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Verfahren : 2012/2654(RSP)
Werdegang im Plenum
Entwicklungsstadium in Bezug auf das Dokument : B7-0252/2012

Eingereichte Texte :

B7-0252/2012

Aussprachen :

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

Abstimmungen :

PV 24/05/2012 - 16.2

Angenommene Texte :

P7_TA(2012)0228

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 127kDOC 128k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0252/2012
22.5.2012
PE489.274v01-00
 
B7-0252/2012

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure


on the situation in Azerbaijan (2012/2654(RSP))


Ulrike Lunacek, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Rui Tavares on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Azerbaijan (2012/2654(RSP))  
B7‑0252/2012

The European Parliament,

      having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Azerbaijan with regard, in particular, to the one of 13 December 2011 on the case of Rafig Tagi and the recommendation of 18 April 2012 to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS on the negotiations of the EU-Azerbaijan Association Agreement,

 

-     having regard to the Joint Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee Peace and the Committee of the Regions on "Delivering on a new European Neighbourhood Policy" of 15 May 2012,

 

-     having regard to the Local EU Statement on journalist Idrak Abbasov,

 

- having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EC and Azerbaijan which entered into force in 1999 and to the ongoing negotiations between the two parties of a new association agreement due to replace the previous one,

 

-     having regard to its Rule 122 (5) of the Rules of Procedure,

 

 

A.  whereas the overall human rights situation in Azerbaijan has constantly deteriorated over the last few years in spite of the adoption of the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan, with growing pressure on and intimidation of NGOs and independent media that have caused a widespread sense of fear among opposition forces and human rights defenders as well as youth and social network activists and have led to self-censorship among journalists,

 

B.  whereas Azerbaijan is one of the founding members of the Eastern Partnership; whereas at the Warsaw Summit of 20/30 September 2011 the EU and Eastern European leaders reaffirmed that the Eastern Partnership is based on a community of values and principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law,

 

C.  whereas peaceful protests were broken up by police in the capital city Baku on 15 May, which called for the release of the alleged political prisoners before Azerbaijan hosts the Eurovision Song Contest on 26 May; whereas the use of violence against the peaceful protestors constitutes a pattern of behaviour of the Azerbaijani authorities, which signalls non-compliance with the commitments taken by Azerbaijan towards the EU and in the framework of the Council of Europe and Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE),

 

D.  whereas Idrak Abbasov, journalist for the 'Zerkalo' newspaper and the "Institute for the Freedom and Safety of Reporters", was brutally beaten by the police and security guards of the state oil company SOCAR, when he was filming the demolition of houses in the Sulutapa settlement in Baku,

 

E.  whereas Khadija Ismaylova, an investigative journalist and the Radio Liberty Baku Bureau’s correspondent, has been blackmailed in order to stop her investigations into dubious business dealings, in which the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his family are allegedly involved,

 

F.  whereas Azerbaijan has a history of unpunished attacks on critical journalists, human rights defenders, and others seeking to express their opinions, investigate issues of public interest, or criticize government,

 

G.  whereas Elnur Mecidli, an activist and a prominent member of the opposition People’s Front party, has been released from jail May 16,

 

H.  whereas Azerbaijan still refuses to grant a visa to the PACE Special Rapporteur on Political Prisoners,

 

I.  whereas a group of Azerbaijani human rights organizations has launched a ten month public advocacy campaign during the run up to the Eurovision 2012 song contest, which will be held on May 26 in Baku, with a view to raising public awareness of the challenges Azerbaijan is currently facing in the sphere of human rights and in European integration,

 

J.  whereas there are concerns among the civil society activists and human rights defenders about the impending clampdown on the freedom of expression and assembly after the Eurovision Song Contest,

 

K.  whereas there have been threats from radical Salafi and pro-Iranian Islamist groups to disrupt the Eurovision Song Contest and target particularly persons belonging to the LGBT community,

 

 

1.  Regrets that the deepening of economic relations between the EU and Azerbaijan is not matched by a corresponding level of political relations as demonstrated by the slow pace of negotiations of the new Association Agreement due to replace the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that expired in 2009;

 

2.  Stresses that the EU and Azerbaijan have agreed to an open-ended extension of EU-Azerbaijan ENP Action Plan (ENP AP) that has expired on 31/12/2011 until the Association Agreement, currently under negotiation, is signed including the swift implementation of the Human Rights Action Plan adopted in December 2011;

                                                       

3.  Calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately halt all actions aimed at suppressing the freedom of expression and assembly, as this is incompatible with Azerbaijan´s commitments regarding democracy, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

 

4.  Condemns the brutal beating of Idrak Abbasov, journalist for the 'Zerkalo' newspaper and the "Institute for the Freedom and Safety of Reporters", by the police and security guards of the state oil company SOCAR when he was filming the demolition of houses in the Sulutapa settlement in Baku as well as the campaign of blackmail and intimidation carried out against the investigative journalist Khadija Ismaylova;

 

5.  Takes the view that the cases of Idrak Abbasov and Khadija Ismaylova are examples of the unacceptable pressure exerted on journalists in Azerbaijan that run counter to the country's commitments to guarantee media freedom; calls on the authorities to ensure effective investigation of these incidents and prosecution of the perpetrators responsible for these attacks;

 

6.  Calls on Azerbaijani authorities to adopt all the necessary measures to ensure that the working environment for journalists in Azerbaijan is free of violence, harassment and intimidation;

 

7.  Recalls that the Association Agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan currently being negotiated must include strong clauses on the protection and promotion of human rights, especially with regard to freedom of the media and the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly, which reflect the principles and rights enshrined in the Constitution of Azerbaijan and commitments of Azerbaijan in the frameworks of the Council of Europe and OSCE;

 

8.  Expresses its deep concern about forced evictions, expropriations and demolitions of houses and neighbourhoods in Baku as part of a major reconstruction plan partly linked to the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest; calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to guarantee that the ongoing construction of new buildings is in line with the relevant legislation and that resettlements of people are implemented with transparent legal procedures and with fair compensation;

 

9.  Expresses its sympathy to the promoters of the “Sing for Democracy” campaign launched on the occasion of the Eurovision Song Contest hosted in Baku and hopes that their action can contribute to bringing about the indispensable democratic reforms and a substantial improvement of the human rights situation in the country;

 

10.  Welcomes the release from jail of Elnur Mecidli, a member of the opposition People’s Front party; calls on the government of Azerbaijan to grant a visa to the PACE Special Rapporteur on Political Prisoners in order to allow him to undertake a visit to the country, in line with his mandate;

 

11.  Calls on Azerbaijani authorities to adopt the draft law on defamation which provides for the abolition of criminal liability for defamation and insult;

 

12.  Calls on Azerbaijani authorities to bring legislation on elections, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and media freedom into line with international standards and ensure its full implementation;

 

13.  Urges Azerbaijani authorities to step up reform efforts in all aspects of the judicial system: prosecution, trial, sentencing, detention and appeals;

 

14.  Calls on High Representative for the Union´s foreign and security policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, the Council and the Commission to remain seized with the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Azerbaijan after the Eurovision Song Contest; calls on the Council to consider the possibility of targeted sanctions against those responsible for the human rights violations, should these persist;

 

15.  Strongly condemns the threats of radical Islamist organisations and individuals against the participants of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, particularly those belonging to the LGBT community; strongly supports the secular identity of Azerbaijan and its free choice of foreign policy orientation;

 

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Governments and Parliaments of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the EEAS, the Council, the Commission and the UN Human Rights Council.

 

Letzte Aktualisierung: 22. Mai 2012Rechtlicher Hinweis