Human rights: Yarmouk refugee camp, activists in Algeria and Nadiya Savchenko
Parliament condemned IS/Daesh terror attacks on the Palestinian refugee camp in Yarmouk, Syria, the harassment of labour and human rights activists in Algeria and the illegal detention of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko in Russia, in three resolutions voted on Thursday.
Terror attacks on Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria
MEPs condemn the acts of terrorism perpetrated by IS/Daesh and Jabhat al-Nustra against the Palestinian refugee camp at Yarmouk in Syria, and its siege and bombardment by the Assad regime. They are gravely concerned at the continued deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Syria and in particular in the Yarmouk camp and in other Palestinian camps. The neutral status of Yarmouk and the protection of the civilians inside the camp, particularly women and children, must be ensured and medical facilities, schools and places of refuge safeguarded, MEPs stress.
They urge all parties to the conflict to allow the international aid organisations unhindered access to the camp and call for an ad hoc visit by the European Parliament to the camp, in coordination with the UN and independently from any party to the conflict. EU member states should also "seriously consider" setting up of a special tribunal for the crimes committed in Syria, they add.
Jailed workers' and human rights activists in Algeria
MEPs ask the Algerian authorities to ensure and guarantee the right to freedom of expression and association and peaceful assembly in the country. They state that a right to a fair trial and ensuring a minimum guarantee for the right to defence for all detainees is in compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By contrast, harassment and intimidation of labour rights activists and human rights defenders, including at the judicial level, is not a practice that accords with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
The EU foreign policy chief and member states must ensure that there is a clear and principled EU policy vis-à-vis Algeria that includes a human rights dialogue, say MEPs, who urge the Algerian authorities and the EU foreign policy chief to include a strong human rights chapter in the future EU-Algeria Action Plan.
MEPs call for the immediate and unconditional release of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, who was illegally kidnapped by Russia almost a year ago and has since been detained in prison there. They ask the French President and German Chancellor to press for her release at forthcoming meetings of the Contact Group on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. MEPs point out that Russia has no legal basis or jurisdiction to take any action against Ms Savchenko, and underline that those responsible for her illegal detention may face international sanctions or legal proceedings for their actions.
The Russian authorities are also directly responsible for Ms Savchenko's safety and well-being, say MEPs, who urge Russia to grant impartial international doctors access to her, with her consent, given that she has been on hunger strike for a very long time. MEPs also call for the immediate release of all other Ukrainian citizens, including film director Oleg Sentsov and Khaizer Dzhemilev, illegally detained in Russia.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions