with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
on Human rights violations in Bahrain
José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Elmar Brok, Mario Mauro, Cristian Dan Preda, Roberta Angelilli, Bernd Posselt, Filip Kaczmarek, Tunne Kelam, Monica Luisa Macovei, Elena Băsescu, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Sari Essayah, Zuzana Roithová, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Giovanni La Via, Bogusław Sonik, Franck Proust
on behalf of the PPE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
European Parliament resolution on Human rights violations in Bahrain
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its resolution of 24 March 2011 on European Union relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council,
– having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain in the context of the situation in the Arab World and North Africa on 7 July 2011, and of 27 October 2011 on Bahrain
-having regard to the statements by its President of 12 April 2011 on the death of two Bahraini civil activists and of 28 April 2011 condemning the death sentences passed against four Bahraini for participating in peaceful protests, having regard to the Hearing on Bahrain in the European Parliament Human Rights Subcommittee on 3 October 2011
– having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative (VP/HR) on Bahrain of 2011 and in particular of 24 November 2011 on the publication of the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, the Statement by the spokesperson of High Representative Catherine Ashton on the anniversary of the unrest in Bahrain on 13 February 2012 and the statements by the HR/VP on the situation in Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain at the European Parliament on 12 October 2011,
–having regard to the Council conclusions on Bahrain of 23 May, 12 April, 21 March 2011;
– having regard to the statement of 23 June and 30 September 2011 by the UN Secretary-General on the sentences imposed on 21 Bahraini political activists, human rights defenders and opposition leaders, and the Statement by the Spokesperson for the secretary-General on Bahrain on 15 February 2012
–having regard to the statement by the Bahraini Public Prosecutor regarding the retrial of doctors previously prosecuted in military trials on October 23rd 2011
-having regard to Article 19 (d) of Bahrain’s constitution
– having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders of 2004, as updated in 2008,
– having regard the Human Rights Watch report of 28 February 2012,
– having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas inspired by popular movements in the North Africa and the Middle East peaceful pro democracy protests have occurred regularly in Bahrain since February 2011 calling for institutional, political, economic and social reforms, aimed at achieving genuine democracy;
B. whereas the demonstrations held on the occasion of the first anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain have been violently repressed by the security forces;
C. whereas several protesters arrested on 14 February 2012 during these protests were subsequently released on bail.
D. whereas, according the UN human rights office in Geneva, Bahrain has formally requested that the visit of the special rapporteur on torture be delayed until July; whereas Juan Mendez, the investigator, had initially been scheduled to visit the Gulf island country from March 8 to 17;
E. whereas the country remains in turmoil as clashes between youths and riot police occur daily in Shiite neighbourhoods and the banking and tourism-based economy, already weakened by the world financial crisis, struggles to pick up.
F. whereas the Bahraini authorities have repeatedly stated their commitment to undertake human rights reform and to cooperate with international human rights organizations.
G. whereas hundreds of people were also arrested and tried before military courts, with many reporting they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention; whereas more than 4,000 people were reportedly dismissed from their jobs or expelled from university for having participated in the protests;
H. whereas the BICI (Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry) report, commissioned by the King last June and published in November 2011, found that 35 people died in last year's unrest, including five security personnel and five detainees tortured to death while in custody; whereas the BICI’s report concluded that excessive force had been used against protesters, that torture was widespread and that many people were on trial or had been sentenced to prison terms for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly;
I. whereas despite the fact that several private companies announced the reinstatement of employees who had been dismissed because of their participation in protests, hundreds of people have yet to be reinstated and whereas dozens of university students are still waiting to be allowed to resume their studies.
J. whereas according to several NGO reports, unfair trials before military and civilian courts are a central element of the repression of the pro-democracy protest movement in Bahrain;
K. whereas the authorities in Bahrain have restricted the access of international NGOs wanting to assess the situation one year after the protests of February 2011;
1. Condemns the repression of citizens in Bahrain that led to dozens of deaths and left hundreds injured and expresses its solidarity with the families of all the victims ; urges the immediate and unconditional release of all peaceful demonstrators, political activists, human rights defenders, doctors and paramedics, bloggers and journalists and;
2. Considers the EU should hold the Bahraini government to its promises and push for reforms, independent investigations into human rights violations and accountability for those responsible, and urges the government to drop the cases against doctors and leaders of last year's protest movement because of unfair and politically motivated trials;
3. Calls on the Bahraini authorities to apply the recommendations by the BICI, as promised by the King;
4. Calls on the Bahraini government to conduct thorough and impartial investigations into the human rights violations committed by the Ministry of Interior, the National Security Agency, the Bahrain Defence Force, the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs, and the Public Prosecution Office as detailed in the BICI report; underlines the importance of fighting impunity and prosecuting those responsible for serious abuses, regardless of position or rank; and calls on the authorities to adopt measures to deter future violations;
5. Calls on the Bahraini government to withdraw all charges and expunge all convictions lodged since February 2011 in the National Safety Courts or civilian courts based on the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, and all convictions based solely on confessions;
6. Calls on the Bahraini authorities to release immediately all individuals and the other activists, who have been detained or convicted solely for the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly;
7. Calls on the Bahraini authorities to terminate ongoing prosecutions and not institute future prosecutions against any individual based solely on the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, Association and peaceful assembly;
8. Calls on the Bahraini authorities to ensure that authorities provide all criminal defendants with prompt and full access to legal counsel, as prescribed by Bahraini and international law, including in connection with interrogations and in preparation for trials, investigate credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment during interrogation and hold accountable any officials who fail to meet the requirements of ensuring a fair trial;
9. Urges the government of Bahrain to lift all restrictions placed on the organizations defending human rights and the media;
10. Requests the government of Bahrain to extend a standing invitation to the Special
Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council, in particular the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, and to respond positively to the visit request of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association;
11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Kingdom of Bahrain.