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Procedure : 2018/2560(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0098/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0098/2018

Debates :

PV 08/02/2018 - 8.1
CRE 08/02/2018 - 8.1

Votes :

PV 08/02/2018 - 12.1

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0034

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 272kWORD 52k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0096/2018
6.2.2018
PE614.407v01-00
 
B8-0098/2018

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 Russia, the case of Oyub Titiev and the Human Rights Centre Memorial (2018/2560(RSP))


Karol Karski, Charles Tannock, Jana Žitňanská, Ruža Tomašić, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Jan Zahradil on behalf of the ECR Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Russia, the case of Oyub Titiev and the Human Rights Centre Memorial (2018/2560(RSP))  
B8‑0098/2018

The European Parliament,

-     having regard to its previous reports and resolutions on Russia, in particular its resolutions of 13 June 2013 on the rule of law in Russia, of 13 March 2014 on Russia: sentencing of demonstrators involved in the Bolotnaya Square events, and of 23 October 2014 on the closing-down of the NGO ‘Memorial’ (winner of the 2009 Sakharov Prize) in Russia,

-    having regards to the statement of the Chairs of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament of 12 January 2018 calling for the immediate release of human rights defender Oyub Titiev,

-     having regard to article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to which Russian Federation is a party,

-     having regard to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

-     having regard to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998,

-     having regard to its previous reports and resolutions on Russia, in particular its resolution of 12 March 2015 on the murder of the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the state of democracy in Russia, its resolution of 24 November 2016 on Case of Ildar Dadin, prisoner of conscience in Russia and its resolution of 6 of April 2017 on Russia, the arrest of Alexei Navalny and other protestors,

-    having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas according to Human Rights Watch the human rights situation in Russian Federation has deteriorated last year; whereas “as the March 2018 presidential election approaches, the Kremlin is stepping up on repressive measures to discourage political opposition, independent activism and critical expression”;

B. whereas elimination of almost all competition has turned the upcoming elections into a kind of referendum on the Putine regime; whereas according some analysts “if less than 50 percent of voters come to cast ballots in the upcoming ‘Vladimir Putin election’, this will be construed as a sharp decline in legitimacy of the ‘national leader,’ who is ruling Russia for 18 years;

C. whereas Putin’s regime goal is to reach 70 percent support and 70 percent turnout, barely 48 percent of the electorate turned out for the September 2016 parliamentary elections; whereas according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty actual turnout in this last parliamentary elections might have been lower, if not for vast number of polling stations which reported turnouts of over 70 percent; whereas according to November 2017 poll conducted by Levada Center only 24 percent of Russians said they would definitely vote in March 2018; whereas according to the New York Times “in about 15 regions of Russia or ‘electoral sultanates’, Mr. Putin can count on Soviet-style support; whereas in the Chechen Republic under the strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, Mr. Putin in 2012 received more than 99 percent of votes cast with more than 99 percent turnout;

D. whereas on 29 of June 2017 five Chechens including Zaur Dadayev, linked to Kadyrov, were found guilty of murdering the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in the proximity of to the Kremlin in 2015; whereas Ivan Skripnichenko, Russian activist died on August 23, 2017 after he was attacked while defending the makeshift Nemtsov memorial; whereas on February 3, 2018 Russian opposition activist Konstantin Sinitsyn has been found dead of head injuries in the entranceway of his St. Petersburg apartment building;

E. whereas the Putin regime attacked Memorial, both as the historical and educational society and as the Human Rights Center, founded in years 1989-1991 by Soviet/Russian dissidents including Andrei Sakharov, after whom the European Parliament named in December 1988 The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought;

F. whereas Memorial helped to reveal after 50 years of lies Soviet era mass crimes against nations occupied by the Soviet Union, including the Katyn Polish officers massacre and Augustów Roundup, as well as again the Russians; whereas while Mr. Putin openly defended the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Arseny Roginsky, the late President of Memorial, stated that the Pact, “and its direct consequences between 1939-1941, were a crime against humanity”;

G. whereas Yuri Dmitriev, Memorial historian who was part of the team that found a mass grave at Sandarmokh of more than 9,000 people, many of them members of Soviet intelligentsia, killed by Stalin in 1937-38 Great Terror, revealed in 2017 a list of more than 40,000 Stalin-era secret policemen, a move that raised an outcry among some of their descendants; whereas Dmitriev was arrested in July 2017 and was tried on charges brought by state prosecutors of involving his 11-year-old daughter in child pornography;

H. whereas on January 18 state-controlled NTV channel owned by Gazprom Media, a subsidiary of Gazprom, aired a disinformation attack to hit European and US diplomats and Mr. Dmitriev; whereas “recordings of diplomats from Western diplomatic representations in Russia, who had come to the human rights defender’s home town to follow what they suspected to be a politically motivated case, are shown wit use of covertly obtained video footage; whereas however, NTV fails to mention that at the point of the broadcast, the most recent expert opinion requested by the Russian state prosecutors did not qualify the photos in the human rights defender’s case as child pornography; whereas indeed, the activist was released from custody on 27 January, shortly after the production was aired, which confirms that the allegations made by NTV were not solid and that the foreign diplomats could indeed have been right in their suspicion of a political motivation behind the charges;

I. whereas on 9 January 2018, Oyub Titiev, head of the Chechnya office of the Human Rights Center “Memorial” was detained on the charges of possession of marijuana; whereas over recent months Titiev and other Memorial staff on Chechnya have been working on the case of 27 people who were extra-judicially executed on 26 January 2016 following their detention in December 2015 during operations by special forces;

J. whereas on January 17, 2018, Memorial office in Ingyshetia was set on fire; whereas on January 22, 2018 unknown arsonists set on fire the car belonging to Memorial’s local office in Dagestan; whereas on January 17, 2018, the Chechen branch of Russia state television, Grozny-TV featured Kadyrov who declared that independent human rights defenders are “enemies of the people”, assured that they will not be tolerated in this part of Russian Federation, suggested that Titiev is the “personal druggie” of the UN and the US State Department and called for extrajudicial reprisals;

K. whereas in July 2009, Mr. Titev’s Memorial predecessor and human rights activist in Chechnya, Ms Natalia Estemirova was abducted from outside her home in Grozny and was found shot dead later the same day near in the neighbouring Ingushetia; whereas the European Parliament has awarded the 2009 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of thoughts to the Memorial Human Rights Center;

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10.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, and the Chechen authorities.

 

Last updated: 6 February 2018Legal notice