MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Egypt - notably the case of blogger Alaa Abdel-Fatah
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
Marie-Christine Vergiat, Miguel Portas, Marisa Matias on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0595/2011
European Parliament resolution on Egypt - notably the case of blogger Alaa Abdel-Fatah
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt,
– having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure
A. whereas social media have played an important role in Arab Spring events including in Egypt;
B. whereas Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel Fatah was summoned by Egypt’s military prosecutors for interrogation in Cairo on Monday 24 October 2011; whereas he was subsequently arrested on 30 October 2011 to face charges of inciting violence against the armed forces, assaulting military personnel and damaging military property during the recent Maspero clashes that took place on 9 October 2011 in Cairo; whereas 30 other civilians have been detained in the same court case;
C. whereas he refused to answer the military authorities nor to acknowledge their legitimacy due to his opposition to civilians being tried before military tribunals;
D. whereas Alaa Abdel Fatah's detention is only the latest example of the systematic targeting, harassment and intimidation against bloggers, journalists, political activists and human rights defenders in Egypt,
E. whereas on 2 November 2011 the military rulers promised to pardon 344 civilians convicted in military courts, amid mounting pressure following Alaa Abdel-Fatah imprisonment;
F. whereas Egypt is going through a critical period of democratic transition and faces considerable challenges and difficulties in this process;
G. whereas human rights organisations report that more than 12.000 civilians have been tried before military tribunals since March 2011 in Egypt; whereas civilians arrested under the emergency law continue being tried before military tribunals, which fall short of the minimum international standards of fair trial and the right to defence;
1. Reiterates its solidarity with the Egyptian people in this critical period of democratic transition in the country and continues supporting their legitimate democratic aspirations;
2. Stresses again that the freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, religion, conscience and thought, such as social justice are essential components of democracy; and that the Egyptians authorities have to guarantee the democratic discussion and process;
3. Condemns the arrest of Alaa Abdel Fatah and calls for his immediate release; calls on the Egyptian authorities to guarantee that no blogger, journalist, political activist or human rights defender is subject to direct or indirect harassment or intimidation in the country.
4. Repeats it call to put an end without delay to the emergency law and to military trials of civilians, and to immediately release all prisoners of conscience.
5. Welcomes the decision of the Egyptian authorities to allow independent observers to witness the upcoming parliamentary elections.
6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt.