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Procedure : 2016/2754(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

B8-0766/2016

Debates :

PV 09/06/2016 - 3.2
CRE 09/06/2016 - 3.2

Votes :

PV 09/06/2016 - 4.2

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0275

Debates
Thursday, 9 June 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

3.2. Tajikistan: situation of prisoners of conscience
Video of the speeches
PV
 

Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sul Tagikistan: situazione dei prigionieri di coscienza.

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala, author. – Mr President, Tajikistan is the poorest of the five central Asian countries and we have to continue to support social and economic developments in this country; but we also have to remind the country about the obligation on the grounds of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that our cooperation must be based on shared values.

Just yesterday, to my knowledge, the human rights dialogue between Tajikistan and the EU was held. The Parliament already wanted to send a strong message to this human rights dialogue. We can conclude that the human rights situation has steadily deteriorated. Some very repressive laws have been put in place, notably the law on public associations, which poses the risk of serious sanctions on NGOs, and the law on the bar and the practice of law, which has been recently adopted and which threatens the independence of the legal profession in the country, and so on.

What we also see is that political prisoners are convicted on obviously political grounds, and we have to call for a full release of these people. We also should not accept that the fight against terrorism, which of course is a real issue, is conducted by opposing and repressing the rights of democratic opposition parties. So we have to support the rights of peaceful opposition parties and civil society to continue to act.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao, autore. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, io ho avuto l'opportunità di verificare di persona come stanno le cose in Tagikistan, avendo partecipato alla missione elettorale che si è tenuta l'anno scorso. È chiaro che parliamo di un paese che ha una tendenza totalitaria abbastanza accentuata, dove c'è repressione dei partiti politici di opposizione, dove non c'è possibilità di associarsi e di criticare e dove anche il controllo dei media è abbastanza netto.

Inoltre, dobbiamo specificare che abbiamo un accordo di partenariato con il Tagikistan dal 2009 che si era prefissato come obiettivi il raggiungimento di determinati risultati. Gli anni sono passati, gli obiettivi non sono stati raggiunti praticamente per niente. Anzi, con il referendum costituzionale che è stato tenuto qualche giorno fa, il 22 maggio, di fatto il Presidente Rahmon non ha fatto altro che eliminare il limite dei mandati e abbassare la soglia, praticamente spianando la strada ad una elezione presidenziale del figlio.

Credo che dobbiamo intervenire, soprattutto per quel che riguarda i prigionieri di coscienza, ed alzare un po' la voce, dato che abbiamo dei rapporti commerciali privilegiati nei confronti di questo paese.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, author. – Mr President, like many post-Soviet states Tajikistan experienced a traumatic and deadly birth as a country. The civil war between Islamists and secularists is estimated to have cost the lives of 100 000 people before the peace accords of 1997. Since then, President Rahmon has ensconced himself in office and many of the divisions we see today are a continuation of those seen during the civil war. As Rahmon enjoys his fourth term now as president, and he has acquired the right to stand again without limits, the fruits of his leadership are not those that we would have hoped for in a more democratic society. Arrests and detentions of political opposition figures, disappearances in collusion with Moscow, clampdowns on journalists and civil society – the list is not an enviable one. We also see, at the geopolitical level, Tajikistan falling more closely back into the orbit of Russia.

As a member of the Eurasian Union which is stagnating economically right now, and economically so reliant on the remittances sent back home from workers living and working in Russia, we see little hope of Tajikistan moving in a western direction in terms of democratic, political and economic norms.

 
  
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  Pier Antonio Panzeri, autore. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, un anno fa il Parlamento europeo aveva denunciato il fazioso scenario in cui si erano svolte le elezioni per il rinnovo del Parlamento tagiko. Nel maggio di quest'anno un referendum ha modificato la Costituzione, eliminando il limite al numero di mandati e permettendo al Presidente Rahmon, in carica dal 1992, di concorrere nuovamente alla presidenza. Oggi non è solo il difficile contesto politico ad attirare le critiche, ma si aggiungono anche i recenti gravi casi giudiziari.

Con questa risoluzione il Parlamento europeo chiede il ripristino delle condizioni di legalità e di libertà. Per quanto ci riguarda, riproponiamo il tema degli accordi commerciali, i quali devono tassativamente includere condizioni chiare, libertà di espressione e tutela dei difensori dei diritti umani. È questo è il compito che abbiamo oggi nel rapporto con questo paese.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam, author. – Mr President, six years ago the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) concluded between the EU and Tajikistan came into force. This is not only about trade and economic cooperation. Article 2 stresses the respect for democratic principles and fundamental rights which should underpin their external as well as internal policies.

Today, there are most worrying signals about the increased harassment and suppression of the opposition, culminating in last week’s sentencing of two opposition leaders to life imprisonment. We are concerned about the systematic harassment and arrest of lawyers, especially those who defend people accused by the state power. The third reason for concern is news about many cases of the use of torture.

While understanding the importance of the political and economic relationship, this must be deeply linked with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Therefore I call on the EEAS to closely monitor proper implementation of the law, especially the right of association and forming political parties.

 
  
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  Lola Sánchez Caldentey, autora. – Señor Presidente, el hecho de que la Unión Europea tenga intereses geoestratégicos en una región no debe, bajo ningún concepto, justificar un apoyo incondicional a sus gobernantes, porque este apoyo incondicional tiende a convertirse en una condena para la gente. Es el caso de Tayikistán, donde, con el pretexto de la lucha antiterrorista, el Gobierno ha reprimido a la oposición y existen pruebas de violaciones sistemáticas de los derechos humanos.

Debemos basar las relaciones entre la Unión Europea y Tayikistán en las líneas que marcan los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible: en la igualdad de género, el empoderamiento de la mujer y en la voluntad de la sociedad civil organizada. No perdamos de vista en ningún momento que la inclusión social y las políticas redistributivas y de cohesión social son esenciales para acabar con el extremismo violento y con todas las formas de la violencia. Sin justicia no habrá fin de la violencia.

Con los ODS en la mano es evidente que tenemos la responsabilidad de cambiar el papel que la Unión Europea cumple en el mundo. Para ser consecuentes y coherentes, no debemos considerar a Tayikistán como una pieza en un tablero de juego, no debemos dejar que los intereses geoestratégicos de la Unión Europea condicionen toda nuestra política exterior.

 
  
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  Илхан Кючюк, автор. – Развитието на политическите и икономическите отношения с Таджикистан е от изключителен интерес за Европейския съюз. Страната e важен партньор в контекста на стратегията на Съюза за Централна Азия, която цели да укрепи търговските и енергийни връзки между Европа и региона. Важно е да се отбележи и ролята на Таджикистан като важен съюзник в борбата с тероризма и фундаментализма.

Въпреки че вече 26 години страната търси своята демократична идентичност, ситуацията с човешките права се влошава. Властите в Таджикистан упражняват сериозен натиск върху свободно мислещите хора, политическата опозиция и независимите медии. Сериозни са и репресиите срещу гражданското общество, в частност неправителствените организации, които защитават правата на човека. Срещу критиците на властта се повдигат политически обвинения, а в затвора са задържани видни адвокати, журналисти и защитници на човешките права.

Призовавам властите в Таджикистан незабавно да освободят всички политически затворници в страната, да зачитат международните закони за правата на човека и да гарантират основните свободи на гражданите на страната.

 
  
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  Jaromír Štětina, za skupinu PPE. – Pane předsedající, když v roce 1992 skončila v Tádžikistánu občanská válka, zbylo po ní přibližně 30 000 válečných sirotků. Pamatuji si to dobře, protože jsem o nich tehdy v Dušanbe koncem 90. let natáčel filmový dokument. Dnes jsou všechny tyto děti dospělé. Přál bych jim žít v zemi, kde budou moci svobodně dýchat. Jejich země je ale na tom se svobodou špatně. Pluralismus, svobodné a otevřené politické prostředí jsou zatím pojmy této krásné zemi cizí. Důkazem toho jsou i politicky motivována obvinění a uvěznění Abúbakrá Azízchodžájeva, Zajda Saídova, Maksúda Ibragímova a dalších. Dohoda o partnerství a spolupráci mezi EU a Republikou Tádžikistán říká, že dodržování demokratických zásad a lidských práv představuje základní prvek této dohody. Je tedy třeba její rámec maximálně využít ke konkrétní podpoře nespravedlivě uvězněných a stíhaných.

 
  
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  Marju Lauristin, fraktsiooni S&D nimel. – On kurb tõdeda, et Tadžikistan, mis tõepoolest on üks vaesemaid postkommunistlikke riike, on langenud viimase aasta jooksul järjest enam tagasi täielikku totalitaarsesse õhkkonda. Euroopa Liit on ulatanud oma abikäe Tadžikile, kuid me ei saa pigistada silmi kinni selle ees, et kogu õigusriigi areng on peatunud. Õigusriigi väga oluliseks tagatiseks on sõltumatu õiguskaitse. See et poliitiliste repressioonide alla on langenud ka Tadžikis õiguskaitsega tegelevad inimesed, need kellest võiks loota, et nad tagavad elementaarsed inimõigused poliitilisele opositsioonile, on eriti suur ohumärk.

Meie resolutsioon on selles mõttes väga oluline, et ta ka rõhutab, et kuigi me saame aru, et mis tahes võitlus terroriga, vägivaldse ekstremismiga, leiab arusaamist rahvusvaheliselt, ei tähenda see seda, et see saaks olla mingikski vabanduseks, et selliseid inimõigusi vääravaid ja türanlikke meetodeid saaks rakendada poliitlise opositsiooni vastu ja sõltumatu õiguskaitse vastu. Nii et me loodame väga, et ka Euroopa Liidu esindajad oma dialoogis Tadžikiga järgivad väga rangelt õigusriigi põhimõtete täitmist selles riigis.

 
  
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  Arne Gericke, im Namen der ECR-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Tadschikistan ist bis heute als ärmstes Land Zentralasiens abhängig von den Wirtschaftsbeziehungen zu Russland und China. Das Partnerschaftsabkommen, das Europa angeboten hat, ist ein faires. Allein 251 Millionen Euro Strukturförderung sind bis 2020 eingeplant. Die EU ist schon heute drittgrößter Handelspartner Tadschikistans. Und da geht noch viel mehr, wenn beide Seiten die Regeln akzeptieren.

Umso mehr irritieren uns in der EKR die Entwicklungen in Tadschikistan. Wir müssen die Missstände beim Namen nennen: Parteien zu verbieten, ihre führenden Köpfe ins Gefängnis zu sperren, Systemkritiker mundtot zu machen, Religionsfreiheit einzuschränken, Gotteshäuser zu beschlagnahmen – das passt nicht zum fair deal mit Europa. Ich denke an die Situation der deutschen, meist christlichen, Minderheit. Das Plündern ihrer Friedhöfe, das langsame Auslöschen ihrer Geschichte und Kultur können wir nicht akzeptieren.

Ich sage: Europa steht an eurer Seite. Doch Kooperation mit Europa darf und wird es nur geben, wenn Demokratie und Menschenrechte dauerhaft ihre Heimat in Tadschikistan haben.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – A Uachtaráin, is dóigh liom gur thug na húdair cur síos an-mhaith ar cad atá ag tarlú sa Táidsíceastáin faoi láthair agus le blianta beaga anuas, go háirithe faoi réim an uachtaráin atá ann anois – b’fhéidir go ró-fhada.

Ba cheart gan dabht comhoibriú leo, ach ag an am gcéanna is ceart freisin brú a chur orthu chun leasuithe a dhéanamh go háirithe maidir leis an tslí a bhfuil siad á n-iompar féin maidir leis an lucht freasúra. Tuigimid gur ceart troid i gcoinne na sceimhlitheoireachta agus na caimiléireachta, ach tá siad ag úsáid an troid seo chun teacht anuas ar an lucht freasúra. Táthar á gcur i bpríosún agus tá na dlíodóirí a chosain iad curtha i bpríosún.

Tá rialacha nua á dtabhairt isteach chun cosc a chur ar shaoirse an phreasa agus ar shaoirse na saoránach i gcoitinne. Dá bhrí sin, ba chóir dúinn, agus is ceart dúinn, a iarraidh orthu leasuithe a dhéanamh maidir leis sin agus go háirithe na príosúnaigh pholaitiúla agus na dlíodóirí a ligean saor.

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Mr President, I believe we have a strong interest in stepping up political and economic security cooperation, as well as sustainable development and peace cooperation, with the Central Asian region. However, political and economic relations with Tajikistan are deeply linked with sharing values on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Therefore, I strongly support the call for the release of everyone imprisoned on politically motivated charges. We cannot turn a blind eye to the increase in the number of detentions and arrests of people allegedly on criminal charges, when in fact they are political prisoners – human rights lawyers, for example, or political opposition members and their relatives – or to restrictions on media freedom, internet and mobile communications and to limitations of religious expression. These politicians, activists and human rights defenders must be allowed to work freely without fear of arrest or persecution. Commissioner, the EU has to intervene on this matter by all available means.

 
  
 

Procedura "catch-the-eye"

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Mr President, we hear disturbing evidence about a substantial number of opposition leaders and lawyers detained in Tajikistan. These individuals, singled out in our resolution, must be released.

The EU has invested in a human rights dialogue with Tajikistan and part of this dialogue should result in launching reforms. This especially applies to an independent judiciary with a functional system of checks and balances. Lawyers must be able to represent their clients freely in front of the courts. If – and only if – charged with credible offences, all Tajik citizens must be guaranteed the right to a fair trial and transparent court proceedings. I appreciate the work of the Ombudsman’s office, the group dedicated to monitoring human rights in the country, but a lot of work and improvement is still needed.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, το Τατζικιστάν είναι ένα ιδιαίτερα φτωχό κράτος, όπου όμως υπάρχει συστηματική καταπίεση των δημοκρατικών δικαιωμάτων των πολιτών του. Τα μέσα μαζικής ενημέρωσης, οι οργανώσεις της κοινωνίας των πολιτών βρίσκονται στο στόχαστρο των αρχών. Επίσης υπάρχει καταπίεση των χριστιανικών πληθυσμών που βρίσκονται σε αυτή τη χώρα. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση πρέπει να ασκήσει πίεση στο Τατζικιστάν για την αποκατάσταση της δημοκρατίας, του κράτους δικαίου, των δικαιωμάτων της αντιπολίτευσης, του πολυκομματισμού και της ελευθερίας της έκφρασης. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση οφείλει να παρακολουθήσει εκ του σύνεγγυς την εφαρμογή στην πράξη του δικαιώματος του συνεταιρίζεσθαι και του δικαιώματος σχηματισμού πολιτικών κομμάτων. Πρέπει επιτέλους να σταματήσει η καταπίεση των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων στη χώρα αυτή και νομίζω ότι η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση έχει τα μέσα, έχει τον τρόπο και τη δυνατότητα, πραγματικά, να ασκήσει την πίεσή της προς το Τατζικιστάν.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, jaké jsou základní rysy tádžického státu v tuto dobu? Zatýkání a mizení lidí, všeobecná chudoba, dokonce mučení, média pod náhubkem, vláda oligarchů, náboženská vyznání, která si nejsou rovna před státní mocí. To jsou všechno popisky, které ukazují, jaká je současná tvář Tádžikistánu. Já uznávám, že Evropská unie se dohodla s tímto státem na závazku o jistém strategickém významu, ale ptám se, zdali uznání tohoto závazku o strategickém významu této země může zcela negovat základní lidská práva, zda můžeme rezignovat na ochranu lidských práv kvůli strategickému významu Tádžikistánu. Já si myslím, že tomu tak není a že bychom měli v této věci vyslat jasný vzkaz.

 
  
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  Herbert Dorfmann (PPE). – Herr Präsident! Selbstverständlich unterstütze ich alle Anmerkungen, die die Kolleginnen und Kollegen hier gemacht haben. Wir müssen Tadschikistan auf seinem Weg zur Demokratie unterstützen, auch wenn das bei einem Land, das tausend Kilometer Grenze zu Afghanistan hat und in das so manches aus Afghanistan herüberschwappt, nicht immer einfach ist.

Aber ich möchte hier eine eher prozedurale Frage aufwerfen: Wenn ich mir diese Entschließung durchlese, dann sehe ich nichts, was dort Dringlichkeit wäre. Alle Fälle, die aufgeworfen werden, sind Monate, zum Teil Jahre alt. Ich bin seit sieben Jahren Mitglied in der Zentralasien-Delegation, ich bin Präsident der Tadschikistan Friendship-Gruppe im Haus, ich habe den Präsidenten auch selbst getroffen, und trotzdem gab es keine Möglichkeit, dass ich mich in die Ausarbeitung dieser Entschließung hätte einbringen können.

Ich denke, darüber sollten wir im Haus mal nachdenken: Was ist wirklich urgency, und wo sollte man die zuständigen Delegationen einbinden, sodass eine bessere Entschließung herauskommt und auch Menschen und Kollegen involviert werden, die das Land wirklich kennen? Das würde ich anmahnen. Ich denke, wenn die Delegationen hier einen Sinn haben sollen, dann müssen sie auch in solchen Fällen eingebunden werden.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ahimè il Tagikistan versa in una di quelle situazioni che noi constatiamo essere abbastanza frequenti nelle ex repubbliche sovietiche. C'è una principale contrapposizione, quasi una guerra civile, tra l'attuale partito comunista al potere e gli islamisti. Purtroppo, in questa pericolosa combinazione di autoritarismo, povertà, minacce alla sicurezza interna e minacce dall'Afghanistan, la stabilità del paese è seriamente compromessa.

In particolare, il governo attuale di Emomali Rahmon si è macchiato di una grandissima persecuzione degli oppositori, una persecuzione in particolare anche degli avvocati difensori dei diritti umani. È a loro che mi rivolgo, in quanto giurista, in quanto persona che si è formata nel campo del diritto. Noi non possiamo permettere che, oltre alla persecuzione ingiusta del partito della Rinascita islamica, che ha visto condanne all'ergastolo, condanne ancora a ogni forma di sostegno alla democrazia, ci sia anche la persecuzione di chi legittimamente difende i diritti di avere un diritto a un giusto processo e un diritto alla difesa.

Onorevoli colleghi, io mi rivolgo a tutti quanti voi: dobbiamo chiedere di più nell'ambito dell'accordo di partenariato che già esiste con il Tagikistan. Le clausole dei diritti umani devono smettere di essere fiumi di inchiostro e devono diventare una realtà.

 
  
 

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

 
  
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  Christos Stylianides, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, we are currently witnessing what is clearly a very challenging period for human rights in Tajikistan. While there have been some positive developments during the past year – for instance, we welcome the activities of the Human Rights Ombudsman – we continue to have very serious concerns with regard to a number of issues.

Our most prominent concerns are about political participation and political prisoners. On 29 September 2015, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) was outlawed as a terrorist organisation and its leadership arrested. At the time, the European Union issued a statement calling for restraint. We also reminded the Tajik Government of the importance of upholding fundamental rights, including the right to a fair trial, even in the pursuit of security operations. Last week, the Tajik Supreme Court issued harsh prison sentences for the 13 leaders of the IRPT arrested, in two cases life imprisonment unfortunately. Again, we made a critical public statement saying that the court proceedings were not transparent and violated the rights of the accused to a fair trial, which is not in line with Tajikistan’s commitments under international law. We also reminded the Tajik Government that clear evidence must be presented justifying the criminal charges brought against the defendants in connection with all the sentences issued.

An open and inclusive law-making process is most likely to prevent radicalisation and political extremism. We stressed these points in several high-level meetings recently: when President Rahmon visited Brussels in December 2015; in Astana at a ministerial meeting also in late 2015; and on numerous occasions – most recently, today on the occasion of the EU-Tajikistan human rights dialogue held in Dushanbe.

In my view, the actions of the Tajik Government clearly have the potential to damage the overall legitimacy of the Tajik political system. This is emphatically not in our interests. Our policy seeks political stability and economic prosperity. As the European Union, we remain a key provider of development cooperation assistance to both Tajikistan and to Central Asia, and we will continue to put human rights and the rights of prisoners of conscience firmly on our agenda. The European Union stands ready to work together with Tajikistan in addressing these important issues.

 
  
 

Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

 
  
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  Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD), per iscritto. – Il 17 settembre del 2009 il Parlamento europeo ha espresso parere positivo alla conclusione di un accordo di partenariato e di cooperazione tra l'UE e la Repubblica del Tagikistan. L'accordo pone, ovviamente, come condizione indispensabile il rispetto dei principi democratici e dei diritti umani. La situazione in Tagikistan, purtroppo, è ancora drammatica. La libertà di stampa è praticamente inesistente, considerando il clima di restrizione e di censura creato dal governo per contrastare l'informazione indipendente. Il ricorso alla tortura e le continue detenzioni degli oppositori politici continuano, purtroppo, ad essere all'ordine del giorno, nonostante gli sforzi richiesti al governo nell'agosto del 2013, circa il rispetto dei piani anti-tortura concordati. In virtù di tali considerazioni, ritengo di prioritaria importanza che l'UE agisca per porre fine alle continue violazioni dei diritti umani.

 
  
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  Емил Радев (PPE), в писмена форма. – ЕС е един от най-големите донори на финансова помощ за държавите от Централна Азия, включително Таджикистан, като това е уредено от Споразумението за партньорство и сътрудничество от 2010 г. Ние обаче не правим това „про боно“, а искаме реални резултати, спазване на поетите от страната ангажименти, зачитане на мира, човешките права и свободите. През последните години следим политическата обстановка с голямо притеснение. Ситуацията обаче не се подобрява – влошава се. Но докато повечето колеги призовават за незабавно освобождаване на всички политически затворници, аз искам да акцентирам на друго – чуждестранните бойци. Днес повечето от тях идват от азиатски страни, в това число Таджикистан. Макар и единствена опозиционна партия, нека не забравяме, че Партията на ислямското възраждане е преди всичко ислямистка партия, макар да няма преки доказателства за връзката ѝ с „Ислямска държава“. В тази връзка бих искал да призова за спиране на репресивните мерки към опозицията, тъй като те могат да окуражат именно онези, които има риск да се присъединят към екстремистки групировки. Вместо това вярвам, че осигуряването на честен и обективен процес, спазването на международните закони за защита на правата на човека и възможността адвокатите да изпълняват свободно и без страх от репресия своите задължения е правилният път за развитие на страната.

 
Last updated: 7 September 2016Legal notice