the European External Action Service and EU member states, in their dialogue with the Gulf countries, "to raise strong concerns about the ongoing Salafi/Wahhabi indoctrination efforts in many Muslim-majority countries".
Serbian war crimes suspect Vojislav Šešelj
MEPs strongly condemn Vojislav Šešelj's "warmongering, incitement to hatred and encouragement of territorial claims and his attempts to derail Serbia from its European path". They deplore his "wartime rhetoric" since his provisional release and his public calls for the creation of "Greater Serbia" and publicly stated claims on neighbouring countries, including EU member state Croatia.
Parliament calls on the Serbian authorities to investigate whether Mr Šešelj has violated Serbian law and to fully apply the legislation outlawing hate speech, discrimination and incitement to violence and ask the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY, established by the UN in 1993) "to take measures to re-examine the existence of requirements for provisional release under new circumstances"
Vojislav Šešelj, the President of the Serbian Radical Party, has been indicted before the ICTY for persecution, deportation, inhumane acts, and murder but provisionally released on health grounds, after more than eleven years of detention, even though his trial is still under way.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions