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Procedure : 2018/2561(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0113/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0113/2018

Debates :

PV 08/02/2018 - 8.2
CRE 08/02/2018 - 8.2

Votes :

PV 08/02/2018 - 12.2

Texts adopted :


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 182kWORD 53k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0109/2018
6.2.2018
PE614.422v01-00
 
B8-0113/2018

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 Executions in Egypt (2018/2561(RSP))


Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Ignazio Corrao, Rolandas Paksas on behalf of the EFDD Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Executions in Egypt (2018/2561(RSP))  
B8‑0113/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt, in particular those of 17 December 2015, 15 January 2015 and 10 March 2016,

 

–  having regard to the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) conclusions on Egypt of 21 August 2013 and of 10 February 2014,

 

–  having regard to the Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in particular Article 18 thereof and the second optional protocol thereto on the death penalty, and to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to both of which Egypt is a State party,

 

–  having regard to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Un Convention for the Right of the Child and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, to all of which Egypt is party,

 

–  having regard to the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, approved by Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/50 of 25 May 1984,

 

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, in particular Article 15 thereof,

 

–  having regard to the new EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights, which aims to place the protection and surveillance of human rights at the heart of all EU policies,

 

–  having regard to Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and to Protocols 6 and 13 thereto,

 

–  having regard to Articles 1 and 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

 

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty, on Torture, on Freedom of Expression and on Human Rights Defenders,

 

–  having regard to the UN General Assembly resolutions on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty, in particular that of 18 December 2014 and the most recent one, of 19 December 2016,

–  having regard to the statement by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the execution of 15 Egyptian men on 5 January 2018,

 

 

–  having regard to the Egyptian Constitution, in particular Articles 52 (on torture) and 93 (on the binding nature of international human rights law),

 

–  having regard to the EU-Egypt Association Agreement,

 

–  having regard to the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020, adopted on 16 June 2017 and to the Joint statement following the EU-Egypt Association Council of 25 July 2017,

 

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

 

 

 

 

A. whereas since January 2014, i.e. since Al-Sisi has been in power, the numbers of death sentences and executions have risen markedly and at least 2,116 individuals have reportedly been sentenced to death in Egypt; whereas in 2017 courts handed down 186 death sentences, triple the 60 handed down in 2016;

B. whereas at least 81 executions have been carried out since 1 January 2014; and 26 Egyptian civilians have been executed only between 26 December 2017 and 30 January 2018;

C. whereas, in the recent past, during under former Presidents Mohamed Morsy and Adly Mansour, Egypt had introduce a moratorium on the use of the death penalty;

D. whereas at least 38 individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged offence have been tried alongside adult co-defendants on charges that carry the death penalty; whereas courts have recommended initial death sentences for at least seven such individuals; whereas this practice violates Article 111 of Egypt’s Child Law, as well as the UN CRC;

E. whereas, when death penalty followed a trial, these trials failed to meet basic fair trial standards; whereas this is true especially in mass trials and military tribunals.; whereas the UN Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty strictly prohibit the application of the death penalty following unfair trials;

F. whereas many among these sentences were reportedly handed down without the defendant even appearing in court;

G. whereas at least 60 civilians have been sentenced to death in military courts since July 2013;

H. whereas on 26 December 2017, 15 men convicted by a military court on terrorism charges were reportedly executed; whereas before the 15 hangings on Dec. 26, the executed men’s lawyers were not given time to present an appeal before the defence minister signed off on their executions;

I. whereas all recent executions were carried out without prior notification to the victims or their families;

J. whereas moreover the Egyptian authorities are also putting to death people without regular proceedings in courts, but extra-judicially; whereas reportedly military forces in the Sinai Peninsula had executed at least two and as many as eight unarmed detainees and covered up the killings to make it appear that the victims were armed terrorists shot to death in a raid;

 

K. whereas 24 other Egyptians would be in danger of imminent execution, having exhausted all appeals processes;

L. whereas the overall human rights situation in Egypt remains deeply problematic; whereas the crackdown on terrorism has also been used as justification by the Egyptian authorities to water down most of the rights and guarantees of constitution and rule of law and to conduct a large-scale and relentless campaign of arbitrary detention, harassment, intimidation, enforced disappearance and censorship against government critics, including journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and political opponents; whereas perpetrators enjoy a climate of near-total impunity;

 

M. whereas the UN Committee against Torture stated in June 2017 that “torture is a systematic practice in Egypt”; whereas some of these cases of torture resulted in forced disappearances or killings, among others the case of the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni;

 

1.Deeply deplores the practice of capital punishment; reiterates its condemnation of the use of the death penalty, and strongly supports the introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty as a step towards its abolition;

 

2.Calls on the Egyptian authorities to halt the judicial and extrajudicial executions;

 

3.Welcomes the fact that according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, more than 160 UN member states, with a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds, have either abolished the death penalty or do not practise it;

 

4.Regrets that Egypt remains one of the very few countries worldwide that still allows death sentences of civilians in military trials; calls on Egyptian authorities to cease trying civilians in military courts;

 

5.Recalls that the EU opposes capital punishment and considers it to be a cruel and inhuman punishment which fails to act as a deterrent to criminal behaviour, including terrorism, and is irreversible in the event of error;

 

6.Strongly calls the Egyptian Government to ensure the right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial, in compliance with international standards and with the Article 14 of ICCPR; recalls that all allegations of human rights violations committed during the proceedings must be duly investigated;

 

7.Express deep concern regarding the crackdown of the rule of law in Egypt; strongly condemns the enforced disappearance of defendant and the physical and psychological torture designed to coerce confessions. Deplores the arbitrary arrests founded on very poor basis and the lack of attorneys present during questioning;

 

8.Urges the Egyptian Government to take all necessary measures to ensure that violations of due process and fair trial are not repeated;

 

9.Pays tribute to the Egyptian lawyers who continue to seek to uphold the right to a fair trial for their clients in Egyptian courts, in spite of threats, arrests, travel bans and other restrictions on the practice of their profession;

 

10.Remains deeply concerned by the overall human rights situation in Egypt, repeatedly denounced by Egyptian civil society organizations and United Nations monitors, notably the generalized crackdown against civil society organisations, the continued police and military brutality, the harassment, the mass arrests, systematic torture and abuse in places of detention and the sham criminal proceedings against hundreds of individuals, from all political backgrounds, solely as a response to their peaceful exercise of their fundamental freedoms or their expression of dissent; calls on the Egyptian authorities to strictly uphold the unequivocal constitutional guarantees in relation to these freedoms;

 

11.Calls on the Egyptian government to issue an immediate and open invitation to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture, on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions and on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism to conduct a country visit;

 

12.Recalls its strong condemnation of the savage torture and killing of Italian researcher Giulio Regeni and denounces, once again, the lack of progress form the Egyptian authorities in the investigation into this brutal murder;

 

13.Is dismayed by the lack of reaction of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs to the recent executions, but also more broadly by the demure public response of the EU to the systematic crack-down on the entire Egyptian human rights community, which falls short of the EU’s commitments, notably under the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty and on Human Rights Defenders; urges the EU, notably the HR/VP and the EU Delegation in Cairo, to step up their public response to further executions, and to assaults against human rights defenders, including through a statement at the forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council;

 

14.Deplores the decision of the EU to adopt Partnership Priorities with Egypt in June 2017 given the blatant disregard of the regime to basic human rights, including the right to life and to a fair trial;

 

15.Deplores the continued security cooperation and arms deals by EU Member States, notably France, Germany and the United Kingdom, with Egypt, which run counter to the EU Common Position on Arms exports; calls for an EU-wide ban on export of any form of security equipment and military aid to Egypt; urges EU Member States, notably France and Italy, to immediately suspend all licenses granted for the export of surveillance technology to Egypt;

 

16.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 parliaments and governments of the Member States, the President and Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the African Commission on Human Rights and Peoples' Rights.

 

 

 

Last updated: 6 February 2018Legal notice