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Proposition de résolution - B6-0370/2006Proposition de résolution
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with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure
by Cem Özdemir and Hélène Flautre,
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
on Syria

Procédure : 2006/2580(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Syria

The European Parliament,

  • -having regard to the EU guidelines towards third countries on the death penalty (1998), on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (2001), on human rights with third countries (2001) and on human rights defenders (2004),   
  • -having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,
  • -having regard to Article 11(1) of the Treaty of the European Union and Article 177 of the EC Treaty, which establish the promotion of human rights as an objective of the common foreign and security policy,
  • -having regard to the Barcelona declaration of 28 November 1995,
  • -having regard to its report on the 10th anniversary of the Barcelona process,
  • -having regard to its previous resolutions on Syria and to its resolution of 19 January 2006 on the European Neighbourhood Policy,
  • -having regard to the declaration of the EU Presidency of 19 May 2006 regarding the recent arrests in Syria,
  • -having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
  • A.whereas the hopes for a change and the expectations over the opening of the political system in Syria after the access to power of the current President Bachar Al Assad have faded away,
  • B.whereas the European Parliament and its President have already intervened several times in the past in favour of the release of Syrian human rights defenders,
  • C.concerned by the fact that former Syrian prisoner of conscience Kamal-Al-Labwani was arrested on 8 November 2005 on arrival at Damascus Airport on his return after spending several months in Europe and in North America, whereas his arrest seems to be connected with his peaceful calls for democratic reforms in Syria,
  • D.whereas according to media reports from the region, the Syrian authorities last month levelled new charges against Labwani that could carry a life sentence or even the death penalty because "he has contacted by a foreign state to initiate aggression against Syria",
  • E.whereas Kamal-Al-Labwani never advocated the use of force against Syria and recommended dialogue and support to civil society and opposition focused to open a non-violent transition towards democracy,
  • F.deeply concerned by the recent wave of arrest of human rights defenders and civil society activists among whom were Michel Kilo, a prominent writer and pro-democracy activist, Nidal Darwich, a member of the non-government organisation committees for the Defence of Democratic Liberties and Human Rights in Syria, Mahmoud Mer'i the Secretary of the Arab organisation for Human Rights in Syria, Khaled Khalife, writer, former prisoner of conscience and now member of the Kurdish Future current, Khalil Hussein, Dr. Safwan Tayfour and former prisoner of conscience Mahmoud Issa as well as Fateh Jamus, Ali Al-Abdullah and his sons Muhammed and Omar,
  • G.highly worried by the fact that veteran human rights lawyer Anwar Al Bunni was arrested on 17 May 2006 by officers of the State Security Service and taken to an unknown location,
  • H.noting that Anwar Al Bunni was to be designated head of a EU Funded Centre for human rights training, the first in the country, but the centre's opening was blocked by the authorities in March 2006,
  • I.considérant que cette vague d'arrestations s’inscrit en représailles directe de la diffusion le 12 mai 2006, d’une pétition signée par environ 500 personnes, appelant à une normalisation des relations entre le Liban et la Syrie cette pétition, d’une importance toute particulière, étant une initiative conjointe d’intellectuels et de défenseurs des droits de l’Homme syriens et libanais, la première de la sorte,
  • J.whereas the UN Human Rights Committee has expressed last year its concern ‘at the obstacles imposed on the registration and free operation of non-governmental human rights organisations’ in Syria and ‘intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders’,
  • K.whereas respect for human rights is an essential element in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and of the European Neighbourhood Policy to which Syria is a party,

1.  Points out that respect for human rights constitutes a vital component in any future EU-Syria Association Agreement and calls on Syria to respect its commitments within the framework of the Barcelona process and along the lines of the European Neighbourhood Policy;

2.  Calls on the Syrian authorities to drop immediately all charges against Kamal Al Labwani, Anwar Al Bunni and the other human rights activists who were the victims of last May's wave of arrests;

3.  Calls on the Syrian authorities to:

  • (a)ensure that the detainees are well treated and not subjected to torture or other    ill‑treatment;
  • (b)ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading    Treatment or Punishment;
  • (c)ensure that detained or imprisoned persons are given prompt, regular and unrestricted access to their lawyers, doctors and families;

4.  Calls on the Commission and the Council and the individual Member States to make clear to the Syrian authorities that the agreement which has been recently finaliased includes the so-called human rights clause which is a fundamental element of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and expects concrete improvements in this field on the part of the Syrian authorities;

5.  Calls for the setting up of a subcommittee on human rights with Syria in the framework of the Association Agreement, as has been done with Jordan and Morocco, so as to develop a structured dialogue on human rights and democracy; believes that such a subcommittee would constitute a key element in the Action Plan; emphasises the importance of civil society being consulted on and involved in the work of this subcommittee in order better to monitor the human rights situation; stresses also the need for the European Parliament to be closely associated in the work and follow-up of this subcommittee;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the President, the Government and Parliament of Syria.