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Procedure : 2017/2870(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0549/2017

Texts tabled :

B8-0549/2017

Debates :

PV 05/10/2017 - 3.3
CRE 05/10/2017 - 3.3

Votes :

PV 05/10/2017 - 4.3
CRE 05/10/2017 - 4.3

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0383

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 269kWORD 53k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0549/2017
3.10.2017
PE611.475v01-00
 
B8-0549/2017

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 135 of the Rules of Procedure


on The Situation in the Maldives (2017/2870(RSP))


Javier Nart, Hilde Vautmans, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Petras Auštrevičius, Marietje Schaake, Urmas Paet, Pavel Telička, Louis Michel, Frédérique Ries, Nathalie Griesbeck, Jasenko Selimovic, Gérard Deprez, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Marian Harkin, Cecilia Wikström, Ivan Jakovčić, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Robert Rochefort, Martina Dlabajová, Nedzhmi Ali, Patricia Lalonde, Ivo Vajgl, Paavo Väyrynen, Filiz Hyusmenova, Valentinas Mazuronis

on behalf of the ALDE Group

NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on The Situation in the Maldives (2017/2870(RSP))  
B8‑0549/2017

The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on the Maldives, especially the European Parliament urgency resolution on "the situation in the Maldives" of December 2015;

-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights  (ICCPR), to which the Maldives is party,

-having regard to the final report of 22 March 2014 of the EU Election Observation Mission to the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Maldives,

-having regard to the Joint Statement of the European External Action Service on the situation in the Maldives of 25 July 2017,

-having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security policy (VP/HR) on restrictions of freedom of expression and independence of the media in the Maldives of 11 August 2016,

-having regard to the Joint Local Statement of the European External Action Service on democracy in the Maldives of 8 April 2017,

-having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security policy (VP/HR) on the conviction of former president of the Maldives Mohammed Nasheed of 14 March 2016,

-having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security policy (VP/HR) oN a death sentence in the Maldives of 1 July 2016,

-having regard to the Joint Local European Union Statement on the rule of law in the Maldives of 24 February 2015,

-having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security policy (VP/HR) on the murder of Yameen Rasheed in the Maldives of 25 April 2017,

-having regard to Rule 135(5) of its Rules of procedure,

A.Whereas the human rights situation in the Maldives has deteriorated dramatically in the past years,

B.Whereas political opposition party members, independent journalists and human rights defenders report increased treats and attacks from authorities, police and extremist groups,

C.Whereas the recent political demonstrations in Malé have led to extreme violence and many allegedly arbitrary arrests,

D.Whereas the Maldivian Parliament adopted on 9 August 2016 the “Bill on Protection of Reputation and Good Name and Freedom of Expression" which imposes a number of restrictions on the freedom of expression, including restrictions on grounds of religion, defamation and social norms,

E.Whereas in August 2016 the president of the Maldives ratified a number of amendments to the to the Freedom of Assembly Act which restricted the designated areas for lawful protests; whereas protesters must now obtain prior written permission from the Maldives Police Services to hold a protest;

F.Whereas in July 2017 opposition leaders claimed that soldiers and police used pepper spray to prevent them from entering parliament to take part in an impeachment vote against the Speaker of the Maldivian parliament,

G.Whereas on 23 April 2016 Yameen Rasheed, a 29 years old prominent human rights activist and blogger, was brutally murdered, after having been arrested along and imprisoned for three weeks in 2015 for taking part in an antigovernment rally in the capital; whereas those responsible for his murder have not been brought to justice,

H.Whereas Ahmed Rilwan, a human rights defender and journalist from the Maldives, who has written mainly on alleged corruption, human rights violations and the growing religious extremism in his country, was abducted in 2014 and never reappeared since,

I.Whereas Mohamed Nasheed, the former President of the Maldives, had to flee his country and seek political asylum, after having been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment under charges of terrorism during a trial which failed to meet national and international standards of justice,

J.Whereas on 27 April 2014 the Parliament of the Maldives voted to end the moratorium on the death penalty in place since 1954, thus allowing sentencing of minors as young as seven, who can be held responsible and executed as soon as they reach 18; whereas this goes against the international obligations of the Maldives,

K.Whereas in August 2017 the president of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen, has explicitly expressed his intention to carry out execution by lethal injection of prisoners convicted to the death penalty;

L.Whereas at least 20 individuals are currently under the sentence of death in the Maldives, at least 5 of whom were juvenile at the time of their arrest;

M. Whereas, in September 2017, 56 lawyers, a number which represents one third of the lawyers in the Maldives, were indefinitely suspended from legal practice after having signed a petition to the Supreme Court raising concerns over the conduct of the judiciary and calling for judicial reforms and citing violations primarily in cases against opposition members; whereas the authorities qualified the action of signing the petition of obstructing the independence of judiciary by forming a group and illegally assembling;

1.   Expresses its constant opposition to the death penalty, which is inhuman and degrading treatment, in all circumstances; strongly condemns its reintroduction in the Maldives and urges the Government and the Parliament of the Maldives to re-establish and respect the moratorium on the death penalty which has been in place for more than 60 years; asks for a revision of the penal code in order to stop the use of corporal punishment such as flagellation; also requests the authorities introduce immediate abolition of sentences that may lead to torture;

2.   Emphasises that freedom of expression and assembly are the cornerstone of each democratic society; calls on the Maldivian authorities to immediately recall the Bill on Protection of Reputation and Good Name and Freedom of Expression and the amendments introduced to the Freedom to the Freedom of Assembly Act which undermine the exercise by the citizens of their fundamental rights,

3.   Calls, further, on the Government of the Maldives to prevent and punish harassments, attacks and intimidations of journalists, bloggers and human rights activists; calls on the Maldivian authorities to investigate on the murder and abduction of respectively, Yameen Rasheed and Ahmed Rilwan, and bring those responsible for these crimes to justice; 

4.   Reminds the Maldives of its international obligations to respect fundamental freedoms and rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, which include minimum fair trial guarantees;

5.   Highlights that the respect of the principle of separation of powers is essential in order to have a healthy political and democratic situation in the country; asks the Maldivian authorities to urgently restore the independence and the impartiality of the judiciary by implementing effective reforms;

6.   Is deeply concerned about the recent suspension of a high number of criminal lawyers by the Maldives Department of Judicial Administration; stresses that every accused person has the right to be legally represented; considers that the massive suspension of legal practitioners will inevitably undermine the exercise of this right; calls on the Maldivian authorities to immediately waive the unjustified suspension;

7.   Strongly condemns the targeting, harassments and arrests of members of political opposition parties; calls on the Maldivian authorities to end all type of mistreatment and intimidation of political opponents; urges, further, the Maldivian authorities to insure a fair trial to all accused representatives of the political opposition and proceed to the release of those arrested on clearly unsubstantial evidences; 

8.  In the view of lack of democratic progress and continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in the Maldives, urges on the EU and the Member States to introduce restrictive measures in the form of targeted sanctions to freeze the assets abroad of certain members of the Maldives Government and their leading supporters in the Maldivian business community and to impose travel bans on them;

9.   Urges the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the EEAS to continue to monitor closely the human rights and political situation in the Maldives and to play a proactive role in the EU’s bilateral relations with the country and in international multilateral fora in order to achieve stability, strengthen democracy and the rule of law, and ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country;

10.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote an awareness campaign that expose the Maldives’ human rights record to tourists planning to go to the country, as the main interests and assets of the Maldivian government rely on tourism;

11.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, and the parliament and government of the Republic of Maldives.

 

Last updated: 3 October 2017Legal notice