Procedure : 2012/2145(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0377/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0377/2012

Debates :

PV 12/12/2012 - 11
CRE 12/12/2012 - 11

Votes :

PV 13/12/2012 - 11.3
CRE 13/12/2012 - 11.3
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0503

REPORT     
PDF 560kDOC 712k
19 November 2012
PE 494.800v03-00 A7-0377/2012

on the annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2011 and the European Union’s policy on the matter

(2012/2145(INI))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteur: Leonidas Donskis

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 ANNEX I
 ANNEX II
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Womens Rights and Gender Equality
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2011 and the European Union’s policy on the matter

(2012/2145(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), to the European Convention on Human Rights, to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and to other key international human rights treaties and instruments,

–   having regard to the EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2011 adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council on 25 June 2012,

–   having regard to its resolution of 18 April 2012 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World and the European Union’s policy on the matter, including implications for the EU’s strategic human rights policy(1),

–   having regard to the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (11855/12) as adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council on 25 June 2012,

–   having regard to the Council Decision 2012/440/CFSP of 25 July 2012 appointing the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights,

–   having regard to the Joint Communication of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 12 December 2011 entitled ‘Human Rights and Democracy at the Heart of EU External Action – Towards a more effective approach’ (COM(2011)0886),

–   having regard to the European Union Human Rights Guidelines,

–   having regard to its resolution of 8 July 2010(2) on the European External Action Service,

–   having regard to United Nations General Assembly resolution 65/276 of 3 May 2011 on Participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations,

–   having regard to the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000 (A/Res/55/2) and the resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly,

–   having regard to its resolution of 17 November 2011 on EU support for the ICC: facing challenges and overcoming difficulties(3), and its resolution of 19 May 2010 on the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the ICC held in Kampala, Uganda, 31 May–11 June 2011(4), as well as the pledges made by the EU on this occasion(5),

–   having regard to Council Decision 2011/168/CFSP of 21 March 2011 on the International Criminal Court(6), and the revised action plan of 12 July 2011 to follow up on the Council Decision on the International Criminal Court,

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2011 on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy(7),

–   having regard to the Joint Communication by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission to the European Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 8 March 2011 entitled ‘A Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean’ (COM(2011)0200),

–   having regard to the Joint Communication of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission of 25 May 2011 entitled ‘A new response to a changing Neighbourhood’ (COM(2011)0303),

–   having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on the European Neighbourhood Policy adopted on 20 June 2011 at its 3101st meeting,

–   having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on the European Endowment for Democracy adopted on 1 December 2011 at its 3130th meeting, and the Declaration on the establishment of a European Endowment for Democracy agreed by COREPER on 15 December 2011,

–   having regard to its recommendation of 29 March 2012 to the Council on the modalities for the possible establishment of a European Endowment for Democracy (EED),

–   having regard to its resolution of 7 July 2011 on EU external policies in favour of democratisation(8),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions from 25 October 2011 entitled “A renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility”,

–   having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 2 February 2012 on a consistent policy towards regimes against which the EU applies restrictive measures, when their leaders exercise their personal and commercial interests within EU borders(9),

–   having regard to the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur of 16 May 2011 (A/HRC/17/27) on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, which underlines the applicability of international human rights norms and standards on the right to freedom of opinion and expression to the internet as a communication medium,

–   having regard to the communication of 12 December 2011 by the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda on the ‘No Disconnect Strategy’,

–   having regard to the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur of 28 July 2011 (A/66/203) on the situation of human rights defenders,

–   having regard to the UN General Assembly Resolution of 21 December 2010 (A/RES/65/206), Moratorium on the use of death penalty,

–   having regard to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,

–   having regard to its resolution of 11 September 2012 on alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA (2012/2033(INI))(10),

–   having regard to the interim report of the UN Special Rapporteur of 5 August 2011 on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, solitary confinement, including psychiatric clinics (A/66/268),

–   having regard to United Nations Security Council resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889 and 1960 on women, peace and security,

–   having regard to the Report on the EU indicators for the Comprehensive Approach to the EU implementation of the UN Security Council UNSCRs 1325 & 1820 on Women, Peace and Security, adopted by the EU Council on 13 May 2011,

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 1 December 2011 on Common Security and Defence Policy,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 October 2011 entitled ‘Increasing the impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change’ (COM(2011)0637),

–   having regard to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol,

–   having regard to the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 7 April 2011 of the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,

–   having regard to the United Nations resolutions on the rights of the child, most recently its resolution of 4 April 2012,

–   having regard to the UN Human Rights Council Resolution of 17 June 2011 on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity,

–   having regard to the European Union’s accession on 22 January 2011 to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), being the first UN human rights convention ratified by the European Union as a ‘regional integration organisation’,

–   having regard to the draft UN Principles and Guidelines on effective elimination of discrimination based on Work and Descent published by the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/11/CRP.3),

–   having regard to observations and recommendations on caste discrimination by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Treaty Bodies and UN Special Procedures, noting in particular the Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance of 24 May 2011 (A/HRC/17/40),

–   having regard to the Council Conclusions of 21 February 2011 on intolerance, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion or belief, and having regard to United Nations General Assembly resolution 66/167 on combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief,

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0377/2012),

A. whereas the treaties commit the European Union to base its external action on the principled foundation of democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law;

B.  whereas justice, rule of law, accountability for all crimes including the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, fair trials, and an independent judiciary are indispensible elements in the protection of human rights and the pillars of sustainable peace;

C. whereas democracy and the rule of law are the best safeguards of human rights and fundamental freedoms, non-discrimination in all its forms, tolerance vis-à-vis individuals and communities, and equality for all;

D. whereas the lessons learned from the Arab Spring events must continue to provide impetus for the EU to review, improve and ensure coherence between its policies on, inter alia, human rights defenders, international humanitarian law, human rights dialogues with third countries and civil society, including NGOs and grassroots movements, and social media;

E.  whereas the EU is bound to help countries with which it has signed international agreements, including trade agreements, to implement all these fundamental principles, and in particular by ensuring strict compliance with the human rights and democracy clauses in said agreements;

F.   whereas internet access is a key enabler of access to information, free expression, press freedom, freedom of assembly, and economic, social, political and cultural development; whereas human rights need to be protected and promoted by the EU, both offline and online;

G. whereas violations of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, perpetrated by governments and non-state actors alike, are increasing in many countries of the world, resulting in discrimination and intolerance both against certain individuals and against religious communities, including minorities and non-believers;

H. whereas the role of women and their full participation in the political, economic and social spheres is essential, especially in postwar peace-building processes, democratic transition negotiations and conflict resolution, reconciliation and stabilisation processes;

I.   whereas the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World, and the EU’s policy on the matter, should not only be a reflection and review of past achievements and flaws, but should also serve to inspire the EU’s human rights and democracy strategy and action plan; whereas each successive Annual Report should, ideally, tangibly and regularly contribute to improving the EU’s human rights policy in the world;

The 2011 EU Annual Report

1.  Welcomes the adoption of the EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in 2011; welcomes the fact that the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative (VP/HR) was able to present the Annual Report in the June plenary of Parliament and thereby return to the normal practice;

2.  Notes the positive steps taken in recent years to develop the Annual Report, but stresses the potential for further improvement;

3.  Believes that the Annual Report should be an important tool in communicating the EU’s work in this field and should help raise the visibility of the EU’s actions; invites the VP/HR, when drafting future Annual Reports, to consult actively and systematically with Parliament, and to report on the way that Parliament’s resolutions have been taken into account;

General considerations

4.  Welcomes the adoption of the EU strategic framework for human rights on 25 June 2012; urges the EU institutions to work together to ensure its timely and proper implementation in order to credibly meet the EU treaty commitment to pursue external policies based on human rights, democratic values and the rule of law in a principled and unfaltering manner by avoiding double standards;

5.  Urges the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and Parliament to maintain and honour EU’s role as a leading defender of human rights by cooperating closely in implementing a coherent, ambitious and effective EU human rights policy in the world based on this strategic framework, making use of our development aid and opportunities offered by EED;

6.  Recommends that the Council and the EEAS carry out a mid-term assessment of the new human rights package, particularly of the Action Plan; insists that Parliament be extensively consulted and regularly informed and that civil society be integrated in this process;

7.  Welcomes the mandate of the thematic EU Special Representative (EUSR) on Human Rights and the planned creation of a Brussels-based Council Working Party on Human Rights (COHOM); looks forward to their close co-operation with Parliament, in the first case also in line with the provisions of Article 36 of the TEU;

8.  Expects COHOM to enhance co-operation with the Council Working Party on Fundamental Rights (FREMP) to address the issue of consistency between the EU’s external and internal human rights policy; underlines the importance of having within the European Union coherent, consistent and exemplary policies in line with fundamental values and principles in order to maximise the European Union’s credibility globally and the effectiveness of EU human rights policies and to show genuine respect for the universality of human rights;

9.  Welcomes the positive impact on coherence of EU internal and external policies of the EU’s exercise of its legal personality created by the Lisbon Treaty to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) in December 2010; calls for a similar approach to be taken to other international human rights treaties and conventions; calls for the Council and Commission to take a proactive approach in this area in order to address the negative effects of the piecemeal signature and ratification among EU Member States of other important external treaties and conventions;

10. Urges the VP/HR, the EEAS, the Council and the Commission, for the sake of efficiency, to ensure coherence and consistency between the various external financial instruments and existing or planned EU benchmarking, monitoring and evaluation activities and methodologies regarding human rights and democracy situations in third countries, including: the human rights and democracy sections in the enlargement and neighbourhood policy progress reports; the assessment of the ‘more for more’ human rights and democracy principle set out for the European Neighbourhood Policy; the planned inclusion of human rights in impact assessments carried out for legislative and non-legislative proposals and for trade, partnership and association and cooperation agreements, both regional and bilateral; the Commission plan to introduce human rights assessment in the deployment of EU aid modalities (in particular regarding budget support); the strengthened implementation of the monitoring mechanism to scrutinise respect for human rights conventions in the GSP+ countries; the aim of systematising the follow-up use of EU Election Observation Mission reports; and the EU Council’s emphasis on benchmarking as well as on continued and systematic consideration of aspects relating to human rights, gender and children affected by armed conflict in the lessons-learned documents of the CSDP missions;

11. Welcomes the adoption of human rights country strategies for individual countries to implement policies in the most appropriate and effective way; recognises the key role played by the local EU delegations in developing and following up on the country strategies tailored for the specific circumstances, but stresses the coordinating responsibility of the EEAS in ensuring the coherent application of EU human rights policy priorities set out in the human rights strategic framework and in the EU Guidelines; stresses the importance of completing the network of focal points on human rights and democracy in EU Delegations and CSDP missions and operations; urges the VP/HR and the EEAS and the Member States to adopt as best practice the method of working on human rights issues locally through human rights working groups formed among EU delegations and embassies of EU Member States; urges also that regular contacts be maintained with civil society representatives, human rights defenders and members of national parliaments; supports the EEAS aim to provide training on human rights and democracy for all EEAS, Commission, EU delegation and CSDP mission staff, and for the staff of European Union agencies – FRONTEX in particular – that have relationships with third countries; asks for great attention to be paid, in particular, to protecting human rights defenders; takes the view that human rights country strategies should be mainstreamed in the EU’s CFSP, CSDP, trade and development policies, both in geographic and thematic programmes, to ensure greater efficiency, effectiveness and coherence;

EU action in the United Nations

12. Welcomes EU efforts to support and revitalise the human rights work within the UN system, including the conclusion of the review of the UN Human Rights Council in 2011; stresses the continued importance of supporting the independence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the role of the thematic and country-specific UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights, and looks forward to their close cooperation with the newly appointed EU Special Representative for Human Rights; emphasises the significance of the European Union accession of 22 January 2011 to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as the first UN human rights convention ratified by the European Union as a legal entity;

13. Welcomes the leadership shown by EU Member States to support the credibility of the UN human rights system by jointly extending a standing invitation to all UN Special Procedures on Human Rights, by initiating a UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Special Session on Libya, where the historic recommendation of Libya’s suspension from the HRC was made, and by taking the lead in efforts that led to the establishment of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in Syria;

14. Recognises the EU’s potential for outreach and creative coalition-building as exemplified by EU action which paved the way to the passing of the landmark HRC resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, which was supported by states from all regions, and the consensus-building in Geneva and New York regarding the need to fight religious intolerance and protect freedom of religion or belief whilst avoiding a potential detrimental effect on other core human rights, such as freedom of expression;

15. Reiterates its opposition to the practice of regional groups arranging uncontested elections to the Human Rights Council;

16. Recommends following up on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations by including them systematically in EU human rights country strategies as well as in human rights dialogues and consultations;

EU policy on international criminal justice, the fight against impunity and the International Criminal Court (ICC)

17. Regrets that selective justice frequently manifests itself in new and transitional democracies under the guise of the rule of law and war on corruption; regrets that selective justice has become little more than a means to seek political revenge and to settle accounts with political dissenters by intimidating and marginalising opposition, media workers and human rights defenders, especially in the run-up to elections; remains concerned about the crime allegations and politically motivated charges against members of the opposition in Ukraine, and urges the Ukrainian authorities to put an end to the ongoing harassment of the opposition which is a serious obstacle in the country’s efforts to guarantee rule of law and democratic values;

18. Regrets that, despite many calls from international bodies to Russian authorities, no progress has been made in the investigation of Sergei Magnitsky death; urges, therefore, the Council to impose and implement an EU-wide visa ban on officials responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky and to freeze any financial assets they or their immediate family may hold inside the EU;

19. Remains disappointed about the proceedings against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, which proceedings are perceived internationally as being of a political nature;

20. Celebrates the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC); recognises the ICC as a mechanism of ‘last resort’, which is responsible for the enforcement of justice for the victims of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes, as laid down by the principle of complementarity in the Rome Statute;

21. Reiterates its strong support for ICC in the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern; calls on the EU and its Member States to continue their political, diplomatic, logistical and financial backing of the ICC and other international criminal tribunals, including the ad hoc international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon;

22. Welcomes the inclusion in the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy of reference to the need to fight vigorously against impunity for serious crimes, not least through a commitment to the ICC, and the understanding that it is the primary duty of states to investigate grave international crimes, promote and contribute to strengthening the capacity of national judicial systems to investigate and prosecute these crimes;

23. Welcomes the commitments made in the Council Decision 2011/168/CFSP on the ICC, adopted on 21 March 2011, and the subsequent Action Plan adopted on 12 July 2011, and recommends that the EU and its Member States ensure their implementation through effective and concrete measures to promote the universality and integrity of the Rome Statute, to support the independence of the Court and its effective and efficient functioning and to support the implementation of the principle of complementarity; calls on the EUSR for human rights to implement the actions related to the ICC contained in the EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy;

24. Recognises the efforts of the Commission to establish an ‘EU Complementarity Toolkit’ aimed at supporting the development of national capacities and generating political will for the investigation and prosecution of alleged international crimes, and stresses the importance of thorough consultations with the Member States, Parliament and civil society organisations in order to finalise the toolkit;

25. Reiterates its recommendation that the Rome Statute be added to the package of international treaties on good governance, and that the rule of law be ratified by third countries admitted to the System of Generalised Preferences Plus (GSP+); supports consistent inclusion of an ICC clause in EU agreements with third countries; calls for the mainstreaming of the ICC in all EU foreign policy priorities, by, in particular, systematically taking into account the fight against impunity and the principle of complementarity;

26. Stresses the importance of strong EU action to anticipate and thereby avoid or condemn instances of non-cooperation, such as invitations of individuals subject to an ICC arrest warrant and failure to arrest and surrender such individuals; calls again on the EU and its Member States to comply with all the requests by the Court to provide assistance and cooperation in a timely manner, to ensure, inter alia, the execution of pending arrest warrants; reaffirms the need for the EU and its Member States, with the help of the EEAS, to put in place a set of internal guidelines outlining a code of conduct for contact between EU/Member State officials and persons wanted by the ICC;

27. Expresses its deep concern over the outcome of the budget discussions of the 10th session of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) on 12-21 December 2011, which threatened to leave the Court underfunded; deeply regrets that some European States Parties to the Rome Statute push for the adoption of a zero growth budget/lower budget, and that the Assembly did not agree to provide the Court with sufficient resources to effectively fulfil its judicial mandate and deliver justice in a robust, fair, effective and meaningful manner; calls on the Member States to show robust support for the functioning of the Court at the ASP, and reject the proposals for a zero nominal growth of the Court’s budget as this would undermine its ability to deliver justice and to respond to new situations;

28. Emphasises that the EU’s support to the fight against impunity should cover a number of initiatives that include, among others: increased efforts to promote wider ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute and of the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities (APIC) in order to make the Court truly global and universal; enhanced efforts to secure full cooperation with the Court, including through enacting relevant national legislation on cooperation and concluding framework agreements with the ICC for the enforcement of the Court’s sentences, the protection and relocation of victims and witnesses, etc, in order to facilitate adequate and timely cooperation with the Court; and determined political and diplomatic support, in particular with regard to the execution of pending arrest warrants;

29. Underlines, further to the Arab Spring, the importance of developing a coherent and nuanced EU policy on transitional justice in addition to the reinforcement of the independence of the judiciary, including the linkage to the ICC as a court of last resort, to help countries in transition address the past human rights violations, fight against impunity and avoid recurrence of human rights violations;

30. Stresses that the digital collection of evidence and dissemination of images of human rights violations can contribute to the global fight against impunity; considers that assistance is needed in making materials admissible under international (criminal) law as evidence in court proceedings;

EU action in international humanitarian law (IHL)

31. Welcomes the inclusion, for the first time, of a dedicated section on IHL in the 2011 Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy and the EU’s efforts to ensure accountability by documenting any abuses of IHL and supporting accountability mechanisms, as well as its pledges to combat enforced disappearances, continue support for the ICC, work towards further participation in the principal IHL instruments, promote respect for fundamental procedural guarantees for all persons detained in armed conflict, and support international instruments seeking to address humanitarian hazards of explosive remnants of war, cluster munitions, improvised explosive devices and anti-personnel landmines;

32. Regrets, however, that overall awareness and implementation of EU guidelines on promoting compliance with international humanitarian law remain markedly lower compared with other guidelines; calls on the EU to give more political prominence, and devote more resources, to the implementation of these guidelines, especially by ensuring that IHL is mainstreamed in crisis-management operations, and by proactively fighting impunity and ensuring individual responsibility;

33. Further emphasises the need to ensure that the issue of the fight against impunity for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide is addressed more systematically in the EU’s bilateral relations with relevant countries, including by raising it in public statements, and that the EU addresses impunity more consistently at multilateral level, for instance at the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council;

34. Reiterates its commitment to the principle of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P), stressing the importance that the international community, including the EU, assumes responsibility for addressing gross human rights violations in third countries when the governments of these countries are unable or unwilling to protect their own citizens; stresses that this action of the international community implies humanitarian intervention and appropriate diplomatic pressure and, only as a last resort, the collective use of force, under the auspices or authorisation of the UN; urges the EU to actively engage and promote the urgent reform of the UN Security Council, so as to avoid the obstruction of R2P;

35. Commends, in this context, the actions of the European Union and the several EU Member States which took the lead in preventing further violence against civilians in Libya during the course of 2011 , but regrets the lack of a concerted response at EU level;

36. Is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Libya, notably regarding the conditions of detention and the treatment of detainees held by various militias without effective and serious control by the Interim Government over these brigades, and requires increased alertness and sustained assistance by the international community, as stated by the High Commissioner for Human Rights before the UN Security Council on 25 January 2012;

37. Notes the efforts made by the European Union and the international community in Syria but regrets that those efforts have not translated into an improvement of the situation on the ground; expresses again its deep concern over the situation in Syria, especially regarding the continuing human rights and humanitarian emergency; condemns in the strongest terms the widespread brutal repression and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian regime against its population, including children and women; calls on the Syrian authorities to bring an immediate end to human rights violations and to comply with their obligations under international human rights law in order to allow a peaceful and democratic transition; reiterates its strong support for the UN-Arab League Special Envoy, and urges the UN Security Council to take necessary steps to end the massacre of civilians and to refer to the ICC those responsible for the grave war crimes and human rights violations in Syria;

38. Welcomes the new EU Aid Volunteers initiative that, in the initial programme period of 2014-2020, will create opportunity for some 10 000 Europeans to participate worldwide in humanitarian operations in areas where aid is most urgently needed and to demonstrate European solidarity by providing practical assistance to communities struck by natural or man-made disasters;

39. Argues that private military and security companies (PMSCs) should be held accountable for any violations of human rights and humanitarian laws committed by their personnel; calls on the EU and the Member States, in light of the widespread use of PMSCs, to step up their efforts to find a credible regulatory solution to avoid legal loopholes in terms of accountability;

European Neighbourhood Policy and the Arab Spring

40. Emphasises the significance of the 2011 uprisings in the Arab world both as an expression of the desire for freedom, justice and dignity and as a major challenge to EU policy in the region and beyond; recognises that the EU has stepped up its political engagement in both the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, but stresses the need to learn from past policy mistakes and chart a new policy aligned with respect of human rights and support of democratic values;

41. Welcomes the new emphasis in EU policy towards the Southern Neighbourhood on mutual accountability and a shared commitment to the universal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law; calls for consistency in EU’s human rights policy approach to the South and the East; underlines the need to avoid in the East the same kinds of policy mistakes that were made in the South prior to the Arab Spring of 2011;

42. Underlines the importance of the role of women, and of their full participation in political and economic decision-making, especially in post-war peace-building processes, democratic transition negotiations and conflict resolution, reconciliation and stabilisation processes, in terms of the goal of increasing awareness and attention with a view to eliminating the discrimination suffered by women in the democratisation processes under way in many third countries;

43. Reiterates its view that the more for more approach should be based on clearly defined criteria with specific, measurable, achievable and transparent time-bound benchmarks; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to implement this approach systematically in the Neighbourhood Policy progress reports;

44. Welcomes the enhanced EU outreach to civil society, and emphasises the need for civil society to contribute more systematically and regularly to the elaboration of human rights country strategies and assessments required for a proper implementation of the new ‘more for more’ approach in EU policy;

45. Welcomes also activities undertaken under the Eastern Partnership initiative in promoting human rights, democracy, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in partner countries; calls on the European Union to use the transitional experience of its own Member States of moving from authoritarian to democratic regimes, and to translate the lessons learned from these experiences into concrete, results-oriented programmes in the Union’s Eastern partner countries; urges the EU to take a more active and coherent stance while promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law in partner countries;

46. Regrets, however, that the Eastern Partnership policy at times remains open to misinterpretations, becoming rather a policy of all-permissiveness and forgiveness, and of double standards that are frequently applied with regard to the Eastern partner countries;

47. Remains extremely concerned at the lack of democracy, rule of law, fundamental freedoms and the respect for human rights in Belarus, the only European Neighbourhood country not to fully participate in the Eastern Partnership and the work of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, especially in the aftermath of the presidential elections in December 2010 and the subsequent violent crackdown on protesters and political opposition, including trials of activists in 2011 which did not conform to international standards and saw disproportionately harsh sentences handed down; commends the EUs unity in response to the expulsion of EU diplomats from Belarus in February 2012; urges the Union and all of its Member States to remain coherent and consistent in their policies towards Belarus, and to keep up the pressure on the political regime, including through sanctions, among others against enlisted officials, while reaching out to civil society through such tools as enhanced visa facilitation and increased education, training and other exchange opportunities; expresses strong concern over Ales Bialiatskis imprisonment since 4 August 2011; regrets the actions of the Polish and Lithuanian officials who allowed Ales Bialiatski to be arrested through the forwarding of banking information, and calls for utmost efforts by all actors in the EU to prevent a repetition of such mistakes;

48. Urges the EU to apply the same consistent approach towards human rights abuses in all third countries, both partner countries and countries with which the EU has a less-developed relationship; insists that the EU be vocal in pointing out and condemning human rights violations whenever and wherever they occur, regardless of the level or strategic importance of partnership with the country concerned; emphasises that the EU should use financial aid and economic relations as a leverage mechanism to ensure the commitment to the universal values of human rights of all its partners;

EU policies to support democratisation and elections

49. Emphasises the mutually reinforcing nature of human rights and democracy, as it is through respect for human rights that societies create the free political space needed for peaceful democratic contestation; welcomes in this regard the increased EU focus on democracy promotion, as illustrated by the recently established European Endowment for Democracy;

50. Underlines that a longer-term approach covering the whole election cycle is required to appropriately follow up on the reports and recommendations of the EU Election Observation Missions; stresses the importance of drawing up realistic and achievable recommendations and of ensuring that these recommendations are monitored – and become part of the political dialogue and assistance offered – by the EU delegations; considers that Parliament’s standing delegations and the joint parliamentary assemblies should also play an enhanced role in following up these recommendations and analysing progress with regard to human rights and democracy; encourages EU election observation missions (EOMs) to reinforce their coordination with other international election observation missions so as to improve the coherence of EU action in this respect; stresses that the EU needs to invest in the training of local observers in order to build sustainable and autonomous electoral processes in third countries; outlines the fact that the transition to democracy, as well as progress in promoting human rights, calls for long-term strategies and may not yield visible results in the short term; encourages, therefore, the Commission and the EEAS to monitor more than one election cycle in detail by deploying EU EOMs to countries that move from authoritarian regimes to democratic regimes or that register serious lapses in their progress towards democracy;

51. Reiterates its call on the Council and the Commission to develop a coherent, long-term strategy in relation to each EU election observation mission, followed up by an assessment of democratic progress two years after the mission, with due involvement of the concerned election observation Chief Observer, to be debated during Parliament’s annual human rights debate with the VP/HR; recalls the commitment of the VP/HR to focus, in election observation missions, on the participation – both as candidates and as voters – of women and national minorities as well as of persons with disabilities;

52. Emphasises that the EU must engage with political parties, so as to allow stakeholders to share tools and techniques that can be used to develop stronger ties to the public, mount competitive electoral campaigns and perform more effectively in the legislature; underlines that democratisation is a process which must also engage citizens, grass roots movements and civil society; believes, therefore, that the EU should finance programmes that foster civic participation, voter education, organisation of advocacy actions, freedom of the press and of expression, and that generally ensure political oversight and help citizens exercise their rights;

53. Considers that equitable participation of women in politics and government is essential to building and sustaining democracy; stresses, therefore, that EU programmes in the field of human rights and democratisation should consider, as a priority, the engagement and build-up of capacities of women in legislatures, political parties and civil society as leaders, activists and informed citizens; takes the view that the EU must continue to support and encourage women to run for political office and participate meaningfully in every facet of civic and political life; points out that the full participation of women in politics is not limited to statistical objectives regarding the number of candidates and elected officials, and that ensuring gender equality entails both taking the problems of women’s rights into consideration in policymaking and ensuring the free and effective participation of women in all aspects of public, political and economic life;

54. Recalls that building legitimate democratic foundations, a properly functioning civil society and a democratic, rights-based community is a long-term process that needs to be built up from below and requires national, regional, local and international support;

55. Welcomes the creation of the Democracy Support Directorate within Parliament and the broadening of the mandate of its Election Coordination Group (ECG), which has now become the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DSECG); expects Parliament’s democracy support activities, including the political groups, to be further enhanced, not least via its Office for the Promotion of Parliamentary Democracy and its Election Observation Unit;

Human rights dialogues and consultations with third countries

56. Recognises the potential inherent in comprehensive human rights dialogues with third countries, especially if they are effectively combined with the implementation of the human rights country strategies; emphasises that the dialogues should not, however, be instrumentalised in order to marginalise human rights discussions at other, higher levels of political dialogue such as summits; urges, likewise, that human rights considerations be central to relations with third countries;

57. Stresses that it is important that the EU uses these dialogues to raise individual cases of concern, particularly for prisoners of conscience who have been imprisoned for practising the peaceful right to freedom of speech, assembly and religion or belief, and calls upon the EU to effectively follow up these cases with the countries in question;

58. Reiterates its concern, however, with the persistently disappointing lack of progress in a number of human rights dialogues, and the lack of transparent benchmarks to genuinely assess improvements or deterioration in human rights; notes the continued EU difficulties to negotiate improved modalities for its human rights dialogues in particular with China and Russia; calls on the newly appointed EUSR for Human Rights to take the lead in these and other human rights dialogues and to pursue a new, result-driven approach in this regard through ongoing cooperation with Parliament ;

59. Stresses the fact that, while the Chinese authorities have take some steps in the right direction, the human rights situation in China continues to deteriorate and is marked by widening social unrest and the tightening of control and repression of human rights defenders, lawyers, bloggers, and social activists, as well as by targeted policies aimed at marginalising Tibetans and their cultural identity; urges the Chinese authorities to engage seriously with the Tibetan people in order to assess the underlying causes of the self-immolations of Tibetan monks and nuns, to cease harassing and intimidating Tibetans who exercise their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, to end all use of unnecessary excessive force in facing protestors, to investigate all instances of human rights violations, and to allow independent monitors into areas of protest;

60. Reiterates its call for the need to appoint an EU Special Representative for Tibet who would be responsible for the defence of human rights and, among other topical issues, the right to freely practice one’s religion and culture in China;

61. Remains disappointed that there has been no systematic involvement of Parliament in the assessment of human rights dialogues, including those with Russia and China; calls for Parliament’s access to these assessments to be formalised, and recalls that the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Dialogues state that ‘civil society will be involved in this assessment exercise’;

62. Reiterates that the situation for and promotion of women’s rights, gender equality and efforts to combat violence against women must be taken into account, in a systematic manner, in all human rights dialogues conducted by the EU with third countries with which cooperation or association agreements have been signed;

EU sanctions and the human rights and democracy clauses in EU agreements

63. Welcomes the commitment in the EU Human Rights Action Plan to develop a methodology to improve the analysis of the human rights situation in third countries in connection with the launch or conclusion of trade and/or investment agreements; calls on the EU to ensure that the granting of GSP+ status is firmly linked to a country’s ratification and implementation of key international human rights instruments, enabling a regular evaluation of such obligations, paying particular attention to the respect of freedom of expression, assembly, association, and religion or belief, and the rights of minorities, women and children; stresses in particular the need for transparency in defending immigrants’ human rights;

64. Welcomes the EU’s efforts to include a human rights and democracy clause in all EU political framework agreements, but reiterates its call for all contractual relationships with third countries – both industrialised and developing, and including sectoral agreements, trade and technical or financial aid agreements – to include clearly worded conditionality and clauses on human rights and democracy, without exception; considers that the current threshold in Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) schemes that could trigger action on the human rights clauses is high but should be adjusted to each country concerned; notes the new GSP reform proposal from 2011 which suggests that the consultation procedure should be widened and which contains provisions to ease investigations of human rights violations in the GSP Committee; expresses, in this regard, deep concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in Cambodia where land grabbing has lead to increasing poverty and to the violation of human rights clauses which are part of agreements in force between EU and Cambodia; warns that the lack of consistency in the implementation of the human rights clause can undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the EU’s conditionality policy;

65. Welcomes the measures undertaken and plans developed in 2011 by EU institutions and Member States aimed at creating a more coherent and coordinated policy as regards corporate social responsibility (CSR), i.a. in support of human rights in the world, and the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights from 2011;

66. Stresses the importance of anchoring CSR in free trade agreements with third or developing countries in order to promote human rights and social and environmental standards; suggests including a comprehensive human rights chapter, in addition to social and environmental chapters, in all future free trade agreements; calls as well on the Commission to use free trade agreements to promote the four core labour standards, namely the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced labour; the abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in the area of employment; stresses also that the monitoring and enforcement mechanisms of the GSP+ scheme should be further strengthened;

67. Reiterates that the consistent application of the human rights clause of agreements is fundamental in relations between the European Union and its Member States and third countries; stresses the importance of reviewing how Member States have cooperated with the apparatus of repression in the name of countering terrorism; underlines, in this respect, the need for the newly revised European Neighbourhood Policy to focus on providing support for security sector reform and, in particular, to ensure a clear separation of intelligence and law enforcement functions; calls on the VP/HR, the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the EEAS, the Council and the Commission to step up their cooperation with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, and with other relevant Council of Europe mechanisms, in the planning and implementation of counter-terrorism assistance projects with third countries, and in all forms of counter-terrorism dialogues with third countries;

68. Emphasises the importance of continuing the work on global practices relating to secret detentions in the context of countering terrorism; stresses that combating terrorism can under no circumstances be used as a justification for violations of human rights, whether in third countries or in the EU; draws attention, in this respect, to the adoption of its resolution of 11 September 2012 entitled ‘Alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA: follow-up to the European Parliament TDIP Committee report at the request of the Member States and implementation of its recommendations’;

69. Insists on the importance for the EU to fully abide by and implement its international obligations, policies and foreign policy instruments, such as the torture guidelines and human rights dialogues, so that it can be more credible in its call for the rigorous implementation of human rights clauses in association agreements, and to urge its major allies to respect their own domestic and international laws;

70. Recommends, in order to enhance the credibility of the human rights clause and the predictability of EU action, that the clause be further developed to include political and legal procedural mechanisms to be used in the event of a request for the suspension of bilateral cooperation on the grounds of repeated and/or systematic human rights violations in breach of international law;

71. Calls on the European Union to ensure that all trade agreements it signs with third countries include clauses which promote social cohesion, ensure respect for social, environmental and labour standards and the sound management of natural resources, in particular land and water; notes that the EU is developing a human rights monitoring mechanism to be included as part of new partnership and cooperation agreements, and other trade agreements, with a number of countries; stresses that these monitoring mechanisms are not ambitious enough and not clearly defined, compromising the EU’s treaty commitment to the promotion of human rights and democracy in the world; is particularly concerned in this regard about the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Uzbekistan and the pending PCA with Turkmenistan;

72. Reiterates its recommendation that the EU adopt a more consistent and efficient policy on EU sanctions and restrictive measures, providing clear criteria for when these are to be applied and what type of sanctions should be applied, and including transparent benchmarks for their lifting; calls on the Council to ensure that there are no double standards when deciding on restrictive measures or sanctions and that these are applied regardless of political, economic and security interests;

73. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to address violence against women and the gender-related dimension of human rights violations internationally, in particular in the context of the bilateral association and international trade agreements in force and those under negotiation;

Freedom of expression (social media/digital freedoms)

74. Notes that the Arab Spring demonstrated how the new global information and communication architecture is not only creating new channels for freedom of expression but also enabling new forms of political mobilisation that bypass traditional methods; points out, in this context, that rural areas are often inadequately connected to modern communication technologies; calls on the EU institutions and the Member States to harness the positive potential of the new technologies in EU foreign policy while stressing that only organised groups disposing of a clear and coherent political agenda shall be granted financial assistance; calls on the EU institutions and the Member States to address the danger of internet censorship and repression; welcomes the launch, in December 2011, of the ‘No Disconnect Strategy’ to develop tools that allow the EU, in appropriate cases, to assist civil society organisations or individual citizens to circumvent arbitrary disruptions to access to electronic communications technologies, including the internet;

75. Recognises that increasing dependence on information and communications technology infrastructure is likely to create new vulnerabilities and security concerns internationally; recalls, however, that many of the decentralised characteristics that make the internet a cyber-security concern are also the very reasons that it is a powerful tool for human rights defenders living under repressive regimes; stresses, therefore, the importance of a comprehensive Digital Freedom Strategy with a clear human rights dimension, including an impact assessment on human rights consequences, in the development of policies and programmes relating to cyber security, the fight against cyber crime, internet governance and other EU policies in this area; calls in this regard on the Commission and the EEAS to take a proactive approach and to mainstream the aspect of cyber security in its interaction with third countries;

76. Stresses that the repression and control of citizens and businesses involves a growing technological component, through the blocking of content and the monitoring and identification of human rights defenders, journalists, activists and dissidents, as well as through the criminalisation of legitimate expression online and the adoption of restrictive legislation to justify such measures; recommends that the promotion and protection of digital freedoms should be mainstreamed, and reviewed annually, so as to ensure accountability and continuity in all EU external actions and financing and aid policies and instruments; calls on the Commission and Council to unequivocally recognise digital freedoms as fundamental rights, and as indispensable prerequisites for enjoying universal human rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and access to information, and for ensuring transparency and accountability in public life;

77. Welcomes the commitment of the EU Human Rights Action Plan to develop new public guidelines on freedom of expression online and offline, including the protection of bloggers and journalists, human rights defenders and opposition-parties;

78. Stresses the importance of encouraging an independent free press and media, which are crucial actors in preserving the rule of law and fighting corrupt practices;

79. Notes with concern the worrying trend of increased attacks and intimidation against journalists and media workers in the world; calls for a stepping up of EU efforts to promote their safety in dialogues with the Union’s partners and other countries;

80. Is gravely concerned about developments which restrict the freedom of expression and assembly for reasons based on misconceptions about homosexuality and transgenderism; recalls that laws and proposals to such effect are inconsistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which precludes discriminatory laws and practices based on sexual orientation; calls on the VP/HR and the Special Representative for Human Rights to raise these concerns systematically;

81. Deplores the use of EU-made technologies and services in third countries to violate human rights through censorship of information, mass surveillance, monitoring and the tracing and tracking of citizens and their activities on (mobile) telephone networks and the internet; is concerned by reports of certain EU companies cooperating with authoritarian regimes in providing them with free unlimited access to their networks and databases under the excuse of following the local law, as was the case with the EU-based company TeliaSonera in several former Soviet countries; is convinced that European companies and their subsidiaries and subcontractors should play a key role in the promotion and dissemination of social standards worldwide, and they should therefore act in accordance with European values and never compromise human rights in their efforts to expand their markets abroad;

82. Welcomes Council decisions to ban the export of certain information technologies and services to Syria and Iran, and urges the EU to consider these cases as precedents for future restrictive measures against other repressive regimes; strongly supports the proposal to include human rights violations in the EU dual-use export control system as a reason for which non-listed items may be subject to export restrictions by Member States; draws attention, in this context, to its position to adopt Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items;

EU support to civil society and human rights defenders

83. Emphasises the development of a strong and vibrant civil society as a key factor allowing for democratic progress and improved protection of human rights; stresses that the mobilisation of civil society was at the root of the historic changes of the Arab Spring;

84. Acknowledges EU efforts to step up support to civil society organisations; values particularly the ability of the European Union to engage directly with civil society through the EIDHR, the Civil Society Facility and the EED; regrets, however, that EU does not have a stronger systematic policy to persuade partner countries to abolish undue legal and administrative restrictions that limit the universal rights of assembly and association; calls for such policy guidelines be developed;

85. Reiterates its support for the implementation of the concept of democratic ownership in EU development cooperation, and considers the role of civil society crucial in that context; emphasises the need for all EU staff to work closely with civil society in the countries of their posting; outlines the fact that a closer cooperation with the civil society would considerably contribute to drawing up feasible and realistic human rights country strategies, tailored to the priorities of these countries;

86. Regrets that persecution and marginalisation of human rights defenders remain a widespread all over the world; notes the restrictions of democratic space;

87. Welcomes the EU co-sponsored UN General Assembly Third Committee resolution of November 2011 on human rights defenders, and the public support given by the EU to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and relevant regional mechanisms to protect human rights defenders;

88. Supports the plans to establish a voluntary European initiative to provide temporary shelter to human rights defenders in need of urgent relocation from their countries of origin under the EIDHR; stresses that this initiative should be carried out in a manner that will complement the shelter schemes which already exist;

89. Notes that it is the human rights defenders working in remote areas and conflict zones that are the most exposed to threats and dangers, and in least contact with EU staff; urges all EU delegations to develop local human rights strategies for maintaining regular contacts with human rights defenders on the ground and for providing them with necessary assistance and protection, as required by the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs);

90. Stresses the importance for the EU to take proactive action (reaction and support to HRDs under threat; observation of trials brought against HRDs; prompt, vocal and visible reaction to restrictions to the freedoms of expression, association and assembly) and systematically to provide HRDs and/or their families with information on actions undertaken on their behalf, as prescribed in the EU Guidelines on HRDs; calls, in this context, for a reinforcement of the EIDHR mechanism aimed at providing urgent protection measures with human rights defenders in danger or at risk;

91. Regrets that its call to enhance visibility of the annual Sakharov Prize is not taken on board as the Sakharov Prize is only mentioned in a declarative manner in the section on the European Parliament in the Annual Report; underlines once more that a proper follow-up by the EEAS is needed on the well-being of the candidates and laureates, and on the situation in their respective countries; reiterates its call on the EEAS and the Commission to stay in regular touch with the candidates and laureates of the Sakharov Prize to ensure continuous dialogue and monitoring of the situation of the human rights situation in the respective countries, and to offer protection to those suffering persecution; calls on the EEAS to include the Sakharov Prize in the section on human right defenders in the Annual Report on Human Rights;

92. Calls on the Commission and Council to support, train and empower human rights defenders, civil society activists and independent journalists, to ensure their security and freedom online and to assert the fundamental rights of free expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association online;

EU action against the death penalty

93. Reiterates its unfaltering stance against the death penalty in all cases and circumstances, and strongly supports EU efforts to pass a strong resolution on the death penalty moratorium at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, also with a view to gaining momentum in the run-up to the World Congress against the Death Penalty; underlines the fact that the EU is the leading actor in and the largest donor to the fight against death penalty;

94. Calls on Member States to refrain from marketing or promoting equipment that is prohibited under the Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005 of 27 June 2005 concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; calls for regular and updated control of exports of drugs manufactured by EU pharmaceutical companies which might be used in the execution of death sentences in third countries; welcomes, in this context, the Commission’s 2011 decision to amend Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005 to strengthen export controls on certain drugs capable of being used in capital punishment; welcomes the proactive steps taken by certain EU pharmaceutical companies to halt exports to third countries where there is a foreseeable risk of such drugs being used for executions; urges more EU pharmaceutical companies to take similar steps; calls on the Commission to establish a catch-all clause in Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005 that would, inter alia, require prior export authorisation of any drug capable of being used for torture or executions;

95. Welcomes the assessment by human rights organisations that the use of the death penalty in 2011 broadly confirms the global trend towards abolition; regrets, however, that there was a significant increase in executions in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia; expresses serious disappointment at the refusal of China to disclose credible information about its use of death penalty and executions that, according to Amnesty International, number in the thousands; welcomes the abolition of the death penalty in the US state of Illinois but regrets that the United States continues to execute people despite being the only G8 country to do so in 2011; recalls with concern that Belarus is the only European country to continue use the death penalty; urges the EU and its Member States consistently to bring this issue up as a matter of priority in their dialogues with these countries;

Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment

96. Welcomes the adoption of the updated Guidelines on EU policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; recalls, however, that the challenges of awareness-raising and implementation have to be overcome to achieve genuine advances in EU policy;

97. Welcomes the extension in the updated guidelines of the groups requiring special protection to persons facing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as the commitment to urge third countries to provide domestic procedure for complaints and reports that are gender and child-sensitive; regrets, however, that EU’s coordinated efforts to counter torture do not address its gender dimension in a more comprehensive manner, mainly due to a lack of substantive information on all forms of torture and ill-treatment;

98. Stresses the importance of linking EU guidelines with the implementation modalities of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), with particular attention to the National Preventive Mechanisms;

99. Points out that the definition of slavery provided by the UN is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised; deplores the fact that modern forms of slavery survive, including within the EU; calls, therefore, on the Commission to pursue a much stronger policy on this subject, particularly with regard to domestic staff, the socio-professional group most affected by these forms of slavery;

100.    Regrets that the political abuse of psychiatry still remains a painful problem in a number of countries which have a history of using violent psychiatric methods in support of antidemocratic regimes trying to intimidate and stop dissenting segments of society and individuals; emphasises with concern that this tendency goes hand in hand with vague and elusive forms of torture, including psychological terror and degrading conditions of prisons;

101.    Calls attention to the significance of the report of the UN Special Rapporteur of 5 August 2011 (A/66/268) on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, focusing on the effects of solitary confinement, including the use of that method in psychiatric clinics; expresses serious concern over the evidence from different countries that psychiatric hospitals are being used as de facto detention centres; calls on the VP/HR, the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the EEAS and the Commission to pay appropriate attention to this problem;

102.    Expresses concern over the future operation of rehabilitation centres for torture victims; calls on the EEAS and Commission services to work across the dividing line of external and internal policies to ensure that administrative competency lines do not endanger EU support to rehabilitation centres, both outside and inside the Union;

103.    Regrets that human rights violations still remain a painful problem in the occupied areas of Cyprus; notes that thousands of refugees, who have been forced to abandon their homes and properties, are being denied by the Turkish military forces to live in their homeland until today; notes further that families and relatives of missing persons are still denied the right to have answers regarding the fate of their loved ones, as Turkey does not facilitate access to the military zones or to archives containing relevant investigation reports by the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus;

Discrimination

104.    Insists that the political dialogue on human rights between the EU and third countries must cover a more inclusive and comprehensive definition of non-discrimination, inter alia on the basis of religion or belief, sex, racial or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity;

105.    Underlines that for the EU’s foreign policy to be credible and coherent in the field of fundamental rights, equality and anti-discrimination, the Council should adopt the directive on equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, and enlarge the application of the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia to cover other targeted groups, such as LGBT persons;

106.    Requires the Member States to vigorously oppose any attempt to undermine the concept of universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights and to actively encourage the UNHRC to pay equal attention to the question of discrimination on all grounds, including gender, race, age, sexual orientation religion or belief; Strongly regrets that homosexuality remains criminalised in 78 states, including five in which it is subject to the death penalty; calls on these states to decriminalise homosexuality without delay, to free those imprisoned on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity and not to execute them; calls on the EEAS to make full use of the LGBT Toolkit to protect the rights of LGBTI people; calls on the Council to work towards binding guidelines in this area; calls on the EEAS and Member States to assist LGBTI human rights defenders in countries where they are at risk, and calls on the VP/HR and the EU Special Representative on Human Rights to continue making clear the European Union’s firm commitment to equality and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in the world, including by launching and supporting initiatives at bilateral, international and UN level on these matters; repeats its call on the Commission to issue a roadmap for equality on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity;

107.    Calls on the Member States to grant asylum to people fleeing persecution in countries where LGBT people are criminalised, on the basis of applicants’ well-founded fears of persecution, and relying on their self-identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex;

108.    Reasserts that the principle of non-discrimination, including on grounds of sex and sexual orientation, is a fundamental element in the ACP-EU partnership;

109.    Underlines the ratification by the EU of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the adoption of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, in particular area of action 8; condemns all forms of discrimination based on disability, and calls for all states to ratify and implement the UNCRPD; points out that the EU also needs to monitor the implementation of the UNCRPD on its own territory; calls on the EU and its Member States to promote the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities established in 2006 within the framework of the UN both within and outside the European Union;

110.    Condemns the continued human rights violations committed against people suffering from caste-based discrimination, including the denial of equality and access to justice, continued segregation and caste-induced barriers to the achievement of basic human rights; requests the Council, the EEAS and the Commission to take joint action on caste-based discrimination, including in EU human rights communications, frameworks and country-based strategies and dialogues, wherever appropriate, and to promote the draft UN Principles and Guidelines for the elimination of discrimination based on Work and Descent as a guiding framework to eliminate caste discrimination, and work for their endorsement by the UN Human Rights Council;

111.    Requests the VP/HR and the Special Representative for Human Rights to give full recognition to caste discrimination as a cross-cutting issue of human rights and poverty with severe implications, in particular for women;

112.    Is pleased that the United Nations Human Rights Council’s driving principles on extreme poverty and human rights are based on the interdependence and indivisibility of all human rights, as well as on the principles of the participation and empowerment of people living in extreme poverty; emphasises the indissociability of extreme poverty and human rights: on the one hand, people living in extreme poverty are often also deprived of their civil, political, economic and social human rights; on the other hand, in the fight against extreme poverty an approach based on human rights is essential if the situation is to be understood and combated; urges the Council to support this approach with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission;

113.    Notes with concern that indigenous people are in particular danger of being discriminated against, and that they are especially vulnerable to political, economic, environmental and labour-related changes and disturbances; notes that most live below the poverty threshold and have little or no access to either representation, political decision-making or justice systems; is particularly concerned about reported widespread land-grabbing, forced displacement and human rights abuses resulting from armed conflict;

114.    Calls on the Commission and the Council to promote ‘climate refugee’ as an official, legally recognised term (indicating a person forced to flee his or her home to seek refuge abroad as a consequence of climate change), as is not yet recognised in international law or in any legally binding international agreement;

115.    Emphasises the importance of the right to citizenship as one of the most fundamental rights, since in many countries only full citizens are granted the possibility fully to enjoy and exercise their basic human rights, including the rights to public security, wellbeing and education;

116.    Emphasises that traditional national minorities have specific needs that differ from those of other minority groups, and there is a need to safeguard the equal treatment of these minorities with regard to education, healthcare, social services and other public services, and to promote, in all areas of economic, social, political and cultural life, the full and effective equality between persons belonging to a national minority and those belonging to the majority;

Women and children in armed conflict situations

117.    Appreciates the focused attention given to the challenge of the implementation of women, peace and security-related resolutions in the EU policies, as evidenced in the Report on the EU indicators for the Comprehensive Approach to the EU implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 & 1820, adopted by the EU Council on 13 May 2011; welcomes the political action taken by the EU to ensure the prolonging of the mandate of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on children and armed conflict at the UN General Assembly; shares the view expressed in the Council conclusions of 1 December 2011 on Common Security and Defence Policy that continued and systematic attention to aspects relating to human rights, gender and children affected by armed conflict should be a key consideration in all phases of the CSDP missions;

118.    Believes that, in order to ensure the effective participation of women where they are currently under-represented in political or civil society bodies, it is important to provide training and support modules, both for European staff dealing with gender issues and for the women on the ground, so as to enable them to make an effective contribution to the peace and conflict resolution processes;

119.    Recognises that concrete progress in improving the situation of women and children in armed conflict situations is often dependent on achieving clear and unified accountability structures in military and security services under civilian control; urges, therefore, the relevant EU institutions to seek and implement more effective methods to carry out security sector reforms in conflict and post-conflict countries, with strong emphasis on women’s and children’s rights, inclusion and empowerment in that context; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to take this into account in the programming and implementation of external assistance instruments addressing security sector reform, including the importance of women’s empowerment in post-conflict reconstruction;

120.    Calls for the disarmament, rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers as a core element in EU policies that aim at strengthening human rights, child protection and the replacement of violence with political conflict-resolution mechanisms;

121.    Expresses its deep concern regarding the Great Lakes region of Africa, where rape is a weapon of warfare to eradicate whole population groups;

Womens rights

122.    Urges the EU to enhance its action to end the practices of female genital mutilation (FGM), early and forced marriages, honour killings, and gender-selective abortion; insists that these policies should be essential elements in EU approach to development cooperation; stresses the importance of adequate access to medical means, and of information and education about sexual and reproductive health and rights, to the wellbeing of women and girls in all countries;

123.    Notes that there continues to be insufficient attention given to sexual and reproductive rights violations that undermine efforts towards fulfilling the Cairo Programme of Action commitments adopted at the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and to addressing discrimination – including gender discrimination and inequality – in population and development strategies; underlines that progress on reproductive health has been limited in some contexts by violations such as child, early and forced marriage and failure to enforce a legal minimum age of marriage, coercive practices such as forced sterilisation or FGM, as well as denial of autonomy to women and girls to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health free of discrimination, coercion and violence; Calls for the Cairo Programme of Action to be implemented in its human rights and development policy aspects, to promote gender equality and women’s and children’s rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights;

124.    Urges the EU and its Member States to ensure that the ICPD+20 operational review process results in a comprehensive review of all aspects related to the full enjoyment of sexual and reproductive rights, that it reaffirms a strong and progressive approach to sexual and reproductive rights for all that is consistent with international human rights standards and increases the accountability of governments to achieve the agreed objectives; calls, in particular, on the EU and its Member States to ensure that the review process is conducted in a participatory manner and that it provides opportunity for different stakeholders, including civil society as well as women, adolescents and young people, to participate in a meaningful manner; recalls that the framework for such a review must be based on human rights and have a specific focus on sexual and reproductive rights;

125.    Calls on the EU to work closely with UN Women both bilaterally and at international, regional and national level to enforce women’s rights; stresses, in particular, the need not only to promote health education and appropriate programmes for sexual and reproductive health and rights, which are a prominent part of the EU’s development and human rights policy towards third countries, but also to ensure that women have fair access to public health care systems and adequate gynaecological and obstetric care as defined by the World Health Organisation.

126.    Urges the Commission and the EEAS to give specific attention to female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of an overall strategy for combating violence against women, including the development of an EU plan of actions on FGM pursuant to the due diligence principle; encourages the EEAS and the Member States to continue to address the issue of FGM in their political and policy dialogues with partner countries where the practice is still perpetrated, and to include in these dialogues human rights defenders already working on ending the practice, along with girls and women directly affected by the practice, community leaders, religious leaders, teachers, health workers, and government officials both at local and national level; stresses the need for the EEAS to develop a specific toolkit on FGM as part of its actions to implement the EU strategic framework on human rights and democracy;

127.     Underlines that progress on reproductive health has been limited in some contexts by violations such as child marriages, early and forced marriage and the failure to enforce a legal minimum age of marriage, coercive practices such as forced sterilisation or FGM;

128.    Welcomes the commitment of several Member States to combat violence against women, domestic violence and FMG, in particular its cross-border aspects; reiterates the need for coherence on EU internal and external policies on these issues, and urges the Commission to make it a priority to end violence against women and girls, as well as feminicide, and, through the allocation of appropriate financial resources, to support targeted and innovative programmes both within the EU and in third countries; encourages the EU and its Member States to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence;

129.    Welcomes the adoption of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, and the introduction of a new strategy by the Commission entitled ‘The EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012-2016’; points out that trafficking in human beings is a complex transnational phenomenon rooted in vulnerability to poverty, lack of democratic cultures, gender inequality and violence against women; emphasises the need to place greater emphasis on the gender dimension in dialogue with third countries on this issue; calls, finally, on Member States that have not yet ratified the UN ‘Palermo’ Protocol on Trafficking in Persons and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings to do so as soon as possible;

130.    Emphasises the crucial role played by women in the political life of the Southern Neighbourhood; welcomes election results that have resulted in a considerable increase in the number of women in political fora;

131.    Calls on the Council, the Commission and Member States to promote, in particular, the ratification and implementation by the Members States of the African Union the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa;

Rights of the child

132.    Recalls the specific commitment made in the Lisbon Treaty to focus on children’s rights in EU’s external policies; points out that the near-universal adoption of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child provides a particularly solid international legal foundation to pursue progressive policies in this area; recommends that the rights of the child should be taken into account in all EU policies and actions; calls, therefore, on those countries that have not yet ratified the Convention to do so and to enforce it and its optional protocols as soon as possible;

133.    Draws attention to the serious problem that exists in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa of children being accused of witchcraft, with grave consequences ranging from social exclusion to infanticide, and to the ritual murder of children as forms of sacrifice; notes that the state has a responsibility to protect children from all forms of violence and abuse and, consequently, urges the HR/VP, the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the Commission and the EEAS to pay particular attention to the protection of children from all forms of violence and to the fate of these children in the human rights dialogues with the governments of the countries concerned and in the programming of the external financial instruments;

134.    Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to safeguard, in the context of the Union’s external policies, the rights of children during criminal proceedings by establishing their need for specific protection, in recognition of their vulnerability to secondary and repeat victimisation, and to give primary consideration to the child’s best interest, as stipulated in Directive 2011/0129 (COD) on Minimum Standards on Victims’ Rights, adopted on 12 September 2012;

135.    Welcomes the Commission Communication ‘An EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child,’ integrating both internal and external policy objectives in a single policy document; recalls the commitment of VP/HR in the Commission Communication ‘Human Rights and Democracy at the Heart of EU External Action’ to focus on the rights of the child as one of three campaign priorities; stresses, however, the importance of translating these commitments into budgeted actions and monitoring their efficient implementation;

136.    Calls on a consistent inclusion of the rights of the child in EU Human Rights Country Strategies in line with the Lisbon Treaty commitment; supports the plans to make further advances in developing rights-based approaches to development cooperation as stated in the EU human rights strategy action plan; emphasises the urgency to do so in the case of children’s rights in order to ensure longer-term sustainable progress; reiterates that girls are particularly vulnerable in certain countries;

137.    Stresses the need to combat all forms of forced child labour, child exploitation and trafficking; calls for the better implementation of existing national and international rules that foster awareness of child abuse in the labour market; emphasises the fact that children and adolescents should participate only in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling;

Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief

138.    Stresses that the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief is a fundamental human right(11), encompassing the right to believe or not to believe and the freedom to practice theistic, non-theistic or atheistic beliefs alike, either in private or public, alone or in a community with others; stresses that the enjoyment of this right is fundamental to the development of pluralistic and democratic societies; calls on the EU systematically to defend the right to freedom of religion or belief for all, in accordance with UN human rights conventions, in political dialogues with third countries;

139.    Condemns any intolerance, discrimination or violence on the grounds of religion or belief wherever and to whomever it occurs, whether directed at religious people, apostates and non-believers; expresses its profound concern about the increasing number of such acts in various countries, perpetrated against religious minority representatives as well as against those modest voices in majority religious traditions promoting pluralist and diverse societies based on mutual respect between individuals; expresses worry about the impunity for such violations, the bias on the part of the police and judiciary systems in dealing with such matters, and the lack of appropriate victim compensation schemes, that is evidenced in many countries in the world; notes that, paradoxically, the events of the Arab Spring, which were expected to bring about a pro-democratic transformation, in many cases rather brought about the deterioration of the freedoms and rights of religious minorities and, therefore, strongly condemns all acts of violence against Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other religious communities; recognises the growing need in a number of countries for conflict transformation and reconciliatory efforts, including inter-faith dialogue at various levels; urges the EU and VP/HR, the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the Commission and the EEAS to address discriminatory and inflammatory content in, e.g., the media, as well as obstacles to the free profession of faith in EU dialogues with third countries concerning human rights; considers that in third countries where religious minorities are faced with violations of their rights, such problems cannot be solved by isolating them from the surrounding societies in order to protect them, thereby creating ‘parallel societies’;

140.    Is particularly concerned by the situation in China, where individuals who practise their religion outside officially sanctioned channels, including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Falun Gong practitioners, systematically face persecution; calls on the Chinese Governments to put an end to its campaign of ill-treatment and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners, who face long prison terms as punishment for exercising their right to freedom of religion and belief, and are subjected to ‘re-education though labour’ aimed at forcing them to renounce their spiritual beliefs, notwithstanding China’s ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; urges China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as it has promised; urges the Chinese authorities to suspend and subsequently amend, through genuinely consultative processes with Tibetans, those policies that have the most negative impact on Tibetan Buddhism, culture and tradition; is deeply concerned about the situation as regards freedom of religion in Cuba, in particular the increased persecution of both leaders and followers of Catholic and Protestants churches;

141.    Stresses that international human rights law recognises freedom of thought, conscience, religion, belief and political affiliation regardless of registration status, so registration should not be a precondition for practising one’s religion or exercising one’s right to political affiliation; points out with concern that in China all individuals wishing to practice a religion, including the five official religions – Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism – are required to register with the Government, and must operate under Government-controlled management boards, and that this interferes with their religious autonomy and restricts their activity; notes further with concern that unregistered religious groups, including house churches and Falun Gong practitioners, face different forms of ill-treatment that restrict their activities and gatherings, including confiscation of property and even detention and imprisonment;

142.    Welcomes the fact that freedom of religion or belief is included as a subject matter in the training provided to the EU staff; strongly reiterates its call for an ambitious toolkit to advance the right to freedom of religion or belief as part of EU external policy; welcomes, in this context, the EU’s commitment to develop guidelines on freedom of religion or belief in accordance with section 23 of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy; notes that these guidelines should be in line with EU Human Rights country strategies and include a checklist on the necessary freedoms pertaining to the right of freedom of religion or belief, in order to assess the situation in a given country, as well as a methodology to help identify infringements of freedom of religion or belief; stresses the need for Parliament and civil society organisations to be involved in the preparation of these guidelines; encourages the EU to ensure coherence between the new guidelines and the priorities listed in EU human rights country strategies; stresses the importance of mainstreaming freedom of religion or belief in the EU’s development and other external policies;

143.    Urges the EU to respond proactively to the increased use of apostasy, blasphemy and anti-conversion laws and to the role they play in increasing religious intolerance and discrimination; emphasises that international law includes the right to have, adopt and change a religion or belief; invites the VP/HR and the EU institutions to take action against unacceptable practices by applying pressure on those third countries, with a particular focus on those EU partners that still carry out such practices, to ensure that they are eliminated; encourages the EU to speak out against the use by governments of such laws and to support the right of individuals to change religion, in particular in those countries where apostasy is punishable by death;

144.    Stresses the importance of the protection of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, including atheism and other forms of non-belief, under international human rights conventions, and insists that such freedom should not be undermined by the application of blasphemy laws used to oppress and persecute those of a differing religion or belief; underlines that while blasphemy laws are often promoted with the pretext of reducing social tensions, in reality they only contribute to an increase in such tensions and to the rise of intolerance, in particular towards religious minorities; recalls, in this regard, that in a number of countries the prohibition, confiscation and destruction of both places of worship and religious publications, and prohibition of the training of clergy, are still common practice; urges the EU institutions, in their contacts with the relevant governments, to counter such violations; calls for a firm stance against the instrumentalisation of blasphemy laws for the purpose of persecuting members of religious minorities;

145.    Stresses the importance of mainstreaming freedom of religion or belief in EU development, conflict prevention, and counterterrorism policies; welcomes inclusive efforts of intercultural and interfaith dialogue and cooperation at various levels, involving community leaders, women, youth and ethnic minority representatives, in fostering societal cohesion and peaceful societies; welcomes the EU’s commitment to presenting and promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief within international and regional fora including the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and other regional mechanisms, and calls for a constructive dialogue with the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) on moving away from terminology related to combating defamation of religions; encourages the EU to continue tabling its yearly resolution on freedom of religion or belief at the UN General Assembly;

146.    Welcomes the Joint Statement by the VP/HR, the OIC Secretary General, the Arab League Secretary General and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security of 20 September 2012 reaffirming the respect for all religions and the fundamental importance of religious freedom and tolerance, while at the same time fully recognizing the importance of freedom of expression; condemns any advocacy of religious hatred and violence, and deeply regrets the loss of human lives as result of the recent attacks on diplomatic missions; expresses its condolences to the families of the victims;

147.    Notes that freedom of religion or belief is inter-related with issues pertaining to recognition, equal citizenship and equal enjoyment of rights in a given society; encourages the EU to work for equality and equal citizenship as a matter of priority for representatives of marginalised or discriminated groups in society; stresses, moreover, the importance of supporting initiatives and enabling funding for civil society and human rights defenders in their efforts to combat discrimination, intolerance and violence on the grounds of religion or belief;

148.    Urges the EEAS to develop a permanent capacity within its structure to monitor and analyse the role of religion or belief in contemporary societies and international relations, and to mainstream the issue of freedom of religion or belief across the geographical and thematic directorates and units; encourages the EEAS to report to Parliament on an annual basis on progress on freedom of religion or belief in the world;

149.    Stresses the importance of supporting initiatives of and enabling funding for civil society and human rights defenders in their efforts to combat discrimination, intolerance and violence on the grounds of religion or belief; believes that EIDHR Country-Based Support Schemes should prioritise funding for protecting and promoting freedom of religion or belief in countries where the EU country strategy has identified this right as a priority issue;

150.    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 EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the European External Action Service, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the candidate countries, the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the governments of the countries and territories referred to in this resolution.

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0126.

(2)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0280.

(3)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0507.

(4)

OJ E 161, 31.5.2010, p.78.

(5)

http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/18B88265-BC63-4DFF-BE56-903F2062B797/0/RC9ENGFRASPA.pdf

(6)

OJ L 76, 22.3.2011, p. 56.

(7)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0576.

(8)

OJ C 291E, 4.10.2011, p. 171.

(9)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0018.

(10)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0309.

(11)

European Parliament resolution of 20 January 2011 resolution on the situation of Christians in the context of freedom of religion, OJ C 136E, 11.5.2012, p. 53.


ANNEX I

INDIVIDUAL CASES RAISED BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BETWEEN JANUARY AND DECEMBER 2011

THE SAKHAROV PRIZE 2011

 

The winner of the Sakharov Prize 2011

 

 

 

Asmaa Mahfouz (Egypt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahmed al-Zubair Ahmed

al-Sanusi (Libya)

 

 

 

 

 

Razan Zaitouneh (Syria)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ali Farzat (Syria)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mohamed Bouazizi (Tunisia)

 

The Sakharov Prize 2011 was awarded to five persons representing the Arab people in recognition of their drive for freedom and human rights and their contribution to historic changes in the Arab world.

 

 

Ms Mahfouz joined the Egyptian April 6th Youth Movement in 2008, helping to organise strikes for fundamental rights. Sustained harassment of journalists and activists by the Mubarak regime as well as the Tunisian example prompted Ms Mahfouz to organise her

own protests. Her Youtube videos, Facebook and Twitter posts helped motivate Egyptians to demand their rights in the Tahrir Square. After being detained by the Supreme Council of

Armed forces, she was released on bail due to pressure from prominent activists

 

Mr Ahmed al-Sanusi, also known as the longest-serving “prisoner of conscience”, spent 31 years in Libyan prisons as a result of an attempted coup against Colonel Gaddafi. A member of the National Transitional Council, he is now working to “achieve freedom and race to catch up with humanity” and establish democratic values in post-Gaddafi Libya.

 

Ms Zaitouneh, a human rights lawyer, created the Syrian Human Rights Information Link blog (SHRIL) which reports on current atrocities in Syria. She publicly revealed murders and human rights abuses committed by the Syrian army and police. Her posts have become an important source of information for international media. She is now hiding from the authorities who accuse her of being a foreign agent and have arrested her husband and younger brother.

 

Mr Farzat, a political satirist, is a well-known critic of the Syrian regime and its leader President Bashar al-Assad. Mr Farzat became more straightforward in his cartoons when the March 2011 uprisings began. His caricatures ridiculing Bashar al-Assad’s rule helped to inspire revolt in Syria. In August 2011, the Syrian security forces beat him badly, breaking both his hands as “a warning”, and confiscated his drawings.

 

Mr Bouazizi, a Tunisian market trader set himself on fire in protest at incessant humiliation and badgering by the Tunisian authorities. Public sympathy and anger inspired by this gesture led to the ousting of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Mr Bouazizi’s selfimmolation also sparked uprisings and vital changes in other Arab countries such as Egypt and Libya, collectively known as the “Arab Spring”. Mr Bouazizi received the prize posthumously.

 

SHORTLISTED NOMINEES

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Dzmitry Bandarenka

 

Dzmitry Bandarenka is a Belarusian civil activist and member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. He is one of the founders of the Charter’97 civil initiative and co-ordinator of the European Belarus civil campaign. During the 2010 presidential campaign he was the proxy of the opposition presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau. After attending the pro-democracy rally in Minsk on 19 December 2010, Dzmitry was beaten and arrested and taken to a KGB detention centre. He was charged with participating in and organising mass disturbances and on April 27 he was sentenced to 2 years in penal colony. On August 17, Dzmitry Bandarenka was discharged from Minsk hospital Nr 5 after serious spinal surgery and sent back to the Interior Ministry’s detention facility in Valadarski Street. He was subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment whilst in custody.

 

 

The San José de Apartadó Peace Community

 

 

 

This Colombian community of “campesinos”, i.e. peasant farmers, has become an internationally recognized symbol of courage, resilience and dedication to the values of peace and justice, in an environment of brutality and destruction. As part of their non- violent resistance, they refuse to take part in the conflict, to bear arms, or to collaborate with any armed actors, in spite of the pressure they face. The community members struggle courageously and peacefully to reassert and maintain their right to live a decent life on the land they cultivate. Their courage has cost them dearly: the community states that, of their 1300 members, 180 have been killed. The members of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó are constantly facing death threats by the various groups involved in the Colombian civil war as well as in the traffic of drugs and arms in the region. Nonetheless, the community of San José de Apartadó has not given up in their fight for a peaceful society.

 

 

COUNTRY

Individual

 

BACKGROUND

ACTION TAKEN BY PARLIAMENT

AFGHANISTAN

Gulnaz

 

 

After reporting to the police that she had been raped, Gulnaz, 19 years old at the time, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for adultery in 2009. She was released in December 2011. However, pressure was put on her, from the court and from others, to marry the man who had raped her.

In its resolution adopted on 15 December 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Welcomed the recent decision of President Karzai to pardon Gulnaz

 

- Reiterated that the support of the European Union and its Member States for the reconstruction of Afghanistan must include concrete measures to eradicate discrimination against women in order to strengthen respect for human rights and the rule of law

 

azerbaijan

 

Jabbar Savalan

Bakhtiyar Hajiev

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tural Abbasli

 

 

 

 

Eynulla Fatullayev

 

 

 

 

 

Adnan Hajizade

Emin Abdullayev (Milli)

 

 

Rafig Tagi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samir Sadagatoglu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tural Abassli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elkin Aliyev

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seymur Khaziyev

 

 

 

 

Ramin Deko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eynulla Fatullayev

 

 

 

Savalan (member of the youth group of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) and Hajiev (activist and former parliamentary candidate) were apparently targeted for using Facebook to call for demonstrations against the government. Mr Savalan was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for allegedly possessing drugs and Mr Hajiev was arrested on 4 March after calling on Facebook for demonstrations against the government and now faces two years in jail for allegedly vading military service. Serious doubts exist as regards the fairness of the trials of Mr Savalan and Mr Hajiyev

 

Head of the Youth Organisation of the Musavat Party. Was one of 200 activists who were arrested on 2 April 2011.

 

 

Jailed journalist. The European Court of Human Rights ordered the Republic of Azerbaijan to release Fatullayev from prison and to pay him EUR 25 000 in moral damages.

 

 

Two bloggers who were released from jail prior to the adoption of this resolution.

 

 

 

Prominent Azerbaijani writer and journalist. He died in Baku on 23 November 2011 from the injuries he had sustained during a brutal knife attack four days earlier. Rafig Tagi had reportedly been receiving death threats in the weeks prior to the attack, believed to be in retaliation for an article, amongst others, published on the Radio Azadlyq (Liberty) website on 10 November 2011, in which he criticised the current Iranian Government. A leading Iranian cleric, Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani, issued a fatwa calling for Rafiq Tagi to be killed.

 

Editor of the Sanat newspaper. The abovementioned fatwa also called for Samir Sadagatoglu to be killed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abassli, leader of the opposition Musavat party’s youth wing and blogger critical of the government. He was sentenced to administrative sentences on 16 March 2011 after rallies on 11 and 12 March against corruption within the government. On April 2 he was sentenced to prison for 2.5 years for “organizing public disorder”. He was released in June 2012 on a Presidential pardon.

 

Reporter for Azerbaijan News Network who was sentenced to seven days in detention after the abovementioned rallies. The police contended that he participated in the protests and obeying police orders. Aliyev said he was working as a journalist covering the rallies.

 

 

Works for the opposition newspaper Azadliq. He has allegedly been threatened and beaten several times after publishing critical material about the authorities and the President of Azerbaijan.

 

Journalist for the opposition newspaper Azadliq who was participating in the protests of 2 April. On 3 April, he was reportedly forced into a car and taken to a village called Mashtaga where he was detained for 6 hours. During this day he was pressured to stop publishing critical material about the government. After reporting the abduction he was beaten by two men who said it was for not listening to the warning he had received during the day of the abduction.

 

Newspaper editor and outspoken journalist. He was jailed in 2007 on charges that included terrorism and defamation. He remained in jail until his pardon in May 2011 despite a ruling in the European Court of Human Rights that had found him wrongfully imprisoned. While in prison he was denied access to medical care despite his the deterioration of his health.

 

In its resolution adopted on 12 May 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Expressed its deep concern at the increasing number of incidents of harassment, attacks and violence against civil society and social network activists and journalists in Azerbaijan

 

- Called on the Azerbaijani authorities to release all members of the opposition, youth activists and bloggers remaining in custody after the peaceful demonstrations of 11 March and 2 and 17 April 2011 and to release Mr Savalan and Mr Hajiyev and to drop the charges against them

 

- Urged the authorities to safeguard all necessary conditions to allow the media, including opposition media, to operate, so that journalists can work and report freely without any pressure

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 15 December 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Strongly condemned the murder of Rafig Tagi and expresses its concern over the safety of Samir Sadagatoglu

 

- Called on the Azerbaijani authorities to do their utmost to protect the life and safety of Samir Sadagatoglu

 

- Called on the Iranian authorities to offer all necessary cooperation to the Azerbaijani authorities during the investigation of the murder of Rafig Tagi

 

 

 

 

 

 

A letter of concern was sent on 27 April 2011

 

 

 

bahrain

 

Ali Abdullah Hassan al-Sankis

 

Abdulaziz Abdulridha Ibrahim Hussain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja

 

 

 

 

 

Nabeel Rajab

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jalila al-Salman

 

 

 

Ali Abdullah Hassan al-Sankis

Abdulaziz Abdulridha Ibrahim Hussain

 

 

 

 

Ahmed al-Jaber al-Qatan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja

 

 

22 May 2011 the death sentences imposed on Ali Abdullah Hassan al-Sankis and Abdulaziz Abdulridha Ibrahim Hussain for killing two policemen during anti-government protests in Bahrain were upheld by the National Safety Court of Appeal. The executions were postponed until September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloggers and human rights activists. They were amongst the group of at least 21 prominent Bahraini human rights activists and opponents of the regime, who on 6 September 2011 had their sentences confirmed by the military-run National Safety Appeal Court. This was reportedly for plotting to overthrow the government.

 

Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. He was prevented from leaving the country and remains under threat and harassment by the security forces.

 

Former Vice-President of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association. She was arrested for the second time at her home on 18 October 2011.

 

Accused of killing two policemen during anti-government protests in Bahrain. Their death sentences were upheld by the National Safety Court of Appeal on 22 May. The case of the two men was referred on appeal to Bahrain’s Court of Cassation, whose verdict was scheduled for 28 November 2011

 

 

Ahmed al-Jaber al-Qatan was allegedly shot while participating in an anti-government protest on 6 October 2011 near the capital Manama.

 

 

 

 

 

Human rights defender and former President of the Bahraini Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) who has also worked as Protection Co-ordinator with human rights NGO Front Line. On 9 April 2011, he was arrested and beaten unconscious by police in Al-Manama. His whereabouts remained unknown. In 2012 Amnesty International has reported that he was on a hunger strike and that is health was rapidly deteriorating. They consider him a prisoner of conscience.

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 7 July 2011, the European Parliament

 

- Condemned the repression in Bahrain and urges the immediate and unconditional release of all peaceful demonstrators, including political activists, journalists and human rights defenders

 

- Called on the Bahraini authorities to commute the death sentences of Ali Abdullah Hassan al-Sankis and Abdulaziz Abdulridha Ibrahim Hussain, and to reinstate the de facto moratorium on capital punishment

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 27 October 2011, the European Parliament

 

- Condemned the repression of citizens in Bahrain which led to dozens of deaths and injuries and urges the immediate and unconditional release of all peaceful demonstrators, political activists, human rights defenders, doctors and paramedics, bloggers and journalists

 

- Condemned the use of special military courts to try civilians and stressed that civilians must be tried in civilian courts and that every detained person deserves a fair trial

 

- Called on the Bahraini authorities and the King of Bahrain to commute the death sentences of Ali ‘Abdullah Hassan al-Sankis and ‘Abdulaziz ‘Abdulridha Ibrahim Hussain and urged the Bahraini authorities to declare an immediate moratorium

 

 

 

 

 

A letter of concern was sent on 12 April 2011

BElarus

 

Mr Niakliayeu

 

 

Danil Sannikov

 

 

 

Irina Khalip

 

 

 

 

 

Uladzimir Niakliayeu Andrei Sannikov

Mikalay Statkevich Aleksey Michalevich

 

 

 

 

 

Pavel Sevyarynets Anatoly Lebedko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ales Michalevic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalia Radina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aliaksandr Atroshchankau, Aliaksandr Malchanau,

Dzmitry Novik,

Vasil Parfiankou

 

 

 

 

Aleh Ahiejev

Pavel Sapelko

Tatiana Ahijeva

Uladzimir Touscik

Tamata Harajeva

 

 

Alyaksandr Pylchanka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ales Mikhalevich

Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu Vital Rymasheuski

Andrey Sannikau

Mikalay Statkevich Dimitrji Uss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pavel Seviarynets

Vladimir Kobets

Sergey Martselev

 

 

 

Anatol Lyabedzka

Natalya Radzina

Andrey Dzmitryeu

Syarhey Vaznyak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dzmitry Bandarenka

 

 

 

Aliaksandr Atroshchankau,

Aiaksandr Malchanau,

Dzmitry Novik

Vasil Parfiankou

Mikita Likhavid

Ales Kirkevich

Zmister Dashkevich Eduard Lobau,

Paval Vinahradau

Andrei Pratasienya

Dzmitry Drozd

Uladzemir Khamichenka

Dzmitry Bandarenka

 

 

 

Olga Klasowska

 

 

 

Natalia Radina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrzej Poczobut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iryna Khalip

 

 

 

 

 

Ales Bialiatski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marina Tsapok

Maxim Kitsyuk

Andrey Yurov

 

 

 

 

Alik Mnatsnakyan Viktoria Gromova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ales Bialiatski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viktar Sazonau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dzmitry Kanavalau

Uladzislau Kavalyou

 

 

Protester attacked on Election Day

 

 

Three-year-old son of the Presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov whom the Belarusian authorities attempted to take into state custody.

 

Investigative journalist, who was jailed after the 19 December 2010 elections and was later given a suspended sentence. She is also the wife of the former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov.

 

 

Presidential candidates who were arrested and detained in the aftermath of the presidential elections. Sannikov was sentenced to five years, Statkevich to six years. Michalevic later alleged that he and other detainees had been subjeted to torture and ill-treatment. They were all recognised as prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International.

 

Leaders of the democratic opposition who were arrested and detained in the aftermath of the elections in December 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former presidential candidate imprisoned in the aftermath of the post-election protests. He was only released on 26 February 2011 after signing a commitment to collaborate with the Belarusian KGB that he has since publicly renounced. Has given an account of the mental and physical torture to which the political prisoners were subjected

 

Editor of the opposition Charter 97 website. She was arrested in December 2010 and charged with organising and participating in mass unrest that followed the presidential elections. She was released from the KGB pre-trial detention centre but forbidden to leave her home town until the investigation into her case is completed. Radina has declared that during her detention, KGB officers had subjected her to psychological pressure and attempted to recruit her as a KGB informant.

 

 

Members of the electoral campaign teams of democratic opposition candidates Uladzimir Niakliayeu and Andrei Sannikau. They were sentenced to three to four years’ imprisonment in a high-security colony in connection with the demonstrations of 19 December 2010. Their lawyers have stated that the authorities failed to prove their guilt.

 

 

Lawyers of some of those accused in the criminal case brought on the charge of mass riot. Affected by the decision taken by the Minsk City College of Lawyers to withdraw their licences.

 

 

 

Chairman of the Minsk City Bar Association. He was dismissed by the Justice Minister for expressing his concern about the ministry’s decision to revoke the licences of four lawyers involved in a so-called riot case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presidential candidates who at the time of the writing of this resolution faced trials which could result in sentences of up to 15 years’ imprisonment. Ales Mikhalevich fled the country to avoid trial. On 28 February 2011 Ales Mikhalevic issued a statement giving an account of the mental and physical torture to which the political prisoners were subject in order to coerce them into confessing and accepting evidence of their guilt

 

 

 

Campaign managers to abovementioned presidential candidates. At the time of the adoption of this resolution they faced trials which could result in sentences of up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

 

Lyabedzka (leader of the opposition United Civic Party (AHP)), Radzina (on-line news portal editor-in-chief), Dzmitryeu (campaign manager for opposition presidential candidate Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu) and Vaznyak (‘Tell the Truth!’ campaign activist) had been released from the KGB pre-trial detention centre and placed under house arrest whilst the investigation against them continues. Natalya Radzina has fled the country to avoid trial.

 

Bandarenka: a backer of Andrey Sannikau in a former presidential electoral campaign was sent to general regime penal colony for two years.

 

Aliaksandr Atroshchankau, Aliaksander Malchanau, Dzmitry Novik and Vasil Parfiankou (members of the electoral campaign teams of democratic opposition candidates Uladzimir Niakliayeu and Andrei Sannikau); Mikita Likhavid (member of the ‘For Freedom’ movement); Ales Kirkevich, Zmister Dashkevich and Eduard Lobau (‘Young Front’ activists); Paval Vinahradau (activist of the ‘Speak the Truth’ campaign); Andrei Pratasienya (non-partisan activist); Dzmitry Drozd (historian); Uladzemir Khamichenka (protest participant) and Dzmitry Bandarenka (coordinator of the civil campaign ‘European Belarus’) were sentenced to between one and four years’ imprisonment in connection with the demonstrations of 19 December 2010

 

 

Her case demonstrated that police are torturing people to force them to admit their alleged crimes against the state.

 

Editor of the opposition Charter 97 website. She was arrested in December 2010 and charged with organising and participating in the mass unrest that followed the presidential elections. Radina was released from the KGB pre-trial centre and prevented from leaving her home town until the investigation in her case is completed. After her release, Radina declared that KGB officers had subjected her to psychological pressure and attempted to recruit her as a KGB informant during her detention.

 

 

Poczobut: a journalist with the Belsat television channel and Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. He was arrested and was at the time of the adoption of this resolution facing up to two years’ imprisonment on the charge of ‘insulting the President’ following the articles he had published. He is recognised by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.

 

Journalist, and the wife of Andrey Sannikov. She was also arrested and faced charges in connection with the protests. She was, at the time of adoption of this resolution, under house arrest and had been banned from communicating with her husband.

 

President of the Human Rights Centre ‘Viasna’. The Belarusian President and several journalists in the state-owned media made defamatory allegations against Bialiatski and others, claiming, in their comments concerning the bomb attack on the Minsk subway, that ‘there [was] a fifth column in the country’.

 

Marina Tsapok and Maxim Kitsyuk (Ukrainian citizens) and Andrey Yurov (Russian citizen) are representatives of the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus. They were denied entry to the territory of Belarus.

 

Russian human rights defenders who were detained on 4 May 2011 in the office of the Human Rights Centre ‘Viasna’ and shortly after deported from Belarus and banned from re-entering the country for two years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human rights defender, Chair of the ‘Viasna’ Human Rights Centre and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights. After being held at the detention centre of the Belarusian Interior Ministry, he was arrested in Minsk on 4 August 2011 on the formal charge of large-scale tax evasion (‘concealment of profits on a particularly large scale’) and indicted on 12 August 2011.

 

 

Human rights activist arrested during a protest and was at the time of the writing of the resolution awaiting trial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in November 2011. They were accused of carrying out a terrorist attack in the Minsk subway in April 2011. There were also reliable reports on procedural irregularities in the preliminary investigation and judicial examination, such as restrictions on the right to defense.

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 20 January 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Considered that the Presidential elections of 19 December 2010 failed to meet international standards of free, fair and transparent elections.

 

- Condemned the use of brutal force by the police and KGB services against the protesters on Election Day.

 

- Strongly condemned the arrest and detention of peaceful protesters and most of the presidential candidates; the leaders of the democratic opposition as well as great number of civil society activists, journalists, teachers and students

 

- Demanded an immediate and unconditional release of all those detained during Election Day and in its aftermath including the prisoners of conscience recognised by Amnesty International

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 10 March 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Condemned the lack of respect shown for the fundamental rights of freedom of assembly and of expression by the Belarusian authorities and called for the immediate and unconditional release of all of the protestors detained and for all politically motivated charges brought against them to be dropped.

 

- Condemned the lack of respect shown for the fundamental rights of freedom of assembly and of expression by the Belarusian authorities.

 

- Condemned in the strongest terms the use of torture against prisoners

 

- Condemned the decision taken by the Minsk City College of Lawyers and the dismissal of Alyaksandr Pylchanka.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 12 May 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Strongly condemned all convictions on the basis of the criminal charge of ‘mass rioting’ and found them arbitrary and politically motivated

 

- Considered all charges against the presidential candidates Vladimir Neklyayev, Vitaly Rymashevsky, Nikolai Statkevich, Dmitry Uss and Andrei Sannikov to be illegal and inadmissible and called for the candidates to be acquitted and spared any further persecution

 

- Expressed its deep concern at the deteriorating situation of human rights defenders in Belarus

 

- Condemned the persisting climate of fear and intimidation of political opponents in Belarus and the ongoing persecution of opposition figures since the December 2010 presidential elections

 

- Condemned the systematic harassment and intimidation of and the mounting pressure on independent journalists and media outlets in Belarus

 

- Condemned the lack of any independent investigation into the use of brutal force by the police and KGB services against the protesters on election day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 15 September 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Strongly condemned the recent arrest of and allegations against Ales Bialiatski and called for him to be immediately and unconditionally released from custody and for the investigation and all the charges against him to be dropped

 

- Stressed that legal assistance between EU Member States and Belarus should not become a tool of political persecution and repression

 

-  Stressed that potential EU engagement with Belarus should be subject to strict conditionality and made contingent on a commitment by Belarus to respect democratic standards, human rights and the rule of law

 

 

 

 

A letter of concern was sent on 20 December 2011

BRAzIL

 

Cesare Battisti

 

 

 

 

Cesare Battisti is an Italian citizen who was found guilty at seven trials and convicted in absentia, in final judgements handed down by the Italian courts, of four murders and of involvement in an armed group, robbery and possession of firearms, and sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment. Battisti went into hiding until he was arrested in Brazil in March 2007. He lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights in respect of his extradition to Italy. The application was declared inadmissible in December 2006. On 18 November 2009 the Brazilian Supreme Court decided to allow the extradition of Cesare Battisti. On 31 December 2010 the then-incumbent President decided to refuse the extradition of Battisti. On 6 January 2011 the President of the Brazilian Supreme Court refused the immediate release of Battisti and officially reopened the case, which was to be considered in February 2011.

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 20 January 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Pointed out that the partnership between the EU and Brazil is based on the mutual understanding that both parties uphold the rule of law and fundamental rights, including the right of defence and the right to a fair and equitable trial

china

 

Ai Weiwei

 

 

 

 

 

Liu Xianbin

 

 

 

 

 

Liu Xiaobo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liu Xia

Chen Guangcheng

Gao Zhisheng

Liu Xianbin, Hu Jia

Tang Jitian

Jiang Tianyong

Teng Biao

Liu Shihui

Tang Jingling

Li Tiantian

Ran Yunfei

Ding Mao

Chen Wei

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gao Zhiseng

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hu Jia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zeng Jinyan

 

 

 

 

Chen Guangcheng

Yuan Weijin

 

 

Internationally renowned artist and critic of the regime. On 3 April 2011, Ai Weiwei was detained while passing through security checks at Beijing airport and was not seen until he was released on bail in June 2011.

 

Democracy activist since the democracy movement protests in 1989. He is recognised as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. In 2011 he was tried for “incitement to subvert state power” and was sentenced to 10 years.

 

Nobel Peace Price Laureate in 2010 and prominent scholar who among other things, was involved in drafting the Charter 08 and other writings calling for democratic reforms. He was charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese human rights lawyer who has been disbarred, detained, lived under house arrest and tortured by the Chinese secret police after taking on human rights cases. He was taken away for interrogation by Chinese security agents in February 2009 and was then subjected to enforced disappearance. In December 2011, only days before his five-year probation were to end, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

 

Prominent Chinese human rights activist and dissident and the 2008 laureate of the Sacharov Prize. Hu Jia has often been persecuted for his actions in China and in 2008 he was convicted for “inciting subversion of state”. After serving a 3.5 years prison sentence he was released in June 2011. However, his sentence also included that he would be “deprived of his political rights” 12 months following his release.

 

Human rights activist and wife of Hu Jia. She was put in house arrest together with the couple’s infant daughter while her husband was in prison.

 

 

Guan Guangcheng is a human rights activist who, after being released from prison in September 2010, suffered from serious illness and reportedly was refused by the authorities to seek medical treatment. His family, including his wife Yuan Weijin, has been prevented from stepping out of their house.

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 7 April 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Condemned the unjustifiable and unacceptable detention of Ai Weiwei.

 

- Called for Ai Weiwei’s immediate and unconditional release.

 

- Stressed that Ai Weiwei’s detention is characteristic of the widespread recent crackdown on human rights activists and dissidents in China,

 

- Noted that China’s human rights record remains a matter for serious concern; emphasises the need to make a comprehensive assessment of the EU-China human rights dialogue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A letter of concern was sent on 2 March 2011

 

 

 

 

EGYPT

 

Maikel Nabil Sanad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alaa Abd El-Fattah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maikel Nabil Sanad

 

 

Blogger who has criticised the role of the Egyptian military during and after the popular revolution. He was arrested by the military police on 28 March 2011 and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on 10 April 2011 on charges of ‘insulting the military’ after an unfair fast-track trial in a military court in the absence of his lawyer, family and friends. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger who has been a vocal critic of military rule in Egypt (Amnesty International). On 30 October 2011, the Military Prosecutor called Alaa Abd El-Fattah for interrogation and subsequently ordered his provisional detention for 15 days (which was later renewed), after charging him with ‘inciting violence against the Armed Forces’, ‘assaulting military personnel and damaging military property’ during the Maspero clashes, which started with a peaceful demonstration for the rights of Coptic Christians that took place on 9 October 2011 in Cairo. He refused to answer questions from the Military Court relating to the events, stating that he would only answer to an impartial civil court.

 

Imprisoned blogger (see above) who was on hunger strike at the time of the writing of this resolution leading to a critical condition. He refused to cooperate with the military tribunal on the basis of his opposition to civilians being tried before military courts.

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 27 October 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Expressed its deep concerns about the health condition of Maikel Nabil Sanad and called for his immediate release

 

- Called on the Egyptian authorities to ensure full respect for all fundamental rights, including freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of religion, conscience and thought for all citizens in Egypt, including the Coptic Christians

 

- Strongly condemned the killing of protestors in Egypt.

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 17 November 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Urged the Egyptian Authorities to immediately release Mr Alaa Abd El-Fattah

 

- Repeated its call upon the SCAF to put an end without delay to the emergency law and to military trials of civilians, to immediately release all prisoners of conscience and political prisoners held by military courts and stressed that civilians should not be prosecuted before military courts

eritrea

 

Dawit Isaak

 

 

Swedish-Eritrean playwright, journalist and writer, who has been held in Eritrean prison since 2001 without trial. Isaak has allegedly been a victim of torture during his detention. He is considered internationally to be a prisoner of conscience

 

In its resolution adopted on 15 September 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Deplored the fact that Dawit Isaak has not yet regained his freedom and has had to spend 10 years as a prisoner of conscience; expresses its fears for the life of Mr Isaak under the notoriously harsh prison conditions in Eritrea and without access to necessary health care and called on the Eritrean authorities to release Dawit Isaak

 

- Noted with great concern the continued deplorable human rights situation in Eritrea, notably the lack of freedom of expression and the continued existence of political prisoners

 

INDIA

 

Mahendra Nath Das

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar

 

 

Mahendra Nath Das was sentenced to death in 1997 after being convicted of murder charges. All legal remedies had been exhausted and his execution was suspended until 21 July 2011 by the Gauhati High Court in Assam (north-east India), as the Indian Government has sought time to respond to the Court.

 

Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar was sentenced to death on 29 August 2001 after being found guilty of involvement in the 1993 bombing of the Youth Congress Office in New Delhi. The circumstances surrounding the return of Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar to India from Germany and the prolonged stay on death row of Mahendra Nath Das have raised questions.

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 7 July 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Called on the Government and Parliament of India to adopt legislation introducing a permanent moratorium on executions with the goal of abolishing the death penalty in the near future

 

- Urgently appealed to the Government of India not to execute Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar or Mahendra Nath Das, and to commute their death sentences

Iran

 

Nasrin Sotoudeh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reza Khandan

 

 

 

 

 

Zahra Bahrami

 

 

 

 

Shiva Nazarahari

 

 

 

 

 

Mohammad Seifzadeh

 

 

 

Mohammad Oliyafar

 

 

 

Mohammad Ali, Dadkhah Abdolfattah Soltani,

Houtan Kian

 

 

Jafar Panahi

 

 

 

 

Mahdi Ramazani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mir Hossein Mousavi Mehdi Karroubi

 

 

Zahra Bahrami

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2011-0096+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN - def_1_1#def_1_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mir Hossein Mousavi

Mehdi Karroubi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yousef Nadarkhani

 

 

 

 

Bahareh Hedayat

Mahdieh Golroo

Majid Tavakoli

 

 

 

Somayeh Tohidlou

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payman Aref

 

 

 

 

Jafar Panahi

 

 

 

 

 

Marzieh Vafamehr

 

 

 

 

 

Mohsen Shahrnazdar

Hadi Afarideh

Katayoun Shahabi

Naser Safarian

Shahnam Bazdar

Mojtaba Mir Tahmaseb

 

 

 

Nasrin Soutoudeh Mohammad Seifzadeh Houtan Kian

Abdolfattah Soltani

 

 

Shirin Ebadi

 

 

Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer. She was sentenced to 11 years in jail on charges of ‘acting against national security’, ‘membership of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders’, not wearing hejab (Islamic dress) during a videotaped message, and ‘propaganda against the regime’; whereas she was also banned from practising law and travelling for 20 years after completion of her sentence. After being arrested on 4 September 2010, she was held for long periods in solitary confinement, reportedly tortured and denied contact with her family and lawyer

 

 

Husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh. He was summoned by the police on 15 January 2011 and detained overnight, released on a third-person guarantee and is under prosecution because of his advocacy on behalf of his wife

 

Dutch national who was arrested after the Ashura protests on 27 December 2009 and sentenced to death. Sotouedh’s client.

 

 

Co-founder of Committee of Human Rights Reporters and a prominent activist. She was sentenced to four years in prison and 74 lashes on 7 January 2011. She is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

 

Prominent lawyer who, on 30 October 2010, was sentenced to nine years in prison and a ten-year ban from practising law

 

Human rights lawyer who at the time of the writing of the resolution served a one-year sentence for his advocacy on behalf of his clients

 

Human rights defenders who were facing prosecution in Iran in 2011.

 

 

 

 

Prominent Iranian filmmaker who in December 2010 was banned from film-making for 20 years as well as sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment, and thereby denied freedom of expression

 

Mahdi Ramazani was taken into custody at the grave site of his son in December 2010 and confronted with exorbitant bail conditions, which he was in no capacity to pay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iranian opposition leaders who were illegally detained together with their wives by Iranian security forces.

 

Dutch-Iranian national who was executed in Tehran on 29 January 2011. The Iranian authorities denied consular access to Ms Bahrami and did not ensure a transparent and fair judicial process.

 

 

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is from Iran’s Azerbaijani minority. She was convicted of “adultery while married” in 2006 and was sentenced to death by stoning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opposition leaders who have been held illegally under house arrest and was arbitrarily confined on 14 February 2011. They, along with their politically active spouses, have for periods of time been forcibly disappeared to unknown locations and cut off from all contact with friends and family, periods during which they have been at severe risk of torture

 

Protestant pastor under threat of execution for apostasy

 

 

 

Prominent student activists whose prison sentences were each increased by six months after they were charged with ‘propaganda against the regime’

 

 

Political activist and doctoral student who, on 15 September 2011, received 50 lashes after completing a one-year prison sentence at Evin Prison. Both prison sentences and the 50 lashes were punishments imposed for blogging and other internet activities.

 

 

Student activist who on 9 October 2011 received 74 lashes before his release from prison, on a charge of insulting the Iranian President

 

 

Prominent Iranian filmmaker who in December 2010 was banned from film-making for 20 years as well as sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment, and thereby denied freedom of expression

 

 

Prominent actress who was given the sentence of one year’s imprisonment and 90 lashes, following her involvement in a film depicting the difficult conditions in which artists operate in Iran

 

Six independent documentary filmmakers, who were detained by the Iranian autorities on 17 September 2011, accused of working for the BBC’s Persian Service and engaging in espionage on behalf of that news service

 

 

 

 

Nasrin Soutoudeh, Mohammad Seifzadeh, Houtan Kian and Abdolfattah Soltani are among dozens of lawyers who have been arrested since 2009 for exercising their profession

 

 

Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has effectively been forced into exile after the authorities shut down her Center for Defenders of Human Rights

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 20 January 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Called for the immediate and unconditional release of Nasrin Sotoudeh and all other prisoners of conscience

 

- Strongly condemned the extraordinarily harsh sentence against Nasrin Sotoudeh and the intimidation of her husband

 

- Urged the Iranian authorities to reconsider the sentence imposed on Zahra Bahrami, and to grant her a fair trial and access to Dutch authorities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 10 March 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Called for the immediate and unconditional release of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and their wives.

 

- Strongly rejected the regime’s condemnation of protesters and opponents following the 2009 elections as ‘enemies of Allah’ (‘muharib’), who, in accordance with Islam, should receive the severest of punishments.

 

- Urged Iran to put an end to all forms of discrimination in the country.

 

- Firmly condemned the execution of Zahra Bahrami.

 

- Urged the Iranian authorities to put an end, in law and in practice, to all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to uphold the due process of law and end impunity for human rights violations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 17 November 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Expressed grave concern over the steadily deteriorating human rights situation in Iran

 

- Called on the Iranian authorities to release all political prisoners

 

- Urged the Iranian Government immediately to allow the UN-appointed Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed to enter Iran to address the country’s ongoing human rights crisis

 

- Expressed its concern at the use of (European) censorship, filtering and surveillance technologies to control and censor information and communication flows and to track down citizens, notably human rights defenders

occupied palestinian territories

 

Shadi Shaheen

Majd Barghouti

Mohammed al-Haj

Kamal Abu Taima

Haitham Amro

Fadi Hamadna

 

 

 

 

 

Persons who have been killed while undergoing torture in the Palestinian Authorities centres from 2007-2010

 

 

 

 

A letter of concern was sent on 16 March 2011

pakistan

 

Salmaan Taseer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shahbaz Bhatti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salman Taseer

 

 

 

 

 

Naeem Sabir Jamaldini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sherry Rehman

 

 

 

 

Asia Bibi

 

 

 

 

Asia Bibi

 

 

 

Mukhtar Mai

 

 

 

 

 

Uzma Ayub

 

 

 

 

 

Governor of the province of Punjab, who was one of the most vocal and visible critics of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and of their misuse by extremist groups. On 4 January 2011 Salmaan Taseer was assassinated in Islamabad by one of his own security guards, Malik Mumtaz Hussein Qadri, who disagreed with Taseer’s opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shahbaz Bhatti was the Pakistani Minister for Minorities. On 2 March 2011, he was assassinated by armed men who opened fire on his car as he travelled to work in the capital Islamabad. A group calling itself the Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab (Taliban Movement Punjab) claimed responsibility for the killing. He was the only Christian member of the Pakistani Cabinet and one of the country’s few leading politicians who combated the blasphemy laws

 

Taseer was the Governor of the Province of Punjab. He was killed in January 2011 by one of his own security guards, who disagreed with Taseer’s opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

 

Prominent Pakistani human rights defender and the Coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Assassinated in March 2011. Was particularly active in combating the human rights violations in the Baluchistan region.

 

 

A former Pakistani minister, reformist politician and well-known journalist. A fatwa was reportedly issued against Rehman calling her the next candidate for murder.

 

Christian woman and mother of five children condemned to death for blasphemy.

 

 

 

Christian woman and mother of five children condemned to death for blasphemy.

 

 

Woman who was gang-raped in 2002 on the order of a village council to avenge her brother’s supposed misconduct. She went on to successfully challenge her attackers in the lower courts

 

Uzma Ayub was kidnapped, held captive and repeatedly raped by several members of the police force

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 20 January 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Strongly condemns the brutal murder of Salmaan Taseer

 

- Urges the Pakistan authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of the murder

 

- Was concerned that the Pakistani blasphemy laws are still being used to persecute religious denominations

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 10 March 2011, the European Parliament

 

- Strongly condemned the brutal murder of Shahbaz Bhatti

 

- Called on the Government to repeal these [blasphemy] laws as well as other discriminatory legislation

 

- Urged the Pakistani authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder and bring all perpetrators of this crime rapidly to justice in accordance with the strict rule of law, as well as to ensure the swift and fair prosecution of the late Governor Salman Taseer’s killer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 15 December 2011, the European Parliament

 

- Urged the Pakistani Government to put into place mechanisms which would allow local and regional administrations to monitor the conduct of informal village and tribal councils and to intervene in instances where they have acted beyond their authority

 

- Urged the government to review the legislation on women’s rights that was introduced after the military coup

 

RUssia

 

Mikhail Khodorkovsky Platon Lebedev

 

 

 

Boris Nemtsov

 

 

 

Anna Politkovskaya, Natalia Estemirova Anastasia Baburova

 

Sergei Magnitsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalia Estemirova

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oleg Orlov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mikhail Khodorkovsky Platon Lebedev

 

 

 

Sergey Magnitsky

 

 

 

Anna Politkovskaya

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anastasiya Baburova Stanislav Markelov

 

 

Russian businessmen whose second conviction on 30 December 2010 concerning Yukos assets has been questioned by the international community, including the EU.

 

Opposition activist arrested on 31 December 2010 in Moscow, together with some 70 others, following an opposition demonstration.

 

Journalists whose cases have not yet been solved by the Russian authorities

 

 

Sergei Magnitsky was a lawyer who died after being held in detention for 11 months where he was subjected to ill-treatment. According to Amnesty International human rights activists believed that he was detained because he unveiled a tax fraud involving investigators and prosecutors. His death has not been solved by the Russian authorities.

 

A leading member of the Human Rights Centre Memorial in Chechnya. She was abducted and murdered by armed men in Grozny, Chechnya on 15 July 2009. She was shot at point blank range. Still in October 2012 no one has been brought to justice for the murder.

 

Head of the Human Rights Centre Memorial and the 2009 laureate of the European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. He was charged with slander in 2010 after he blamed the Chechen President Kadyrov for being politically responsible for the death of Natalia Estemirova. Since then, slander has been decriminalised in Russia and the case against Orlov has been dropped.

 

 

 

 

Russian businessmen declared prisoners of conscience in May 2011 by Amnesty International (see above).

 

 

Lawyer. He died in custody in November 2009 after months of ill-treatment (see above)

 

 

Internationally recognised journalist and human rights defender. She covered, among other things, the conflict and the human rights situation in Chechnya. She was shot dead in her home in Moscow in October 2006.

 

 

Stanislav Markelov, human rights lawyer, was shot dead in Moscow on 19 January 2009 after attending a press conference. Anastasiya Baburova, journalist from the newspaper Novaya Gazeta was accompanying Markelov and was seriously injured when she tried to stop the killer. She later died in the hospital.

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 17 February 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Expressed concern over reports of politically motivated trials, unfair procedures and failures to investigate serious crimes

 

- Expressed serious concern at the verdict in the recent second trial and conviction of Michail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev

 

- Urged for a review of the charges and proceedings against Oleg Orlov and recalled that no effective investigations have been carried out into the murder of Natalia Estemirova

 

- Deplored the breaking up of peaceful rallies and the repeated arrests of opposition figures, as in the case of Boris Nemtsov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 9 June 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Took note with concern of the ruling handed down by the Russian appeal court against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business associate Platon Lebedev on 26 May 2011 as a continuation of politically motivated court decisions and condemned political interference with the trial

 

- Took note of President Medvedev’s decision to start an investigation into the criminal charges against Sergey Magnitsky and welcomed the convictions for the murders of Anastasiya Baburova and Stanislav Markelov

 

- Took note of the arrest of the suspected assassin of Anna Politkovskaya

 

- Reaffirmed the urgent need for Russia to implement fundamental principles of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and media freedom as a basis for cooperation

SyriA

 

Hamza al-Khateeb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father Paolo dallOglio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Razan Gazzawi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Omar Al-Labwani

Yassin Al-Labwani

Riba Al-Labwani

Laila Al-Labwani

Ammar Al-Labwani

Siba Hassan

Hussein Labwani

Amer Dawood

Hanibal Awad

Sereen Khouri

Nahid Badawieh

Naret Abdul Karim

Mahmoud Ghawrani

Badr Al-Shallash

Kamal Cheikho

Osama Nassar

Maimouna Alammar

Mohammed Adib Matar

Saad Saeed

Bisher Saeed

Ghaffar Muhammad

Dana Al-Jawabra

Wafa Al-Lahham

Tayeb Tezini

Mohammad Darwish

Kaka Dawood

Nabil Shurbaji

Merveen Awsi

Ghaffar Hikmat Muhammad,

Abdul Rahman Khitou

Rayan Suleyman

Daya Al-Din Daghmoush,

Nasredin Ahmou

Hassiba Abderrahman

Abd Temmo

 

Mazen Darwish

 

 

 

Suhair Al-Attassi

 

 

 

 

 

Haytham Al-Maleh

 

 

 

A 13-year-old boy who was one of the Syrian children who was arbitrarily detained and a victim of torture and ill-treatment which led to his death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbot of the Mar Musa Monastery in Syria and winner of the first Anna Lindh EuroMed Award 2006 for Dialogue between Cultures, widely known for his work for inter-faith harmony in the country for the last three decades and for his engagement in efforts for internal reconciliation. news reported by many sources that the Syrian authorities have ordered the expulsion of, the

 

 

Blogger, who on 4 December 2011 was arrested by Syrian authorities at the Syrian-Jordanian border as she was allegedly heading to the Jordanian capital Amman to take part in a workshop on press freedom organised by her employer, the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family members of prisoners of conscience and human rights advocates who gathered outside the Ministry of Interior on 16 March and were subsequently detained. They had gathered peacefully to call for the release of those detained and to express their disappointment over the fact that their relatives had not been amongst those pardoned on 8 March. There were probably more people detained, but only these persons could be identified. At the time of the writing of this letter of concern their whereabouts were unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression. Mazen Darwish was included in the group of persons described above.

 

President of the Atassi Forum, a pro-democracy discussion group. Suhair Al-Attassi was included in the group of persons described above.

 

 

Lawyer and veteran human rights activist who has worked as a rights defender since 1980. Due to this work he has been in prison during two time periods; 1980-1986 and 2009-2011. In 2011 his travel-ban, which had been in place for seven years, was lifted.

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 7 July 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Urged the Syrian authorities to immediately release all children arrested during the repression of the demonstrations or in related events, to thoroughly investigate reported cases of violence against children and to refrain from any further arrests of and violence against children or any other breach of children’s rights

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 15 December 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Called for prompt, independent and transparent investigations into the widespread, systematic and gross violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities and military and security forces with the aim of ensuring that all those responsible for these acts, which may amount to crimes against humanity, are held to account by the international community

 

- Called for increased cooperation between the EU and Turkey regarding the situation in Syria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A letter of concern was sent on 18 March 2011

TIBET

 

Phuntsog

Tsewang Norbu

 

 

 

 

Lobsang Kelsang

Lobsang Kunchok

 

 

Dawa Tsering

 

 

 

Kelsang Wangchuk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choephel

Kayang

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norbu Damdrul

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenzin Wangmo

 

 

Phuntsog (aged 20) and Tsewang Norbu (aged 29) died after setting fire to themselves, on 16 March and 15 August 2011 respectively, as a protest against restrictive Chinese policies in Tibet

 

Phuntsog’s younger brothers, (both aged 18), set fire to themselves at the Aba/Ngaba county market on 26 September 2011.

 

A 38-year-old monk at Kardze Monastery who set fire to himself on 25 October 2011

 

 

A 17-year-old monk at Kirti Monastery, immolated himself on 3 October 2011 and was immediately carried away by Chinese soldiers, who extinguished the fire and beat him strenuously before taking him away. His state of well-being and whereabouts were unknown at the time of adoption of this resolution.

 

 

Two former monks from Kirti, Choephel (aged 19) and Kayang (aged 18). They clasped their hands together and set fire to themselves while calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and the right to religious freedom. They died following this protest.

 

 

Former Kirti monk, aged 19, who set fire to himself on 15 October 2011. He was the eighth Tibetan to self-immolate. His whereabouts and state of well-being were unknown at the time of the adoption of this resolution.

 

 

Nun from Ngaba Mamae Dechen Choekorling Nunnery, (aged 20). She was the first female to commit self-immolation. She died following this protest.

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 7 April 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Condemned the Chinese authorities’ continued crackdown on Tibetan monasteries and called on them to lift the restrictions and security measures imposed on monasteries and lay communities

 

- Called on the Chinese authorities to respect the rights of Tibetans in all Chinese provinces and to take proactive steps to resolve the underlying grievances of China’s Tibetan population

 

- Reiterated its call to the Council to appoint an EU Special Representative for Tibet with a view to facilitating the resumption of dialogue between the Chinese authorities and the Dalai Lama’s envoys in relation to the determination of genuine autonomous status for Tibet within the People’s Republic of China.

 

- Urged the Government of the People’s Republic of China to respect internationally agreed human rights standards and to abide by its obligations under international human rights conventions with respect to freedom of religion or belief

 

TUNISIA

 

Zacharia Bouguira

 

 

 

 

 

Tunisian medical student who, on 13 November 2011, witnessed repeated public acts of violence committed by law enforcement officers against of a group of young Moroccans. After filming it with his mobile phone, he was stopped by a security guard, was violently struck by some 20 policemen and taken to the police station. He was held in arbitrary detention and during that time was subjected to repeated acts of violence and intimidation. He was later released.

 

In its resolution adopted on 15 December 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Urged the Tunisian authorities therefore to guarantee Zacharia Bouguira the right to a judicial process conducted in accordance with international standards

 

- Welcomed the ratification by Tunisia on 29 June 2011 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture

 

TURKEY

 

Ahmet Şık

Nedim Şener

 

 

Turkish investigative reporters who were investigating human rights abuses by state officials. They were arrested on 3 March 2011, accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation conspiring against the government. They were released in March 2012 pending trial.

 

 

 

A letter of concern was sent on 16 March 2011

Uganda

 

David Kato

Human rights defender and leading figure of the gay and lesbian rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda and of the Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community at large. Kato sued and won a lawsuit against a local tabloid, ‘Rolling Stone’ which published the names, personal details and photographs of over a hundred people, including Kato, alleged to be homosexual. Kato was brutally killed in Uganda on 26 January 2011.

In its resolution adopted on 17 February 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Strongly condemned the violent murder of the Ugandan human rights defender David Kato Kisule.

 

- Called on the Ugandan Government to ensure that LGBT people and all other minority groups in Uganda are adequately protected against violence

 

-Condemned accordingly, and again, the Bahati Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and calls on the Ugandan Parliament to decriminalise homosexuality and reject the use of the death penalty under any circumstances.

UKRAINE

Yulia Tymoshenko

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yuri Lutsenko

Yevhen Korniychuk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bohdan Danylyshin

 

 

 

 

Georgy Filipchuk

Valery Ivashchenko

 

 

 

 

Anatoliy Grytsenko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leonid Kuchma

Former Prime Minister of Ukraine. She was charged of abuse of power in connection with the conclusion of gas contracts in 2009. The Prosecutor General’s Office in Ukraine brought charges against her on 24 May 2011

 

 

 

Former high-ranking officials from the Tymoshenko government who at the time of the adoption of this resolution were in pre-trial detention. Yuri Lutsenko (former Interior Minister, one of the leaders of the People’s Self-Defence Party), was charged with abuse of office and misappropriation of funds and was arrested on 26 December 2010 for alleged non-cooperation with the prosecution. Yevhen Korniychuk (former First Deputy Minister of Justice) was arrested on 22 December 2010 on charges of breaking the law in connection with public procurement procedures for legal services. A preliminary report of the Danish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights on the Lutsenko and Korniychuk trials listed massive violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.

 

Former Economy Minister who fled Ukraine and has been granted political asylum in the Czech Republic. Criminal proceedings have been started against him.

 

Georgy Filipchuk (former Environment Minister) and Valery Ivashchenko (former Acting Defence Minister) faced criminal charges at the time of the adoption of this resolution.

 

 

Former speaker of the Crimean Parliament (Party of Regions). Grytsenko was detained on 24 January 2011 and accused of an abuse of power involving the giving away of 4800 hectares of land illegally. Another criminal case was later opened, involving land fraud in connection with resort land in Yalta.

 

Former President of Ukraine. The Prosecutor General’s Office had opened a criminal investigation for abuse of power against him at the time of the adoption of this resolution.

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 9 June 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Was concerned about the increase in selective prosecution of figures from the political opposition in Ukraine as well as the disproportionality of measures applied, particularly in the cases of Ms Tymoshenko and Mr Lutsenko, former Interior Minister

 

- Stressed that ongoing investigations of prominent Ukrainian political leaders should not preclude them from actively participating in the political life of the country, meeting voters and travelling to international meetings and therefore called on the Ukrainian authorities to lift the travel ban, both domestically and internationally, on Yulia Tymoshenko and other key political figures;

 

 

 

USA

 

Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammed al-Nashiri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Troy Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bradley Manning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Pollard

 

 

 

 

 

Saudi Arabian man held at the US detention facility in Guantánamo Bay. The US Government intended to seek the death penalty at the military commission trial of Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammed al-Nashiri. al-Rahim al-Nashiri had at that time been in US custody for nearly nine years and had not been brought promptly before a judicial authority and brought to trial without undue delay, as required by international law, and was instead detained in secret until being transferred to Guantánamo in 2006. He was allegedly subjected to torture, including ‘water-boarding’.

 

 

Troy Davis was sentenced to death in 1991 for the murder of a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. The evidence against Davis has been widely questioned, e.g. seven out of nine witnesses have changed their testimonies against him since his trial in 1991. He was executed in Georgia on 21 September 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private in the American military who is accused of providing documents to Wikileaks. He was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq and in 2011 he was charged with, among other things, “aiding the enemy”. Strong concerns were expressed internationally concerning the circumstances of his detention. In his pre-trial detention e.g., he was held in a small cell for 23 hours a day, sometimes naked and forbidden to exercise.

 

 

 

 

Former US Navy intelligence analyst who was arrested in 1985 and was later convicted to a life sentence for passing classified information to Israel concerning the military activities of Iran, Syria and other Middle Eastern nations. The European Parliament adopted a resolution in 1993 in which it noted that there was a lack of a full trial in Jonathan Pollard’s case and that it considered the sentence of life imprisonment disproportionate in view of the United States’ close relationship with Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 9 June 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Reiterated that the fight against terrorism cannot be waged at the expense of established basic shared values, such as respect for human rights and the rule of law

 

- Reiterated its long-standing opposition to the use of torture and ill-treatment and to the death penalty in all cases and under all circumstances.

 

- Called on the US authorities not to impose the death penalty on Abd al-Rahim al-Nas.

 

- Reiterated its call to the US authorities to review the military commissions system to ensure fair trials, to close Guantánamo, to prohibit in any circumstances the use of torture, ill-treatment, incommunicado detention, indefinite detention without trial and enforced disappearances

 

 

 

 

 

A letter of concern was sent on 31 May 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A letter of concern was sent on 17 February 2011

 

 

YEMEN

 

Muhammed Taher Thabet Samoum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuad Ahmed Ali Abdulla

 

 

Muhammed Taher Thabet Samoum: sentenced to death in September 2001 by the Criminal Court in Ibb, following his conviction for a murder he allegedly committed in June 1999, when he was supposedly under the age of 18. In the absence of a birth certificate his death sentence was upheld by an appeal court in May 2005, confirmed by the Supreme Court in April 2010 and has since been ratified by the President of Yemen. Muhammed Taher Thabet Samoum was initially scheduled for execution on 12 January 2011, but was granted a temporary reprieve by the Yemeni Attorney-General.

 

Sentenced to death after being convicted of a murder which he allegedly committed while still under the age of 18. His execution, scheduled for 19 December 2010, was put on hold.

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 17 February 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Condemned all executions, wherever they take place.

 

- Called on the Yemeni authorities to commute the death sentences imposed on Muhammed Taher Thabet Samoum and Fuad Ahmed Ali Abdulla.

 

- Called on the Government of Yemen to stop executing individuals for crimes they allegedly committed when they were under the age of 18.

 

 

zimbabwe

 

Elton Mangoma

Theresa Makone

Lovemore Moyo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenni Williams

Magodonga Mahlangu

 

 

 

 

Abel Chikomo

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a marked increase in intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and disappearances of political opponents of Zanu-PF, with many MDC members, several MDC MPs, and key members of the MDC leadership, such as Mangoma (Energy Minister), Makone (co-Home Affairs Minister) and Moyo (ousted Speaker of the Zimbabwean Parliament), being targeted.

 

 

Leaders of the civil society organisation Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). They, together with other human rights defenders, have faced systematic police harassment

 

 

Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. Has, together with other human rights defenders, faced systematic police harassment.

 

 

 

 

 

In its resolution adopted on 7 April 2011, the European Parliament:

 

- Demanded an immediate end to all politically motivated harassment, arrests and violence by the Zimbabwean state security services and militias either directly controlled by, or loyal to, Mugabe and the Zanu-PF party

- Called on all Zimbabwe’s political parties to reach an agreement on a roadmap towards holding free and fair internationally monitored elections in Zimbabwe

 

- Called for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arbitrarily arrested, in particular MDC officials and followers

 

- Called on the EU to refuse to accept any Zimbabwean Ambassador to the EU who is not nominated on the basis of due constitutional process and in compliance with the GPA.

 


ANNEX II

LIST OF RESOLUTIONS

List of resolutions adopted by the European Parliament during the year 2011, and relating directly or indirectly to human rights violations in the world.

Country

Date of adoption in plenary

Resolution title

 

AFRICA

 

 

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE

07.04.2011

Situation in Cöte dIvoire

EGYPT

17.02.2011

Situation in Egypt

EGYPT

27.10.2011

Situation in Egypt and Syria, in particular of the Christian communities

EGYPT

17.11.2011

Egypt, in particular the case of blogger Alaa Abd El-Fattah

ERITREA

15.09.2011

Eritrea: the case of Dawit Isaak

EAST AFRICA

15.09.2011

Famine in East Africa

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

07.07.2011

DRC and the mass rapes in the province of South Kivu

LIBYA

10.03.2011

the Southern Neighbourhood, and Libya in particular

LIBYA

15.09.2011

Situation in Libya

MADAGASCAR

09.06.2011

Situation in Madagascar

SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN

09.06.2011

Situation after the 2011 referendum

SUDAN

15.09.2011

Sudan: the situation in Southern Kordofan and the eruption of fighting in Blue Nile State

TUNISIA

15.12.2011

Tunisia: the case of Zacharia Bouguira

UGANDA

17.02.2011

Uganda: the killing of David Kato

 

 

 

ZIMBABWE

07.04.2011

Zimbabwe

 

AMERICA

 

 

 

BRAZIL

20.01.2011

Brazil: extradition of Cesare Battisti

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIBET

07.04.2011

Ban of the elections for the Tibetan government in exile in Nepal

 

ASIA

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN

15.12.2011

Situation of women in Afghanistan and Pakistan

AZERBAIJAN

12.05.2011

Azerbaijan

AZERBAIJAN

15.12.2011

Azerbaijan, in particular the case of Rafig Tagi

CHINA

07.04.2011

Case of Ai Weiwei in China

INDIA

07.07.2011

India, in particular the death sentence on Davinder Pal Singh

INDONESIA

07.07.2011

Indonesia, including attacks on minorities

KASHGAR

10.03.2011

Situation and cultural heritage in Kashgar (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China)

HAITI

19.01.2011

Situation in Haiti one year after the earthquake: humanitarian aid and reconstruction

PAKISTAN

20.01.2011

Pakistan, in particular the murder of governor Salmaan Taseer

 

 

 

PAKISTAN

10.03.2011

Pakistan, in particular the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities

SRI LANKA

12.05.2011

Sri Lanka: Follow-up of the UN report

THAILAND AND CAMBODIA

17.02.2011

Border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia

TIBET

27.10.2011

Tibet, in particular selfimmolation by nuns and monks

 

EUROPE

 

 

 

BELARUS

20.01.2011

Situation in Belarus

BELARUS

10.03.2011

Belarus (in particular the cases of Ales Mikhalevic and Natalia Radina)

BELARUS

12.05.2011

Belarus

BELARUS

15.09.2011

Belarus: the arrest of human rights defender Ales Bialatski, human rights defender

RUSSIA

17.02.2011

Rule of Law in Russia

RUSSIA

09.06.2011

EU-Russia Summit

RUSSIA

07.07.2011

Preparations for the Russian State Duma elections in December 2011

UKRAINE

09.06.2011

Ukraine: the cases of Yulia Tymoshenko and other members of the former government

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

 

 

BAHRAIN

27.10.2011

Bahrain

IRAN

20.01.2011

Iran - the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh

IRAN

10.03.2011

EU’s approach towards Iran

IRAN

17.11.2011

Iran - recent cases of human rights violations

PALESTINE

29.09.2011

Situation in Palestine

SYRIA

07.04.2011

Situation in Syria, Bahrain and Yemen

SYRIA. YEMEN, BAHRAIN

07.07.2011

Situation in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain in the context of the situation in the Arab world and North Africa

SYRIA

15.09.2011

Situation in Syria

SYRIA

15.12.2011

Situation in Syria

YEMEN

17.02.2011

Persecution of juvenile offenders, in particular the case of Muhammed Taher Thabet Samoum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THEMATIC

 

 

 

Religion

20.01.2011

Situation of Christians in the context of freedom of religion

UN Human Rights Council

10.03.2011

Priorities of the 16th session of the UN HRC and the 2011 review

UN Human Rights Council

28.09.2011

Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations Human Rights Council

Guantánamo

09.06.2011

Guantánamo: imminent death penalty decision

International Criminal Court

17.11.2011

EU support for the ICC: facing challenges and overcoming difficulties


OPINION of the Committee on Development (5.11.2012)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2011 and the European Union’s policy on the matter

(2012/2145(INI))

Rapporteur: Edvard Kožušník

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Underlines the fact that the EU should use its soft power and further promote and consolidate the values of freedom, democracy, development, respect for human rights, and the principles of the rule of law and good governance upon which it is founded, through political dialogue and cooperation with third countries;

2.  Urges the EU to maintain and honour its role as a leading defender of human rights in the world, by the effective, consistent and considered use of all available instruments to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and the effectiveness of our development aid policy;

3.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen the instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide in order to support democratic reforms and governance, to address in particular grassroots organisations and to reinforce election observation missions and the election observation activities of local civil society, and to make use of the opportunities offered within the framework of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) for that purpose;

4.  Recalls that building legitimate democratic foundations, a properly functioning civil society and the establishment of a democratic, rights-based community is a long-term process that needs to be built up from below and requires national, regional, local and international support;

5.  Recalls that the EU should demand that partner governments benefiting from development assistance be seriously committed to creating stable and genuine democracies with respect for human rights in addition to functioning economies; EU funding in particular should be monitored and tangible results required from repressive regimes which fall short of their international commitments;

6.  Stresses the importance of encouraging an independent free press and media, which are crucial actors in preserving the rule of law and fighting corrupt practices;

7.  Emphasises the importance of binding and non-negotiable human rights clauses and effective dispute mechanisms in all policies, partnerships and agreements between the EU and third countries;

8.  Insists that the political dialogue on human rights between the EU and third countries must cover a more inclusive and comprehensive definition of non-discrimination, inter alia on the basis of religion or belief, sex, racial or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity;

9.  Looks to the European Neighbourhood Policy to deliver more substantial and positive results than it has done in the past, and to create lasting democratic structures and economic development; stresses the need for a new approach that creates respect for human rights and freedoms and support for democratic rule.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.11.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Ricardo Cortés Lastra, Véronique De Keyser, Leonidas Donskis, Charles Goerens, Mikael Gustafsson, Eva Joly, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Gay Mitchell, Norbert Neuser, Bill Newton Dunn, Maurice Ponga, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Michèle Striffler, Alf Svensson, Eleni Theocharous, Ivo Vajgl, Iva Zanicchi

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Kriton Arsenis, Philippe Boulland, Edvard Kožušník, Bart Staes

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa


OPINION of the Committee on Womens Rights and Gender Equality (10.10.2012)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the Annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2011 and the European Union’s policy on the matter

(2012/2145(INI))

Rapporteur: Mariya Gabriel

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

–   having regard to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union, which emphasises values common to the Member States such as pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between men and women,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, particularly Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 21 and 23 thereof,

–   having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–   having regard to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol,

–   having regard to the European Commission’s Women’s Charter,

A. whereas violence against women is an infringement of human rights that affects all social, cultural and economic strata;

B.  whereas the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality and combating violence against women should systematically be made a cornerstone of all bilateral and multilateral relations, particularly those with third countries with which the EU has signed association and cooperation agreements;

C. whereas advocacy continues to strengthen the promotion of and respect for women’s human rights worldwide, the challenge still persists of addressing certain cultural and traditional beliefs and practices which constitute discrimination against women and girls;

D. whereas all types of violence and discrimination directed against women, including sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, commercial sexual exploitation of women, gender-based violence, violence in close relationships and economic and social discrimination, must be considered as not justifiable on any political, social, religious or cultural grounds or in relation to any popular or tribal traditions;

E.  whereas the role of women and their full participation in the political, economic and social spheres is essential, especially in postwar peace-building processes, democratic transition negotiations and conflict resolution, reconciliation and stabilisation processes;

1.  Reiterates that the situation and the promotion of women’s rights, gender equality and combating violence against women must be systematically taken into account in all human rights dialogues conducted by the EU with third countries with which cooperation or association agreements have been signed;

2.  Calls for women’s rights and the status of these rights to be referred to systematically in the briefings made available to MEPs travelling on delegations and official visits;

3.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to address violence against women and the gender-related dimension of human rights violations internationally, in particular in the context of the bilateral association and international trade agreements in force and those under negotiation;

4.  Supports the countries of Latin America in their efforts to fulfil their obligation of due diligence in the prevention, attention, investigation, legal prosecution, sanction and reparation of feminicide; calls on the Commission to regularly raise the topic within political dialogues, and in particular the existing human rights dialogues, and to offer cooperation in the search for remedies with a view to eliminating violence against women and feminicide in the context of the biregional partnership;

5.  Welcomes the nomination of the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, and calls on him to give particular attention to, and take specific action to promote, women’s rights and gender equality;

6.  Welcomes Directive 2011/0129 (COD) on minimum standards on victims’ rights, adopted on 12 September 2012, which includes targeted and integrated support for victims with specific needs, such as victims of sexual violence, victims of gender-based violence and victims of violence in close relationships, including trauma support and counselling; calls, therefore, on the EEAS and the Commission to promote, in the context of external policies, these enhancements of the rights of victims of gender-based violence in criminal proceedings;

7.  Is deeply concerned at the rise of gender-based violence in many parts of the world, as one of the symptoms of the worldwide crisis, and especially the increasing number of feminicide (homicide directed against women and girls) in Mexico and other countries of Central and South America, which take place in a context of generalised violence and structural discrimination; strongly condemns all kinds of gender-based violence and the aberrant crime of feminicide, and the prevailing impunity for these crimes, which further encourages the murderers;

8.  Recognises the positive role played by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) in safeguarding women’s rights and protecting women’s rights defenders, and recalls that democracy entails the full participation of women in public life, as shown in the aftermath of the Arab Spring;

9.  Points out that the full participation of women in politics is not limited to statistical objectives regarding the number of candidates and elected officials., and that ensuring gender equality entails taking the problems of women’s rights into consideration in policymaking and the free and effective participation of women in all aspects of public, political and economic life;

10. Calls on the EEAS, the Council and the Commission to include in all external action policies and financial instruments a gender approach with a view to intensifying gender mainstreaming and consequently contributing to promoting gender equality and women’s rights and fighting violence against women;

11. Underlines the importance of the role of women and their full participation in political and economic decision-making, especially in post-war peace-building processes, democratic transition negotiations and conflict resolution, reconciliation and stabilisation processes, in terms of the goal of increasing awareness and attention with a view to eliminating the discrimination suffered by women in the democratisation processes under way in many third countries;

12. Reiterates the fundamental right of all women to access to public healthcare systems, and in particular to primary, gynaecological and obstetric health care as defined by the World Health Organisation;

13. Believes that, in order to ensure the effective participation of women where they are currently under-represented in political or civil society bodies, it is important to provide training and support modules, both for European staff dealing with gender issues and for the women on the ground, so as to enable them to make an effective contribution to the peace and conflict resolution processes;

14. Welcomes the presence of a gender expert in most of the EU election observation missions and the attention given to women’s participation in electoral processes, and calls for the follow-up of the conclusions of the observation missions’ reports;

15 Stresses the importance of greater equality between men and women in the composition of EU election observation missions, since this helps raise awareness of women’s participation in the election process and in public life, by promoting gender equality and women’s rights in third countries where a democratisation process is under way

16. Underlines the importance of specific support form the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) as regards the collection, processing and dissemination of information on effective gender mainstreaming.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

10.10.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

27

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Edit Bauer, Andrea Češková, Edite Estrela, Iratxe García Pérez, Mikael Gustafsson, Mary Honeyball, Lívia Járóka, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Constance Le Grip, Astrid Lulling, Barbara Matera, Krisztina Morvai, Norica Nicolai, Angelika Niebler, Siiri Oviir, Antonyia Parvanova, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Britta Thomsen, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Minodora Cliveti, Mariya Gabriel, Ulrike Lunacek, Ana Miranda, Chrysoula Paliadeli, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Angelika Werthmann


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.11.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

47

0

4

Members present for the final vote

Pino Arlacchi, Frieda Brepoels, Elmar Brok, Marietta Giannakou, Ana Gomes, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Anna Ibrisagic, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Jelko Kacin, Tunne Kelam, Evgeni Kirilov, Maria Eleni Koppa, Andrey Kovatchev, Eduard Kukan, Vytautas Landsbergis, Sabine Lösing, Ulrike Lunacek, Mario Mauro, Francisco José Millán Mon, Alexander Mirsky, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Norica Nicolai, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Alojz Peterle, Bernd Posselt, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Cristian Dan Preda, Fiorello Provera, Nikolaos Salavrakos, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, György Schöpflin, Marek Siwiec, Laurence J.A.J. Stassen, Inese Vaidere, Sir Graham Watson, Karim Zéribi

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Véronique De Keyser, Norbert Neuser, Alf Svensson, László Tőkés, Ivo Vajgl, Alejo Vidal-Quadras

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Leonidas Donskis, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Michèle Striffler, Rui Tavares, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein

Last updated: 29 November 2012Legal notice