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B7-0254/2012

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PV 24/05/2012 - 15.2
CRE 24/05/2012 - 15.2

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PV 24/05/2012 - 16.2

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P7_TA(2012)0228

Разисквания
четвъртък, 24 май 2012 г. - Страсбург Редактирана версия

15.2. Азербайджан
Видеозапис на изказванията
PV
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  President. − The next item is the debate on six motions for resolution on Azerbaijan(1).

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda, deputising for the author. − Mr President, I speak on behalf of my colleague Ulrike Lunacek. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of the Eurovision Song Contest but the fact that it is happening in a country with such a dramatic human rights situation has concerned me a lot.

Suppressing freedom of expression in Azerbaijan is simply incompatible with Azerbaijan’s commitments regarding democracy and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Azerbaijani authorities should allow peaceful protests and prohit all this interference in the work of journalists covering demonstrations. It is also important to release immediately from prison or pre-trial detention those detained on politically-motivated charges, including six journalists, social media activists, lawyers, NGO leaders and human right activists.

I also want to show my sympathy with the promoters of ‘Sing for Democracy’. It is a campaign launched on the occasion of the Eurovision Song Contest hosted in Baku and they hope that their action can contribute to bringing about indispensable democratic reforms and substantial improvements in the human rights situation in the country.

I am also concerned about the forced evictions and demolitions of buildings in connection with the major reconstruction plan in Baku, partly linked to the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. I thus call on the Azerbaijani authorities to guarantee that the ongoing construction of new buildings in Baku is in line with the relevant legislation and that the resettlement of people is carried out with transparent legal procedures and with fair compensation. Finally, I appreciate the fact that the PPE Group has finally joined the joint resolution as initially foreseen, as at certain times it was at risk.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, author. − Mr President, as the Eurovision finalists warm up their voices and practise their dance routines, the voices of the people in Azerbaijan are muffled. Much as the authorities may want to make the Eurovision Song Contest the ‘Great Azerbaijan Show’, the world is not blinded by glitter, glamour and propaganda.

We are very concerned at the ongoing violations of human rights in Azerbaijan, and polished statements from the government do not convince. It is only actions that speak. Today, two vice-chairs of the Müsavat party, a member of Liberal International, Tofiq Yaqublu and Gulaga Aslanli, were detained in the streets of Baku. Only one in six vice-chairs has not been arrested. An advisor of the party leader is under house arrest; people are being threatened by the authorities; Anar Gerayli has been missing for two days.

Arif Hajili and Tural Abbasli and various other human rights activists and members of the opposition have been detained for over a year. These people are recognised as prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International and to them I want to say: ‘We will not forget you.’

To the Azeri authorities I want to say: ‘Live up to your responsibilities to respect human rights, and adhere to your commitments in the OSCE framework and in the context of the Association Agreement. Do you want to be a part of the EU Neighbourhood Policy or not?’ Azerbaijan will have no credibility with the EU if it does not stick to its agreements: full stop!

 
  
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  Véronique De Keyser, auteure. − Monsieur le Président, il y a une dizaine de jours, quand je regardais Euronews, j'ai vu une magnifique émission sur l'Azerbaïdjan parlant du concours de l'Eurovision. Pas un mot sur les droits de l'homme! On a juste montré le Crystal Palace. J'ai cru que c'était de la publicité, mais non c'était une émission d'Euronews.

C'est pour cela que cette résolution, aujourd'hui, est extrêmement importante. Je ne suis pas du tout favorable à un boycott de l'Eurovision – d'ailleurs, ce serait très difficile –, mais on a eu le même débat, entre nous, sur les Jeux olympiques en Chine. Et on s'est dit que c'était une occasion unique: 600 millions de téléspectateurs vont regarder cette émission samedi. C'est une occasion unique de montrer que, à côté du gaz, à côté du pétrole, à côté de l'argent, il y a, en Azerbaïdjan, un autre aspect qui est extrêmement problématique – c'est le moins que l'on puisse dire –, à savoir celui des droits de l'homme.

Autre chose: des milliers de propriétaires d'appartements et de maisons ont été expulsés en vue de la construction des bâtiments de l'Eurovision, sans grand dédommagement. Pour moi, c'en est trop! Et c'est pourquoi je suis particulièrement sensible au fait que, in fine, nos amis du groupe PPE aient soutenu cette résolution. Elle est absolument indispensable.

(L'oratrice accepte de répondre à une question "carton bleu" (article 149, paragraphe 8, du règlement))

 
  
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  Frank Engel (PPE), question "carton bleu". – Monsieur le Président, je voulais, au fond, tout d'abord vous rejoindre, Madame De Keyser, dans l'analyse que vous venez de faire de la situation. Par ailleurs, je voulais vous demander, comme vous êtes la première à vous exprimer de cette façon, si vous n'étiez pas également d'avis que, au fond, lorsque nous avons récemment voté notre évaluation de l'accord d'association avec l'Azerbaïdjan, nous nous sommes placés dans un contexte qui faisait largement abstraction de tout ce dont nous discutons aujourd'hui. Est-ce qu'il n'aurait pas été plus utile d'insister dès le début sur le fait que l'Azerbaïdjan n'est quand même pas encore une démocratie comme les autres. Aujourd'hui, nous nous apprêtons probablement à faire quelque chose qui est légèrement différent de ce que nous venons de faire il y a un mois.

 
  
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  Véronique De Keyser (S&D), réponse "carton bleu". – Je ne voudrais pas "dévoiler la couronne", comme on dit, cher collègue, mais je peux vous dire, qu'en tout cas, dans les groupes, on n'a pas fait abstraction de la question des droits de l'homme. Il y a eu, certes, la realpolitik, avec tout le contexte énergétique, notre crise, ce que pouvait représenter l'Azerbaïdjan pour ce qui est des pipelines qui permettent de contourner la Russie, etc. Vous connaissez le problème aussi bien que moi. Puis, il y a l'argument qui consiste à dire: "Mais si on ne concluait des accords qu'avec les pays qui sont de véritables démocraties, on serait peut-être un peu en panne". Mais je peux vous dire, en tout cas, que la question des droits de l'homme a, non seulement, été évoquée, mais qu'elle reste une véritable obsession pour nous. Et je crois qu'il faudra, un jour, allier – et c'est vraiment notre ambition ici, dans les enceintes européennes – la question du commerce à celle de la démocratie. Et c'est, chaque fois, un exercice d'équilibriste.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei, Autor. − Cazurile Idrak Abbasov și Hadija Ismailova sunt doar două exemple de presiune asupra ziariştilor din Azerbaidjan. Solicit autorităţilor să asigure investigarea şi condamnarea persoanelor vinovate şi, de asemenea, să investigheze toate acuzaţiile de violenţe şi detenţii arbitrare declanşate împotriva demonstranţilor paşnici, inclusiv în această săptămână. Eliberarea imediată a celor reţinuţi în baza unor acuzaţii motivate politic, fie ei ziarişti sau activişti pentru drepturile omului sau orice altă persoană, este vitală şi în concordanţă cu regulile de bază pentru respectarea drepturilor omului.

Reamintesc că Azerbaidjanul este membru al Consiliului Europei şi că a semnat Convenţia europeană a drepturilor omului. De asemenea, Azerbaidjanul a devenit membru nepermanent al Consiliului de securitate al ONU pentru 2012-2013 şi, prin aceasta, s-a angajat să susţină valorile exprimate în Carta Drepturilor Omului.

În concluzie, mă aştept şi cer autorităţilor din Azerbaidjan să-şi respecte angajamentele luate în materie de drepturi ale omului.

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Unsere Fraktion ist entgegen dem, was hier ausgedruckt ist, Mitunterzeichner der Entschließung zu Aserbaidschan. Dieses Haus schaut an diesem Wochenende geschlossen nach Baku. Nicht wegen des Eurovision Song Contest – wir hatten ja einmal eine Kollegin, Dana Scallon, die vor über 30 Jahren selbst Siegerin dieses Song Contest war, das ist auch ein Grund. Aber unser Hauptgrund ist, dass Aserbaidschan ein wichtiger Partner der Europäischen Union, ein Mitglied des Europarates, ein Mitglied der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention und daher mehr als andere Staaten verpflichtet ist, sich an Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit und Menschenrechte zu halten.

Aserbaidschan hat diese Schritte freiwillig getan, und wir begrüßen das. Deshalb muss Aserbaidschan auch akzeptieren, dass wir etwas genauer hinschauen. Ich sage ganz klar: Was im Vorfeld des Song Contest passiert ist – das Abreißen von Häusern, das Vertreiben von Menschen aus ihren Wohnvierteln, die Nichtentschädigung, die mangelnde Rechtsstaatlichkeit, die Prügelei von Demonstranten, die Unterdrückung der Pressefreiheit, die Unterdrückung der Religionsfreiheit, die Verletzung von Menschenrechten –, ist so nicht akzeptabel, gerade weil Aserbaidschan für uns ein wichtiger und wertvoller Partner ist.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo, S&D-ryhmän puolesta. – Arvoisa puhemies, euroviisut ovat todella tuoneet median huomioon hetkeksi Azerbaidžaniin ja azerbaidžanilaiset ovat käyttäneet myös tilaisuutta hyväkseen ja osoittaneet kaduilla mieltään yhteiskunnan ja sananvapauden surkeaa tilaa vastaan. Lukuisia ihmisiä on todella asetettu syytteeseen ja vangittu Azerbaidžanissa heidän käytettyään sananvapauttaan maan hallituksen arvostelemiseen.

Totalitarismin varjo lepää yhä Azerbaidžanin yllä ja demokraattisen ja ihmisoikeuksia kunnioittavan markkinatalousyhteiskunnan kehittäminen on vielä pahasti kesken. Kysynkin, voiko Azerbaidžanin kaltainen valtio ylipäänsä toimia maailman rauhan ja turvallisuuden vartijana, YK:n turvallisuusneuvoston kiertävänä jäsenmaana, sen rikkoessa itse räikeästi omien kansalaistensa ihmisoikeuksia?

Azerbaidžanin viranomaisten tulisi kumota rikoslain säädökset herjaamisesta ja kunnianloukkauksesta ja ryhtyä laajaan uudistukseen varmistaakseen sananvapauden harjoittamisen Azerbaidžanissa. Euroopan unionin ulkosuhdehallinnon tulee vaatia, että Azerbaidžanissa tutkitaan kaikki sananvapauden rajoittamista koskevat tapaukset ja ryhdytään myös käytännön toimiin koko maan ihmisoikeustilanteen parantamiseksi sekä poliittisten vankien vapauttamiseksi.

 
  
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  Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, in Baku last month I had the opportunity to ask President Aliyev about his plans for improving the situation with regard to democracy, human rights and freedom of the media in his country, especially as we look towards the Eurovision Song Contest this week. With astonishing self-confidence, he answered me that there was no reason to improve the situation because it was already perfect.

To be honest, I am not surprised by his self-confidence because, let us face it, the world, including the EU, is interested in Azerbaijan only because of gas and oil and important pipelines to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan; we are not interested in the people of Azerbaijan. Commissioner Füle may have criticised the Azeri human rights situation, but two weeks later President Barroso was in Baku, and he did not mention human rights once. He was talking only about energy. So, is the message from the EU ‘Never mind human rights – energy is what it’s all about’?

If we continue to let energy interests take democracy and human rights hostage, the situation in Azerbaijan will never improve. Let us be honest: in the long term, the EU also secures its energy interests much better by fighting for a stable democracy in Azerbaijan than by supporting the current regime of President Aliyev.

 
  
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  Jaroslav Paška, za skupinu EFD Azerbajdžan je krajina, ktorá sa v rámci programu Východného partnerstva aktívne zúčastňuje na európskej susedskej politike, a v rámci nášho politického a ekonomického zbližovania prebiehajú aj rokovania o dohode o pridružení. Azerbajdžan je aj naším významným ekonomickým partnerom, a preto je prirodzené, že veľmi citlivo vnímame politické prostredie v tejto krajine. Pri opakovaných náznakoch zhoršovania sa situácie v oblasti ľudských práv je preto našou povinnosťou priateľsky upozorniť našich partnerov, že gubernátorské metódy zastrašovania novinárov, mimovládnych organizácií či politickej opozície sú nezlučiteľné s civilizovanou a demokratickou formou vládnutia. Primerané diplomatické upozornenie na zosúladenie azerbajdžanskej legislatívy v oblasti médií, slobody združovania, demokratických volieb či trestov za hanobenie s medzinárodnými normami by teda iste prispelo k vytvoreniu lepšieho právneho rámca pre pokojnú transformáciu spoločnosti. Nájsť vhodný spôsob účinného apelu na azerbajdžanské orgány musí byť preto veľkou výzvou našej zahraničnej služby.

 
  
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  Eija-Riitta Korhola (PPE). - Arvoisa puhemies, Azerbaidžan on nyt lehdistön valokeilassa, sillä maassa järjestetään kevään euroviisukilpailut. Uutisointi on kuitenkin ollut lähinnä negatiivista, sillä maan ihmisoikeustilanteessa on parantamisen varaa. Ongelmana ovat olleet etenkin median ja poliittisen toiminnan rajoittaminen sekä kansalaisjärjestöjen toiminnan vaikeuttaminen. Toimittajia, kansalaisjärjestöjen edustajia ja aktiivisia sosiaalisen median käyttäjiä on ahdisteltu, kiristetty ja vangittu.

Azerbaidžanin hallitus on tehnyt monia lupauksia tilanteen parantamiseksi. Hallitus on julkaissut kansallisen ihmisoikeustoimintasuunnitelman ja se on uudistanut lainsäädäntöään monella tavalla. Azerbaidžan on viime aikoina muun muassa perustanut komitean, joka selvittää ihmisoikeusrikkomuksia. Hallituksen on kuitenkin varmistettava, että komitea on ehdottoman puolueeton ja että se noudattaa kansainvälisiä mittapuita.

Azerbaidžan on myös yksi EU:n naapuruuskumppanuusmaista. Maan on pikaisesti pantava toimeen naapuruuspolitiikan ihmisoikeustoimintasuunnitelma ja sen on osoitettava vilpittömyytensä käynnissä olevien assosiaationeuvottelujen suhteen.

Ilmoitan, että äänestän päätöslauselman puolesta.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D). - Consider utilă rezoluţia noastră pentru că subliniază, în primul rând, situaţia drepturilor omului din Azerbaidjan şi sper că autorităţile azere vor lua urgent măsuri pentru respectarea angajamentelor internaţionale asumate. Găzduirea concursului Eurovision de către Azerbaidjan are, dincolo de dimensiunea sa artistică, o puternică semnificaţie simbolică şi, aşa cum s-a spus aici, faptul că un asemenea eveniment are loc în această ţară nu trebuie să ne facă să uităm încălcările majore ale drepturilor omului. Ne îngrijorează îngrădirile protestelor paşnice şi acţiunile de intimidare a jurnaliştilor independenţi, precum şi modul netransparent în care s-a făcut exproprierea unor proprietăţi.

Adresez, la rândul meu, un apel autorităţilor azere să acţioneze pentru remedierea acestor stări de fapt, în special pentru a pune capăt presiunilor exercitate împotriva libertăţii de exprimare. De asemenea, solicit Comisiei şi celorlalte instituţii europene să consolideze cooperarea cu Azerbaidjanul pentru a stimula respectarea drepturilor omului în această ţară.

(Vorbitorul a fost de acord să accepte o întrebare în cadrul procedurii „cartonașului albastru” în conformitate cu Articolul 149 alineatul (8) din Regulamentul de procedură)

 
  
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  Метин Казак (ALDE), въпрос, зададен чрез вдигане на синя карта. – Г-н председател, уважаема г-жо Creţu, аз искам да ви попитам – разбира се въпросите, които вие поставяте, са от съществено значение, но смятате ли, че елементът на спешност в случая е обоснован?

Имайки предвид, че ние като Европейски съюз и Азербайджан участваме в много двустранни платформи като Парламентарната асамблея на Евронест, освен това Азербайджан е член на Съвета на Европа и всички тези въпроси от дълго време се дискутират надълго и нашироко; смятате ли, че с тази резолюция ние ще подпомогнем да се решат тези проблеми?

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), Răspuns la „cartonaşul albastru”. – Cred că atunci când e vorba de salvarea de vieţi omeneşti şi de respectarea drepturilor omului niciodată nu este prea devreme sau prea târziu. Pe de altă parte, împărtăşesc opinia dumneavoastră că avem datoria de a sprijini integrarea acestei ţări în sistemul european de valori, dar pe de altă parte cred că nimic nu justifică ceea ce se întâmplă acum în Azerbaidjan.

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE). - Folosesc acest prilej, discuţia cu privire la o rezoluţie urgentă referitoare la Azerbaidjan, pentru a pune în discuţie statutul acestor rezoluţii de urgenţă. Când am fost serioşi stimaţi colegi? Când am votat raportul de asociere cu Azerbaidjanul într-o majoritate covârşitoare în această sală? Când am fost serioşi? Când ţările noastre au susţinut ca Azerbaidjanul să devină membru nepermanent al Consiliului de securitate? Când suntem serioşi? Când cerem Azerbaidjanului să ne sprijine în politicile noastre energetice prin proiecte care pot aduce beneficii cetăţeanului european? Când suntem serioşi? Atunci când discutăm în nenumărate rânduri fără niciun fel de eficienţă, fără să se întâmple nimic, asupra chestiunilor care ţin de drepturile omului? Invocăm în această rezoluţie, ca în nenumărate alte rezoluţii, chestiuni la care nu s-au dat soluţii, care au făcut obiectul altor rezoluţii.

Cred că, fără îndoială, Azerbaidjanul nu este una din ţările frecventabile din punctul de vedere al respectării drepturilor omului, dar cred că avem obligaţia să avem un anume standard în propriile noastre politici, o anume coerenţă şi un anume mod de abordare care să ne facă să fim credibili în faţa cetăţeanului european. Să nu vorbim acum despre drepturile omului, dar să votăm accesul Uniunii Europene la o politică energetică care să favorizeze cetăţeanul european.

Eu cred că este foarte utilă această discuţie, dar va trebui să avem o discuţie mult mai generală, în care să discutăm foarte clar care sunt criteriile noastre în materie de acorduri de asociere şi politici economice frecventabile.

(Vorbitorul a fost de acord să accepte o întrebare în cadrul procedurii „cartonașului albastru” în conformitate cu Articolul 149 alineatul (8) din Regulamentul de procedură)

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der blauen Karte. – Frau Nicolai, wissen Sie, dass wir keine Diplomaten sind und keine Geschäftsleute, sondern Parlamentarier, die zuerst den Menschenrechten verpflichtet sind? Und wissen Sie, dass wir das im Europarat regelmäßig mit Partnerstaaten tun, mit Russland, erst diese Woche mit der Ukraine? Selbstverständlich müssen wir gerade unsere Partnerstaaten in besonderer Weise auf Menschenrechte hin betrachten.

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE), Răspuns la „cartonaşul albastru”. – De acord, stimate coleg. Privilegiez opinia dumneavoastră, dar aş avea şi eu curiozitatea: aţi votat în favoare acordului de asociere cu Azerbaidjanul? Pentru că şi acolo condiţia era să respectăm drepturile omului. Despre asta este vorba, stimate coleg, despre dublul standard în diverse atitudini şi în diverse decizii.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Sari Essayah (PPE). - Arvoisa puhemies, olen erittäin tyytyväinen siihen, että Euroopan parlamentti ilmaisee nyt yhteisen kantansa huolestuneisuudesta Azerbaidžanin ihmisoikeustilanteen suhteen, koska euroviisut nostavat Azerbaidžanin maailmankartalle ja miljoonien dollarien PR-kampanjan voimalla maasta halutaan antaa moderni ja edistynyt kuva. Tämän kiillotetun julkisivun takana on kuitenkin toinen todellisuus. Maan 20 itsenäisyysvuoden ja suhteellisen vakauden aikana kansalaisten perusoikeuksissa ei ole tapahtunut juurikaan suurta muutosta. Sen sijaan presidentti Alijevin autoritaarinen hallinto on voimistunut ja kansainvälinen yhteisö on jättänyt sen pitkälti huomioimatta.

Vaikka kritiikki Azerbaidžania kohtaan on nyt hivenen voimistunut, maan sisällä harvat kriittiset äänenpainot ovat sallittuja. Sensuuri on kasvanut ja presidentin sekä johtavien hallitusmiesten arvostelusta rangaistaan usein, oli kyse sitten oppositiopolitiikasta, journalismista, taiteesta, kansalaisaktivismista tai opetuksesta tai jopa sosiaalisesta mediasta.

 
  
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  Liisa Jaakonsaari (S&D). - Arvoisa puhemies, kiitoksia Sari Essayahille ja muille EPP:n jäsenille, että saimme tästä yhteisen päätöslauselman. On erittäin tärkeää, että jälleen kerran Euroopan parlamentti kehottaa Azerbaidžanin viranomaisia vapauttamaan poliittiset vangit ja ne kaikki, jotka on pidätetty poliittisista syistä.

Haluaisin myös korostaa sitä, että Euroopan parlamentti tulee erittäin tarkasti seuraamaan kehitystä Azerbaidžanissa, erityisesti Eurovision laulukilpailujen jälkeen. Eurovision laulukilpailut ovat tärkeät, ja kehottaisinkin kaikkia laulajia ja taiteilijoita ja niitä, jotka osallistuvat näihin merkittäviin kilpailuihin, laulamaan kaikki poliittiset vangit vapaiksi. Ei ole todellakaan hyväksyttävää, että ihmiset joutuvat elämään pelon vallassa, että media, journalistit, opposition edustajat ja ihmisoikeuksien puolustajat elävät pelon vallassa.

 
  
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  Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR). - Popieram projekt rezolucji. Bardzo nam zależy na tym, żeby Azerbejdżan, kraj o bardzo długiej i pięknej historii, który próbuje w wielu dziedzinach przyłączyć się do rodziny narodów Europy, czego wyrazem jest udział Azerbejdżanu w europejskich rozgrywkach sportowych, a także w tym bardzo ważnym wydarzeniu, jakim jest konkurs Eurowizji… Ale skoro Azerbejdżan chce wiązać swoją przyszłość z Europą, to powinien dążyć do europejskich standardów w zakresie przestrzegania praw człowieka. Niestety z tym jest bardzo źle i sytuacja pogarsza się. To jest dobry moment, żebyśmy wyrazili nasze zdanie w tej kwestii i zwrócili się z mocnym przesłaniem do władz Azerbejdżanu, właśnie w tej chwili, kiedy na ten kraj będą zwrócone oczy Europy. Dziękuję bardzo.

 
  
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  Tadeusz Zwiefka (PPE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Konstatacja jest prosta: w ciągu minionych dwudziestu lat, od momentu, kiedy Azerbejdżan odzyskał niepodległość, obserwujemy niezwykły rozwój gospodarczy i ten kraj jest uznawany za jeden z najbardziej dynamicznie rozwijających się krajów na świecie. Niestety tego samego nie możemy powiedzieć o przebiegu procesu demokratyzacji w Azerbejdżanie, bo w tle tej wielkiej gospodarki i świetnej ekonomii pozostają niestety wciąż pozostawiające wiele do życzenia, zachowania – głównie, jeśli chodzi o wolność słowa. Przytaczając przykłady tego, co niedobrego dzieje się w Azerbejdżanie, musimy zawsze mówić o tym, że niestety niezależne media nie mają właściwej pozycji, że dziennikarze, którzy pozwalają sobie na krytykę władz mniejszych czy wyższych, natychmiast podlegają oskarżeniu. Po raz kolejny chciałbym przypomnieć przykład Ejnula Fatullajewa, który za opublikowanie dwóch artykułów w lokalnej prasie został skazany na łączną karę ośmiu lat więzienia. To są rzeczy absolutnie niedopuszczalne. Żałuję tylko, że ta słuszna krytyka, którą dzisiaj przeprowadzamy, nie wybrzmiała należycie podczas szczytu partnerstwa wschodniego, który miał miejsce w Baku w kwietniu tego roku. Dziękuję.

 
  
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  Evgeni Kirilov (S&D). - Mr President, human rights and democracy building, particularly in the EU neighbourhood, are of paramount importance. As in other cases, if there are no urgent reasons we should not deal with them through these urgent procedures. Certainly, as colleagues pointed out, in the case of Azerbaijan there have been setbacks. But what is the urgency now?

It seems it is the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Colleagues express concern that the authorities might clamp down on their opponents after the contest. I fear the Azeri authorities will regard this resolution as a stab in the back on the eve of the contest, together with the stab they received from neighbouring Iran a day ago. As a result, I am afraid, this resolution will reinforce hardliners.

It would be wise to postpone the vote on this resolution and have a special debate in plenary together with Commissioner Füle. This could be a result-oriented approach, since the Azeri authorities, I am sure, will be aware of the present text of this motion.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der blauen Karte. – Herr Kollege Kirilov, wissen Sie, dass die ganze Woche im Vorfeld des Song Contest in Baku die Freiheitsdemonstranten aufgetreten sind und niedergeknüppelt wurden und dass unsere Wähler das alle im Fernsehen gesehen haben? Sie würden sich wundern, wenn sie gehört hätten, dass Sie das nicht für dringlich halten, sondern der Meinung sind, das solle man verschieben, bis die Leute im Gefängnis sitzen.

 
  
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  Evgeni Kirilov (S&D), blue-card answer. – Mr Posselt, yes, I am closely following the events in this country. I read today in the International Herald Tribune that yesterday a peaceful demonstration of young people against the regime passed through the main streets without permission.

There are certain things which have to be discussed very deeply and seriously with the authorities, but what I am saying is that this is not the way. Look how many people were here today! This is not the way to deal with a country which is quite important and is in a very strategic neighbourhood area of the Union.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE) - Ochrana ľudských práv, podpora demokracie, právneho štátu, ale tiež sloboda prejavu a združovania sa patria medzi základné princípy, na ktorých Únia stavia politiku voči svojim partnerom. A je to tak aj v prípade Azerbajdžanu. Azerbajdžan je partnerská krajina Európskej únie, preto je a bude sledovaný a – keď to bude oprávnené – aj kritizovaný v prípadoch porušovania ľudských práv. A touto kritikou by sa mali predstavitelia Azerbajdžanu veľmi vážne zaoberať. K otázkam, o ktorých by sme mali urýchlene a otvorene s azerbajdžanskými predstaviteľmi hovoriť, patrí organizácia pokojných protestov a zhromaždení a zadržiavanie aktivistov a novinárov. Kauzy útokov na novinárov, lídrov občianskej spoločnosti a aktivistov za ľudské práva by mali byť čo najskôr vyriešené. To je minimum, čo by sme mali vyžadovať od Azerbajdžanu ako od partnerskej krajiny Európskej únie, a práve preto teraz treba prijať toto uznesenie.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). - Senhor Presidente, é lamentável que o Presidente Barroso se tenha deslocado a Baku e ficado calado sobre a situação dos direitos humanos no Azerbaijão, que se tem degradado progressivamente, apesar das promessas de reformas e compromissos assumidos com a UE.

Essas violações de direitos humanos, ameaças, ataques, prisão de jornalistas, repressão violenta de manifestações pacíficas, expropriações arbitrárias, estão a ocorrer neste momento sob os holofotes do Festival da Eurovisão.

A União Europeia, na negociação do acordo de associação com o Azerbaijão, deve incluir cláusulas e objetivos concretos com vista a reformas democráticas, a concretizar durante a vigência do acordo, no que respeita, em particular, à liberdade de imprensa, expressão e manifestação. O acordo deve incluir um mecanismo eficaz de monitorização das reformas, incluindo sanções por incumprimento.

 
  
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  Janez Potočnik, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, honourable members, European Union-Azerbaijan relations are far from having exploited their full potential. To provide for the country’s political association and economic integration with the European Union, Azerbaijan needs to make significant further efforts to meet the action plan commitments in the field of deep and sustainable democracy, including electoral processes, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the independence of the judicial system. This assessment is clearly reflected in the ENP progress report issued on 15 May.

The heavy-handed suppression of a wave of moderate protest actions in March, and in particular of the rally in Baku on 2 April, signalled an important setback on the democratisation and human rights front, and signalled non-compliance with the commitments taken towards the EU and in the framework of the Council of Europe and the OSCE. At the same time, the EU welcomes the recent release on 16 May of Elnur Mecidli and hopes for further releases on the occasion of Republic Day on 28 May.

There are frequent reports of violations of property rights, with forced evictions, sometimes against previous court decisions, and without due notification. It remains to be seen how new rules on evictions adopted by the Council of Ministers on 27 February will be implemented and whether they will improve the situation.

Many of you have mentioned the Eurovision Song Contest, which offered a window of opportunity for the authorities. The opportunity seems to have been missed. On 16 May, at a conference on media freedom organised by the Sing for Democracy campaign, the government rejected any criticism but stated that in some individual cases of complaint due investigation is under way. This includes the case of Khadija Ismaylova, an investigative journalist who was harassed, with an attempt at blackmailing. Also on 16 May, during protest actions by the opposition, tens of activists were arrested and later released at a distance of 60 kilometres from Baku.

The media environment is curtailed by self-imposed censorship, and harassment of journalists is frequent. Recent examples include the detention of two journalists in the regional city of Quba and the arrest of a number of journalists on charges of spying for Iran. There are unfortunately many others.

As mentioned, Commissioner Füle’s visit to Baku from 2 to 4 April, on the occasion of the Euronest meeting, gave the opportunity to highlight the EU’s growing concerns about human rights at high political level. The EU reiterates the need for Azerbaijan to fully respect its commitments in the framework of the Council of Europe and the Eastern Partnership. As you know, the EU and Azerbaijan have a very substantial and comprehensive bilateral agenda. The main principle on which the EU builds relations with any country is respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. If the former is compromised then our cooperation loses its essence. There is full transparency concerning in what respect and how the EU assesses the human rights situation in any given country and, as I have already mentioned, the ENP progress report issued in May reflects this assessment clearly.

Finally, the full implementation of the European neighbourhood policy action plan is expected. Political prisoners should be freed, and freedom of assembly and expression should be guaranteed. The EU calls on Azerbaijan to extend an invitation to the Special Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for political prisoners.

 
  
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  President. − The debate is closed.

The vote will take place shortly.

Written statements (Rule 149)

 
  
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  Kristian Vigenin (S&D), in writing. – The urgency resolution proposed by several political groups on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan is a clear example of the shortcomings in the European Parliament’s procedures and approach.

Respect for human rights is high on the EU agenda in its relations with third countries, especially as regards the immediate neighbourhood. The case of Azerbaijan is on the EU radar. The authorities do not deny the problems, they participate in a dialogue and try to address our concerns.

I personally believe that the ‘urgency’ procedure is not appropriate to tackle such complex problems, in the presence of a limited number of MEPs. The only reason I see to rush for such a resolution is the Eurovision Song Contest and the excellent PR opportunity for the EP to gain some visibility.

Such a superficial approach, however, undermines our consistent strategic policy towards the South Caucasus. All those who know more about Azerbaijan understand that this resolution will rather do harm to the human rights cause. Since we observe certain setbacks in most of the countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood, as a Chair of the Euronest Delegation of the EP I will ask for a special debate in plenary with Catherine Ashton and Stefan Füle.

 
  

(1)See Minutes.

Последно осъвременяване: 26 юни 2012 г.Правна информация