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Proposta de resolução - B7-0035/2010Proposta de resolução
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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on recent attacks against religious minorities in Egypt and in Malaysia


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 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Marietje Schaake, Frédérique Ries on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0035/2010

Processo : 2010/2512(RSP)
Ciclo de vida em sessão
Ciclo relativo ao documento :  
Textos apresentados :
Textos aprovados :


European Parliament resolution on recent attacks against religious minorities in Egypt and in Malaysia

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions, and in particular that of 15 November 2007 on serious events which compromise Christian communities' existence and those of other religious communities and minorities,


- having regard to Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,


- having regard to the communication of the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on 'Reinvigorating EU actions on human rights and democratisation with Mediterranean partners - strategic guidelines',

- having regard to the first conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network in Cairo on 26 and 27 January 2006,

- having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights,

- having regard to Article 19 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as ratified by Egypt in 1982,

- having regard to the Egyptian constitution notably the articles on "Freedom of belief and the freedom of practicing religious rights" (Article 46), "Freedom of expression" (Article 47), Freedom of Press and other publications (Article 48),

- having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  whereas the European Union has repeatedly expressed its commitment to the freedom of thought, conscience and religion as well as the freedom of expression and stressed that government has a duty to guarantee these freedoms all over the world,


B.  whereas, according to international human rights law, and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in particular, everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; whereas this right includes freedom to leave or change his religion or belief in freedom, either alone or in community with others, and to manifest his religion, conviction or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance, as well as to choose a life without religion,

C.  whereas the European Union and Egypt signed a European Neighbourhood policy joint action plan in March 2007 which sets out priorities among which particular attention should be given to enhancing the effectiveness of institutions entrusted with strengthening democracy, the rule of law and the promotion of human rights in all their aspects,

D.  whereas the promotion of respect for democracy, human rights and civil liberties are fundamental principles and aims of the European Union and constitute common ground for the development of the Euro-Mediterranean area,

E.  whereas it attaches great importance to relations with Egypt and underlining the importance of Egypt and EU-Egypt relations for the stability and development of the EU-Mediterranean area,


F.  whereas on 6 January 2010 a drive-by shooting killed seven individuals, 6 Coptic Christians and a policemen, and injured dozens of others when worshippers were leaving a church after a midnight mass on Coptic Christmas Eve in the city of Nagaa Hammadi in Upper Egypt; whereas further clashes broke out between Coptic Christians and Muslims in the past weeks that were qualified by the Egyptian Government as individual incidents,


G.  whereas on 8 January 2010 Egyptian authorities announced that they had been arrested and were holding three people in connection with the attack of 6 January,


H.  whereas Coptic Christians represent around 10 per cent of Egyptian population; whereas several violent acts against Coptic Christians took place in the past years in Egypt including the attack that killed at least 20 people in Kosheh village in 2000 and the murder of two young Copts in 2007 in Awlad Toq Garb,


I.  whereas around 30 bloggers and activists accused by the prosecutor of calling for illegal assembly and threatening the national unity after traveling from Cairo to offer condolences to the families of victims of sectarian violence in Nagaa Hammadi,


J.  whereas the Malaysian Catholic Church had filed a lawsuit against the government in 2007 after the government threatened to prohibit publication of The Herald newspaper on the grounds of national security if it did not stop using the word "Allah" commonly used by the Bahasa-Malaysia speaking community of Christian faith as translation of "God",


K.  whereas on 31 of December 2009 the High Court ruled that the Christians in Malaysia have the constitutional right to use the word "Allah" to refer to God and that the word "Allah" is not exclusive to Islam,


L.  whereas the government had confiscated over 15 000 copies of the Bible in Malay language in 2009 where the word "Allah" was used as a reference to God,


M.  whereas interreligious dialogue is crucial to promote peace and mutual understanding between peoples in the world,



1.  Stresses that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a fundamental human right which is guaranteed by international legal instruments and strongly condemns all kinds of violence, discrimination and intolerance based on religion and belief; against religious people, apostates and non-believers;


2.  Expresses its deep concern about the recent attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt and its solidarity with the families of the victims; calls on the Egyptian government to ensure the personal safety and integrity of Coptic Christians, and of members of other minorities, in the country;


3.  Takes note of the efforts made by the Egyptian authorities to identify the perpetrators of the 6 January attack; calls on the Egyptian Government to ensure that all persons responsible for this attack, as well as for other violent acts against Coptic Christians or other minorities, are brought to justice;


4.  Recognises the role that Egypt plays in the Middle East peace process and the importance that EU-Egypt relations have for the entire Euro-Mediterranean area, but points out that respect for human rights is a fundamental value of the EU-Egypt Association Agreement and reaffirms the importance of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership for promoting the rule of law and fundamental freedoms;


5.  Urges the Egyptian authorities to guarantee those accused a fair trial;


6.  Urges the Egyptian authorities not to pass Emergency laws in which freedoms would be hindered in light of sectarian unrest;


7.  Urges the Egyptian authorities to stop the use of Sharia law that undermines universal values and universal human rights and imposes religious habits of one religion on all people through national law;


8.  Deplores the use of torture and the death penalty as a whole;


9.  Calls on the Egyptian government to guarantee that Coptic Christians, and members of other minorities, fully enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms and to prevent any discrimination against them;


10.  Calls on the Egyptian authorities to guarantee freedom of expression, including on the internet,  strongly supports measures to guarantee academic freedom, freedom of the media and freedom of private religious belief; in that connection,


11.  Considers that the action of the Malaysian Home Ministry constitutes violation of the freedom of religion; is especially worried that the Malaysian government has acted outside the law and its interference contributed to the mounting of tensions among religious groups in the country;


12.  Welcomes the Malaysian High Court's decision as a victory for freedom of religion in a country where the dominant religion followers enjoy special privileges; calls on the Malaysian Government not to seek to limit free speech, and to try and appease the resulting tensions and to refrain from further actions that might upset the peaceful coexistence between the dominant and the minority religions as stipulated in the Constitution of Malaysia;  


13.  Calls on the Malaysian authorities to carry out a thorough and rapid investigation into reported cases of attacks against the places of worship and to bring those responsible to justice; 


14.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to pay particular attention to the situation of minorities, including Christian communities, in the European Union's relations and cooperation with the countries concerned;


15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Egypt, and Government and Parliament of Malaysia.