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Motion for a resolution - B7-0597/2011Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Egypt, the case of blogger Alaa Abdel-Fatah


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

Fiorello Provera, Oreste Rossi, Bastiaan Belder, Rolandas Paksas, Jaroslav Paška, Mara Bizzotto on behalf of the EFD Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0595/2011

Procedure : 2011/2909(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on Egypt, the case of blogger Alaa Abdel-Fatah

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt, in particular of 27 October 2011,


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


A. whereas blogger and human rights activist Alaa Abdel-Fatah was detained on 30 October 2011 for 15 days due to his criticism of Egypt's military intervention around the state television building known as Maspero on 9 October 2011 in which 27 people were killed;


B. whereas Alaa Abdel-Fatah refused to be interrogated by a military court and insisted on his right to be investigated before a civilian court;


C. whereas at least 25 Egyptian citizens were killed and more than 300 wounded on 9 October in Cairo during a peaceful march organised by Coptic Christians, starting in the Shubra district of Northern Cairo and heading towards the Maspero state television building, to protest against an attack on a Coptic church in Aswan, to effectively fight against religious discrimination, and to call for the adoption of a unified law on the building of houses of worship, for religious discrimination to be effectively criminalised and for the church that was attacked to be rebuilt;


D. whereas Egypt military ruling authority has yet to hold the security forces to account for the excessive use of force used against the "Maspero" protesters;


E. whereas civilians arrested under the emergency law are tried before military courts which violate the right to a fair trial and deny defendants the right to appeal; whereas human rights organisations have reported that more than 12 000 civilians have been tried before these special courts since March 2011;


F. freedom of expression is fundamental and universal value and an essential element of democracy; whereas the European Union has repeatedly expressed its commitment to freedom of expression and has stressed that governments have a duty to guarantee this freedom all over the world;


G. whereas Egypt is going through a critical period of democratic transition and faces considerable challenges and difficulties in this process;


1. Expresses its serious concern at the deteriorating situation in Egypt and condemns in the strongest terms the arrest of Alaa Abdel-Fatah and the widespread use of military courts to try civilians;


2. Notes that the army, which is the interim authority until elections are held, responded in a disproportionate manner to the protests in Maspero district; calls for an independent and thorough investigation into the events that took place on October 9 and for those responsible for the killings to be held account;


3. Calls on the Egyptian authorities to meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people with political reforms; invites all parties involved to show restraint, engage in an open, fair and democratic process in view of the upcoming elections of November 28;


4. Supports the view of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy that democracy entails more than simply being able to vote and to hold elections, that European history illustrates the need to build a democracy of substance, rather than a mere façade, and that the prerequisites for this are observance of the rule of law, freedom of expression, an independent judicial system and impartial administration;


5. Considers that the transition process should be carried out in compliance with Egypt's obligations under international law and Egypt's international commitments, namely the peace agreement with the State of Israel; underlines that the EU's relationship with Egypt must be based now and in the future on the Association Agreement; points out that any breach by Egypt of its international commitments will have implications on its relations with the European Union;


6. Emphasises the right of all citizens to demonstrate freely and peacefully, under due protection from law enforcement authorities and condemns any attempt to restrict the free flow of information, including aggression and intimidation directed against journalists and human rights defenders; emphasises that the citizens' democratic aspirations should be addressed through dialogue and political reform with full respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms, and through free and fair elections; calls on all parties to engage in a meaningful dialogue to that end;


7. Takes the view that a new Constitution should explicitly provide for the protection of all fundamental rights, including freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of religion, conscience and thought, and the protection of minorities; calls on the Egyptian authorities to make sure that any constitutional provision is inclusive and leaves no possibility for discrimination against anyone in Egyptian society;


8. 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 governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, the Government and Parliament of the People's Republic of China, the US Administration and the US Congress, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Government and Parliament of the Syrian Arab Republic.