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Procedure : 2015/3017(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

RC-B8-1409/2015

Debates :

PV 17/12/2015 - 3.2
CRE 17/12/2015 - 3.2

Votes :

PV 17/12/2015 - 9.3

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0464

Debates
Thursday, 17 December 2015 - Strasbourg Revised edition

3.2. Situation in the Maldives
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione su sette proposte di risoluzione sulla situazione nelle Maldive.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao, Autore. Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'arcipelago delle Maldive non è solo quel luogo incantato dalle splendide spiagge, lagune blu e ampie scogliere che noi tutti conosciamo, ma è anche il luogo in cui molti diritti vengono violati.

Molti lavoratori, specialmente del Bangladesh e dell'India, impiegati in strutture di lusso vengono sfruttati e sottopagati. Si assiste inoltre ad un continuo abuso del sistema giudiziario per cui molti oppositori politici vengono accusati e imprigionati ingiustamente. Come se non bastasse, la crescente intolleranza religiosa accresce il clima di terrore e riduce lo spazio per ogni tipo discussione pubblica. Il governo continua a violare gli obblighi internazionali su tematiche riguardanti la tortura e altri atti crudeli, la discriminazione contro le donne e tematiche relative ai diritti politici e civili.

Tuttavia la peggiore violazione dei diritti umani nelle Maldive al momento riguarda la reintroduzione e la possibile applicazione della pena di morte come strumento di repressione politica. Invitiamo l'Unione europea e quindi tutti gli Stati membri a ricordare la nostra rigida posizione contro la pena di morte ed il fatto che la pena di morte viola il diritto più importante, ovvero quello alla vita, ed infligge la condanna aggiuntiva della tortura psicologica.

 
  
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  Jean Lambert, author. Mr President, I also speak in my capacity as Chair of the Delegation for relations with South Asia, which includes the Maldives.

I would agree that the current situation in the Maldives is of very great concern to us. We have heard the reference to looking again at the death penalty, which has not been used in the Maldives since the 1950s, and that is a huge concern. The new Constitution of the Maldives is less than 10 years old and we are obviously seeing a process of democratic development with which this Parliament had been closely engaged. But we are seeing things moving backwards, not forwards.

Key elements of a democratic constitution are the separation of powers, not least between the President and the judiciary, and that is not what we are seeing at the moment. We want an impartial judiciary, where people are equal before the law, where the law applies equally to everyone and where we do not see laws adapted to deal with particular individuals, most notably former President Nasheed. We also want to see a judiciary which is improved. It is widely recognised by all political parties in the Maldives that the quality of the judiciary needs upgrading.

Strong independent institutions are also important. We have seen the Human Rights Commission there under attack. We are seeing the media clamped down on again and greatly reduced space for civil society and democratic opposition. This is the wrong direction of travel, and that is why the idea of sanctions is in the resolution to try to encourage progress in the way we wish to see.

 
  
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  Gérard Deprez, auteur suppléant. Monsieur le Président, pardonnez-moi, je remplace M. Nart, qui est en retard.

Il y a de par le monde des lieux singuliers, Monsieur le Président. Ceux qui ne font qu'y passer, surtout en vacances, décrivent le plus souvent une expérience quasi paradisiaque, mais parmi ceux qui y vivent, nombreux sont ceux qui font l'expérience de l'enfer. C'est le cas des Maldives – on vient d'en parler –, un pays qui a rétabli la charia en 2014 et qui prévoit que la peine de mort est applicable dans certains cas à des enfants dès l'âge de 7 ans – un mineur condamné à mort sera emprisonné jusqu'à sa majorité et exécuté ensuite –, un pays qui prévoit que les relations sexuelles hors mariage sont sanctionnées par le fouet ou la lapidation, même en cas de viol – c'est ainsi qu'une jeune femme a été récemment fouettée en public après avoir été victime d'un viol collectif.

Monsieur le Commissaire, nous qui – à la Commission et au Parlement – multiplions les notices obligatoires sur les produits alimentaires ou autres, qui distribuons à tour de bras des labels de qualité, ne pensez-vous pas que nous devrions réfléchir ou demander aux opérateurs touristiques de réfléchir à des labels adéquats pour distinguer les destinations touristiques selon le respect qu'elles portent aux droits humains fondamentaux.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, author. Mr President, in 2008 Mohamed Nasheed was elected President of the Maldives, bringing an end to Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s 35 years of dictatorship. Nasheed stood on a platform of promoting democracy, secularism and the rule of law. Nasheed did much to enact such a programme, as well as to address the long-term problems that this small island nation continues to face from global warming and rising sea levels.

Nasheed was replaced in what is widely accepted to have been a coup. Today, Gayoom’s daughter is the country’s Foreign Minister and his half—brother Abdulla Gayoom is President. Not content with targeting opposition figures from former President Nasheed down, the administration has resorted to arresting its own members. Following what was allegedly a staged assassination attempt on Gayoom, his Vice-President has now been arrested and charged. As freedom of the media, expression and association are clamped down on, Gayoom appears to be reconstructing a one—party authoritarian state, based on the model of his half-brother, and pandering to local Islamist radical influences.

Today’s resolution calls for the European Union and the Member States to consider the implementation of targeted sanctions and travel bans against leading members of the Government and their financial backers. Anything short of this will fail to secure the release of former President Mohamed Nasheed and to bring about the change that this small country so desperately needs.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan, author. Mr President, the situation in the Maldives is alarming on three levels: firstly, the worsening of the democracy in the country; secondly, the lack of impartiality of state institutions; and thirdly, the politically motivated case of the former President Nasheed.

The gradual curbing of fundamental freedoms, including the right to protest, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and media freedoms is alarming. We are also worried about the judiciary and its politicisation. The conduct of the trial of former President Nasheed is proof in itself, with a clear political agenda and a flawed process. This is why we have a broad cross-party consensus in the European Parliament and why we call for targeted sanctions on certain members of the Maldivian Government and their supporters.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat, auteure. Monsieur le Président, en 2008, les Maldives ont effectivement connu les premières élections multipartites de leur histoire. Cela fut de courte durée car, dès 2012, M. Nasheed, le président, a été renversé par un coup d'État. Depuis, il a été condamné pour terrorisme à 13 ans de prison, après un procès jugé contraire aux lois des Maldives, y compris par le commissaire des Nations unies aux droits de l'homme, et sa détention a été qualifiée d'arbitraire. Il est malade et a besoin de soins nécessitant son transfert à l'étranger.

C'est un symbole, car plus de 1 700 personnes seraient aujourd'hui détenues en prison pour des raisons politiques aux Maldives. La répression s'abat tous azimuts. Le moratoire sur la peine de mort a été supprimé et la responsabilité pénale est effectivement fixée à 10 ans, voire 7. Dans ce climat liberticide et ce contexte de fortes inégalités, les Maldives seraient le pays de la région qui envoie le plus de jeunes en Iraq et en Syrie, par rapport à sa population totale.

Dans ce pays très dépendant du tourisme, et notamment du tourisme européen, le gouvernement a récemment fait passer une loi interdisant tout appel au boycott. On court à la catastrophe, dans ce petit pays menacé, de surcroît, par la montée des eaux résultant du changement climatique.

Alors oui, l'Union européenne doit agir et elle en a les moyens.

 
  
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  Pier Antonio Panzeri, Autore. Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, siamo profondamente preoccupati per il progressivo deterioramento degli standard democratici e per il crescere delle pulsioni autoritarie nelle Maldive, così come per la repressione nei confronti degli oppositori politici e le intimidazioni nei confronti dei media e della società civile.

Vogliamo insistere sul fatto che il governo delle Maldive deve rispettare le decisioni delle Nazioni Unite, che hanno invitato le autorità a rilasciare immediatamente l'ex presidente Nasheed. Inoltre, ai membri dell'opposizione che devono rispondere delle accuse devono essere garantiti i processi legali, nel rispetto della Costituzione delle Maldive e degli obblighi internazionali del giusto processo. È necessaria l'immediata cessazione di tutte le forme di violenza, inclusa quella contro i manifestanti pacifici, e chiediamo l'immediata cessazione di interferenze politiche nel sistema giudiziario delle Maldive.

Sono doverose riforme urgenti per garantire l'indipendenza e l'imparzialità della magistratura delle Maldive, con l'obiettivo di ripristinare la fiducia interna e internazionale nel suo funzionamento.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda, în numele grupului PPE. Domnule președinte, nu e prima dată anul acesta când discutăm despre Maldive. Am mai făcut-o, pentru a semnala faptul că lucrurile merg într-o direcție foarte proastă în această țară. De atunci încoace, fostul președinte Nasheed a fost din nou încarcerat, cu toate că, timp de două luni, se spusese că, din motive medicale, poate să își execute pedeapsa la domiciliu. E vorba de o condamnare politică și asta e problema esențială, pentru că, după ce statul despre care discutăm începuse să funcționeze normal, totul a fost răsturnat de lunga dominație a unei familii.

Așa cum a sugerat și colegul meu Kukan, cred că trebuie să avem în vedere sancțiuni individuale referitoare la cei care sunt responsabili pentru o situație inacceptabilă, de control al justiției, de blocare a opoziției, de trimitere în închisoare a celor care luptă pentru drepturi.

 
  
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  Richard Howitt, on behalf of the S&D Group. Mr President, the current human rights situation in the Maldives is not a picture postcard. The crackdown on political opponents, the state of emergency invoked by executive powers, the reintroduction of the death penalty, and the disappearance of journalists like Ahmed Rilwan demonstrate that democracy is spiralling out of control.

But it is not just the human rights of journalists and political opponents that are at risk. According to diplomats, the Maldives are sending more fighters per capita to Iraq and Syria than any other country in the world. More than 200 jihadists – from a nation of just 350 000 – are believed to be fighting there. This Parliament should be concerned that President Yameen’s call for increased reliance on Sharia Law, and the threat of punishments such as flogging, risk legitimising rather than combating such radicalisation.

In our last resolution in April 2015, we called on the European External Action Service and Member States to issue warnings about the Maldives’ human rights record on their travel advice sites, and to consider targeted sanctions should human rights further deteriorate. In the meantime, an execution chamber has been prepared for former President Nasheed. Now is the time to make good on our own words and to intensify European action for human rights in the Maldives.

 
  
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  Javier Nart, en nombre del Grupo ALDE. Señor Presidente, creo que está todo dicho; y, señor Comisario, debe de estar usted un poco cansado de escuchar permanentemente las mismas expresiones. Cuando en el Parlamento Europeo todos los grupos políticos estamos de acuerdo y no existe una voz discordante, significa que la realidad es la que es y es extraordinariamente dura.

Yo no quiero enumerar aquí las violaciones de derechos humanos, algo que ya han hecho muy bien los que anteriormente han utilizado la palabra. Lo que quiero decir es que, si no pasamos de las palabras a los hechos y de las declaraciones a las realidades, lo que hacemos es un bello ejercicio de retórica. En consecuencia, la respuesta necesaria de la Unión es la prohibición de acceso a la Unión Europea de determinadas personas, la congelación de sus activos en Europa y la advertencia a las personas que van de turismo allá respecto a qué tipo de turismo se van a encontrar. Si no, nos quedaremos en un ejercicio de hipocresía, de decir lo correcto pero de hacer lo incorrecto.

 
  
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  Michèle Rivasi, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. Monsieur le Président, comme vient de le dire mon collègue, quand on voit l'image des citoyens européens aux Maldives, on se dit: "c'est un paradis sur mer, avec les villages flottants du Club Med". Pourtant là-bas, pour la population, c'est l'enfer.

L'ancien président Mohamed Nasheed, premier et seul président élu de manière démocratique, est toujours en prison. Pourquoi? Parce qu'il accuse, à juste titre, ses rivaux d'instrumentaliser l'islam.

On voit que les droits constitutionnels sont bafoués, que la justice des Maldives est totalement corrompue. La peine de mort a été rétablie et même les enfants de plus de 7 ans peuvent subir la peine capitale, emprisonnés jusqu'à 18 ans, l'âge de leur exécution.

En plus, un état d'urgence a été proclamé par le gouvernement pendant six jours le mois dernier.

Mais qu'est-ce qu'on peut faire? D'abord, en ce qui concerne les agences de voyages, je pense qu'il faut leur dire qu'il est impératif de ne plus proposer cette destination aux vacanciers. J'en appelle aussi à la responsabilité des touristes: ils ne doivent plus se rendre aux Maldives. Seuls, nous avons le pouvoir d'asphyxier la seule rente dont dispose le pouvoir en place, qui est justement le tourisme.

Si on veut faire évoluer ce régime, il faut des sanctions. Les sanctions, c'est d'abord nous: à nous, les futurs touristes, de ne pas y aller. Mais l'Europe aussi peut agir, parce qu'elle est le deuxième partenaire commercial des Maldives. Nous devons trouver des moyens de contraindre le pouvoir. Nous devons notamment mettre en place des mesures ciblées contre les partisans du gouvernement, du gel de leurs avoirs à l'étranger aux interdictions de voyage en Europe.

Il faut agir, Monsieur le Commissaire. Nous sommes tous responsables, également en ce qui concerne la situation aux Maldives.

(L'oratrice accepte de répondre à une question "carton bleu" (conformément à l'article 162, paragraphe 8, du règlement))

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR), pytanie zadane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki. Dziękuje Pani poseł za przyjęcie mojego pytania, gratuluję wystąpienia. Ja się z Panią zgadzam, mam tylko jedno pytanie, które nie ukrywam, nie tylko przy tej debacie o Malediwach mnie nurtuje. Czy nie jest tak, że my powinniśmy jako Unia Europejska skorzystać nie tylko z instrumentu bojkotu turystycznego – jak Pani mówi, zgadzam się z tym – ale także wywrzeć pewien nacisk ekonomiczny na to państwo? Być może byłby to jedyny skuteczny nacisk, żeby państwo, żeby władze na Malediwach zmieniły swoją politykę.

 
  
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  Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE), réponse "carton bleu". Je suis tout à fait d'accord, et c'est d'ailleurs le sens de mon intervention. Il y a plusieurs responsabilités. D'abord, si nous décidons d'aller aux Maldives alors que nous connaissons l'enfer que vit la population, nous devenons coresponsables. Il faut dire non aux agences de voyages qui proposent d'aller aux Maldives, parce que si vous y allez, vous renforcez le pouvoir en place.

Ensuite, au niveau de l'Europe: pourquoi est-ce que j'interpelle le commissaire européen en place? Eh bien, parce que, si nous avons des accords commerciaux, il faut que nous puissions faire pression. Comment faire bouger ces gens-là? Si nous ne faisons rien, nous sommes complices. Ne rien faire, c'est être complice de la situation. Nous avons donc tous un rôle à jouer.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, non è la prima volta che ci ritroviamo a parlare delle Maldive, un paese che è al tempo stesso un paradiso ancora turistico, ma sempre più un inferno della democrazia e dei diritti umani, civili e politici.

L'attuale governo ormai è preda di una svolta autoritaria incredibile che ha portato anche ad una forte politicizzazione della magistratura e corruzione e soprattutto alla tolleranza nei confronti dell'estremismo islamico. Abbiamo visto foto delle bandiere di Daesh sfilare nelle vie della capitale e tutto questo accade mentre c'è ancora una grande cortina di silenzio, mentre i nostri tour operator continuano a proporla come destinazione, come se non esistesse una popolazione che addirittura sta per il 16 per cento al di sotto della soglia di povertà; come se non esistesse oltretutto anche il problema del cambiamento climatico che invece era stato affrontato con vigore dall'ex presidente Nasheed, deposto e a tutt'oggi imprigionato senza aver subito un giusto processo.

Sì, abbiamo bisogno di sanzioni forti e adeguate nei confronti di chi si sta macchiando di queste palesi violazioni dello Stato di diritto. Sì, vanno congelati i beni e sì bisogna fermare il turismo per strozzare chi sta distruggendo i diritti umani. Facciamo in modo che i democratici delle Maldive sentano il nostro supporto perché mai come oggi hanno bisogno di noi.

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). Pane předsedající, toto je bod, kde je v zásadě absolutní shoda všech poslanců na tom, jaká je situace na Maledivách a že je nutné tu věc řešit a ne pouze o ní řečnit. Já se k tomu, co tady bylo řečeno připojuji, jenom chci zdůraznit jako člověk, který sleduje a studuje podobu právních států v jednotlivých zemích světa, že situace v oblasti práva se na Maledivách výrazně zhoršuje, že tamní justice je zkrátka objektivně pod vlivem současného prezidenta a že bývalý demokraticky zvolený prezident Našíd byl mimo jiné odstraněn proto, že poukazoval na zkorumpované soudce. To byl jeden z důvodů, proč byl tehdy odstraněn ze svého úřadu. Upozorňuju také na to, že za současné vlády, současné garnitury byl nejvyšší státní zástupce nezákonně odvolán ze své funkce. Tedy právo na Maledivách není a my bychom o tom neměli pouze řečnit, ale připojuji se k ostatních kolegům, kteří říkají, že to musí mít dopad na vztahy mezi Evropskou unií a Maledivy a že by naši turisté neměli na Maledivy jezdit a že bychom měli zmrazit majetek tamní garnituře a zamezit přístup tamní garnituře do zemí Evropské unie.

 
  
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  Andi Cristea (S&D). Suntem profund îngrijorați, pentru că, în Maldive, asistăm la o tendință în creștere către instituirea unui regim autoritar, de represiune împotriva oponenților politici, la intimidarea mass-mediei și a societății civile, care ar putea periclita progresele realizate în ultimii ani în ceea ce privește consolidarea drepturilor omului, a democrației și a statului de drept în această țară.

Condamnarea fostului președinte al Republicii Maldivelor, Mohamed Nasheed, la treisprezece ani de închisoare sub acuzația de terorism, precum și a unor politicieni marcanți ai statului în urma unor procese care nu au respectat normele naționale și internaționale în materie de justiție ridică mari semne de îngrijorare cu privire la echitatea și transparența procedurii judiciare.

Serviciul European de Acțiune Externă are datoria să joace un rol proactiv în relațiile bilaterale ale Uniunii cu Maldivele, inclusiv la nivel internațional, pentru a obține stabilitatea, consolidarea democrației și a statului de drept.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). Pane předsedající, mě naplňuje skutečně velkou hrdostí ta neuvěřitelná jednota, která je slyšet z tohoto Parlamentu, a děkuji vám, kolegové, za to. Já bych si dovolil začít své vystoupení citací toho, co řekl uvězněný prezident Našíd v únoru tohoto roku.

‘It is good and necessary to have a relaxing holiday, but it is important to understand what is happening here too.’

A já si myslím, že to přesně vyjadřuje i ten náš vzkaz nejen na Maledivy, ale i našim vlastním evropským občanům. Já bych si dovolil ještě citovat, jaké konkrétní svobody jsou nyní pozastaveny na Maledivách. Je to svoboda konat to, co není zákázáno, ochrana soukromí, je pozastaveno právo na stávku, svobody shromažďování, svobody pohybu, a to vstupu na ostrovy i jejich opuštění, je pozastavena ochrana před bezdůvodným zatčením a vazbou, zabavení majetku. Všechny tyto svobody jsou zastaveny a evropští občané by o tomto měli být informováni, když na tyto ostrovy jezdí. Jinak se připojuji k volání po zavedení sankcí a suspendaci obchodních dohod.

(Řečník souhlasil s tím, že odpoví na otázku položenou zvednutím modré karty (čl. 162 odst. 8 jednacího řádu).)

 
  
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  Gianluca Buonanno (ENF), Domanda "cartellino blu". Volevo chiedere al mio collega, io la penso come lui su quello che ha detto, ma visto che l'Europa guardando il mondo dice i diritti umani e bisogna stare attenti, sarebbe d'accordo nel sanzionare ad esempio la Cina sulla pena di morte o l'Arabia Saudita sulla pena di morte? Cioè sarebbe d'accordo nel fare in modo che l'Europa non solo a parole ma anche con atti concreti, oppure qualche paese, qualche Stato degli Stati Uniti che applica la pena di morte?

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE), odpověď na otázku položenou zvednutím modré karty. Já jsem se včera vyjadřoval i ke vztahům s Čínou, já vyznávám univerzalitu hodnot základních lidských práv, to jsem tady sdělil a nemyslím si, že by se Evropská unie měla vzdát práva vyjadřovat se k těmto otázkám, které jste i vy zde sdílel. Já sdílím své obavy ve vztahu k Číně, k Saudské Arábii, ale i k dalším státům a nemyslím si, že by Evropská unie měla mlčet, i když se jedná třeba o zásadní obchodní partnery. Právo na to, abychom řekli naše stanovisko, určitě máme.

 
  
 

Procedura "catch-the-eye"

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). Κύριε Πρόεδρε, οι Μαλδίβες, αυτός ο επίγειος τουριστικός παράδεισος προς τέρψη των Ευρωπαίων και Αμερικανών παραθεριστών, είναι στην πραγματικότητα μια κόλαση για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα. Ο πρόεδρος της χώρας είχε κηρύξει κατάσταση έκτακτης ανάγκης, η οποία έχει αρθεί λόγω των διπλωματικών πιέσεων. Tο νεαρό δημοκρατικό καθεστώς στις Μαλδίβες, το οποίο εγκαθιδρύθηκε το 2008, παραμένει εξαιρετικά ασταθές και εύθραυστο, ενώ ταυτόχρονα η απειλή τον τζιχαντιστών στη χώρα είναι υπαρκτή. Η κατάσταση έκτακτης ανάγκης κηρύχθηκε σχεδόν ταυτόχρονα με τη διοργάνωση αντικυβερνητικών διαδηλώσεων λόγω της φυλάκισης του πρώην προέδρου της χώρας. Τα ευρωπαϊκά κράτη δεν θα πρέπει να παρεμβαίνουν στα εσωτερικά των τρίτων κρατών. Ταυτόχρονα όμως, θα πρέπει να γίνονται σεβαστά τα ανθρώπινα και πολιτικά και συνδικαλιστικά και εργασιακά δικαιώματα των πολιτών στις Μαλδίβες. Οι Ευρωπαίοι πολίτες οφείλουν να γνωρίζουν ότι οι ειδυλλιακές παραλίες στις Μαλδίβες είναι μόνο η κορυφή του παγόβουνου, ενώ η αθέατη πλευρά του περιλαμβάνει παραβιάσεις των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, φτώχεια, κοινωνική εξαθλίωση και επιβολή του ισλαμικού κράτους, όπου εφαρμόζεται η Σαρία.

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). Mr President, political interference in the Maldivian judiciary undermines the credibility of the country’s judicial system, and the reported detention and intimidation of government opponents contributes to a climate of instability in this country. Moreover, it seems that human rights in the Maldives have been seriously eroded and are at risk of further deterioration, while the government is failing in its duty to stop the trend and while human rights NGOs face increasing attacks, intimidation and harassment in the country.

I therefore express my deepest concerns about the gradual deterioration of democratic standards and increasing authoritarian tendencies, such as the use of violence by police against peaceful protesters. It is the duty of the security forces to protect peaceful demonstrators against violent gangs. We must continue to monitor closely the political situation in the Maldives and to play a proactive role in increasing stability, strengthening democracy and the rule of law, and ensuring full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in this country.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
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  Christos Stylianides, Member of the Commission. Mr President, I am speaking here on behalf of my colleague, High Representative/Vice- President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, who cannot attend today’s debate. We are here today to debate the human rights situation in the Maldives. Let me remind this House of the continued leadership of the Maldives in the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in the context of the COP21 negotiations in Paris. What happened in Paris is an important example of the role the Maldives can play in the international community.

The last debate in the European Parliament on the Human Rights situation in the Maldives took place in April. In the last eight months, the government of the country is increasingly pursuing policies that will isolate it from the international community – policies that are reversing the hard-won advances in freedom and democracy for which so many Maldivians have dedicated their lives. The increased intolerance of opposition and free speech breeds a climate of fear and anger, with the very real risk of radicalism emerging in the country.

The persecution and continued incarceration of opposition political figures undermines the credibility of the government. The lack of judicial independence raises serious questions about the rule of law in this country. Serious concerns continue to be expressed, not only by the European Union, about, firstly, political interference with the judiciary; secondly, the unconstitutional interpretation of laws; and thirdly, the overnight changes to the constitution aimed at consolidating power. It is essential that the government moves quickly to alleviate these widely shared concerns and restore the rule of law. Real independence of the judiciary is paramount in preserving trust in the system and equitable treatment of all Maldivians.

On the positive side, the Maldives are applying a de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty. We encourage the authorities to maintain it in all circumstances, particularly in cases that involve juvenile offenders, and to work towards abolishing the practice altogether. The European Union wants to make it absolutely clear that there will be a serious setback in relations with the EU if the Maldives restarts executions after more than 60 years of moratorium. It would be a backward step which would not go unnoticed by the European public at large.

The European Union is increasingly concerned about the risk of radicalisation in the Maldives and about the number of Maldivians who are, unfortunately, joining Da’esh or other fundamentalist groups in Syria and Iraq. The EU is ready to work with the Government of the Maldives to further the fundamental values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, but it is the responsibility of the Maldivian Government to ensure the safety of the hundreds of thousands of tourists who currently visit the archipelago every year.

The Government of the Maldives has accepted, fortunately, the offer of the EU to send a legal expert to assess the legislative framework, the procedures and practices of the judiciary, and the implementation of the new penal code. We hope this will help highlight those areas where respect for rule of law should be improved, in line with international standards. Progress in the rule of law can be an important step for the government to show its willingness to cooperate with the international community on the critical issues of democracy and human rights. I hope to see this in practice.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà al termine della discussione.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Monica Macovei (ECR), în scris. Maldive a reintrodus pedeapsa cu moartea anul trecut, după ce 60 de ani a fost interzisă, iar luna trecută guvernul din Maldive a inclus în buget o sumă de peste 200 000 de euro pentru a construi încăperi de execuție prin injecție letală. Femeile continuă să fie biciuite ori condamnate la moarte pentru adulter. Autoritățile din Maldive încalcă flagrant drepturile omului și situația s-a înrăutățit în ultimii ani. Mahfooz Saeed, avocat pentru drepturile omului, a fost înjunghiat în septembrie. Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, un jurnalist celebru, a dispărut în 2014. Autoritățile din Maldive trebuie să renunțe la pedeapsa cu moartea și la alte încălcări grave ale drepturilor omului. Teroarea nu întărește, ci slăbește orice guvern.

 
  
 

(La seduta è sospesa per alcuni istanti)

 
Last updated: 22 March 2016Legal notice