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Proposta de resolução - B6-0540/2007Proposta de resolução
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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 Pasqualina Napoletano, Lilli Gruber, Ana Maria Gomes, Elena Valenciano Martínez-Orozco
on behalf of the PSE Group
on Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia

Processo : 2007/2681(RSP)
Ciclo de vida em sessão
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European Parliament resolution on Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its earlier resolution on Saudi Arabia adopted on 10 March 2005,

-  having regard to its resolution on Saudi Arabia adopted on 18 January 1996,

-  having regard to the EU annual Report on Human Rights 2006,

-  having regard to the ratification in October 2000 by Saudi Arabia of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),

-  having regard to Rule 115 (5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas women in Saudi Arabia continue to face many severe forms of discrimination in the fields of private and public life,

B.  whereas, after being gang-raped, a young girl was sentenced by the General Court of Qatif to 90 lashes (October 2006),

C.  whereas the rape victim decided to appeal and has spoken in public seeking justice and whereas the Court decided to double the sentence to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison (November 2007), on the grounds that the woman had tried to use the media to influence them, whereas her lawyer Abd al-Rahman al Lahim has been suspended from the case and faces disciplinary measures,

D.  whereas the "al Qatif Girl" case has raised huge concern among the international community and human rights organisations,

E.  whereas the criminalisation of any contact between unmarried individuals of the opposite sex in Saudi Arabia severely impedes the ability of rape victims to seek justice,

1.  Condemns the decision taken by the General Court of Qatif to punish the rape victim; is alarmed that the sentence was subsequently doubled to 200 lashes;

2.  Takes note that the judgement has not been implemented and appeals to King Abdullah and the competent Authorities of Saudi Arabia to intervene in order to re-establish a minimum sense of proportionality in the case and to drop all charges against the girl;

3.  Recalls that King Abdullah announced on 3 October 2007 a judicial reform promising new specialised courts and training for judges and lawyers; recalls that in May 2007 it was reported that King Abdullah had ordered that a new court be established which would specialize in hearing domestic violence cases; supports this effort in the process of reform and expresses its wish that major steps be implemented;

4.  Insists that the Saudi Arabian government take the necessary steps in this framework of reform to lift restrictions on women's rights including women's free movement, prohibition of driving, their employment opportunities, their legal personality and their representation in judicial processes; calls on the Saudi authorities to promote concrete and positive measures in order to amend all discriminatory laws against women so that all citizens can play an equal part in the political and public life;

5.  Condemns all kind of discrimination against women and reminds the Saudi authorities of their international obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), to which Saudi Arabia is a state party;

6.  Highlights the fact that, when women are mistreated or suffer violence at the hands of male relatives, they often have no means of redress;

7.  Issues an urgent call for the independence of the national human rights commission;

8.  Calls on Saudi Arabia to fully respect human rights and human dignity, especially concerning women;

9.  Reiterates its call for the abolition of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia and worldwide;

10.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to raise those issues during the next Joint Council and Ministerial meeting between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN General Secretary, Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Saudi Arabian Government and the Secretary General of the Centre for National Dialogue of Saudi Arabia.