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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Human Rights situation in Bahrain

15.1.2013 - (2013/2513(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0029/2013

Procedūra : 2013/2513(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Human Rights situation in Bahrain


The European Parliament,

 having regard to the European Parliament resolution on Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, in particular that of 7 April 2011 on the situation in Syria, Bahrain and Yemen and that of 7 July 2011 on the situation in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain in the context of the situation in the Arab World and North Africa,

 having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 24 March 2011 on European Union relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council,

 having regard to the Hearing on Bahrain in the European Parliament Human Rights Subcommittee on 3 October 2011,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, to all of which Bahrain is a party,

 having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 15 March 2012 on human rights violations in Bahrain,

 having regard to Article 19(d) of Bahrain's Constitution,


 having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders of 2004, as updated in 2008,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

 having to the 1949 Geneva Convention,

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

 having regard to the Delegation of the European Parliament’s subcommittee on Human Rights to Bahrain 19 – 20 December 2012,

A. Whereas on 14 February 2011 pro-democracy protests began in Bahrain when protesters took to the streets of Manama calling for democratic reforms, which resulted in the use of excessive force by security forces to curb protests;

B.  Whereas during the 2011 pro-democracy protests, hundreds of opposition leaders, pro-democracy activists, teachers, medical workers and students were arrested and held without access to legal counsel and were reported to be subjected to ill treatment and torture;

E.  Whereas a three month 'State of National Safety' was established by Royal Decree on March 15 thereby establishing special military courts called 'National Safety Courts' to investigate and prosecute crimes that threatened the safety of the state; whereas these military courts comprised of a military officer and two civilian judges, tried hundreds of Bahrainis arrested during the course of democratic protests; whereas the state of national safety in Bahrain was lifted on 1 June 2011:

G. Whereas on 23 November 2011 the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry presented its findings to the King of Bahrain; the report concluded that many people were on trial or had been sentenced to prison terms for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly; whereas a number of recommendations were made in the BICI report including; making subject to review in ordinary courts all convictions and sentences rendered by the National Security Courts; the implementation of public order training for the public security forces, and in accordance with UN best practices; the review of convictions and to commute sentences of all persons charged with offences involving political expression, not consisting of advocacy of violence;

H. Whereas 13 demonstrators had appealed their convictions following arrests made during and after the Arab Springs in 2011, whose sentences were handed down by a military-led tribunal created under temporary martial law, 8 of whom have been given life sentences;

1. Expresses concern at Bahrain’s decision to reject the appeal of 13 opposition activists, who were convicted of involvement in the Arab Spring Protests in 2011,

2.  Recommends the immediate and unconditional release of all peaceful demonstrators, political activists, human rights defenders, doctors and paramedics, bloggers and journalists;


2.  Notes that all citizens of Bahrain should have the right to peacefully protest, and that all Bahraini’s should have the right to express their views and opinions freely and peacefully, allowing for freedom of thought, expression and media,


5.  Welcomes efforts by King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa to launch a National Dialogue to address the concerns of Bahraini citizens in the wake of events of 2011, and urges the full implementation of the BICI recommendations;


6.  Welcomes the setting-up of a Ministry for Human Rights and Social Development in Bahrain, and calls on that ministry to act in accordance with international human rights standards and obligations; particularly notes the progressive stance of Bahrain to women in society;


7. Notes the Bahraini government’s efforts to reform the penal code and legal procedures and encourages this process to continue, and stresses that independence, accountability and transparency are essential components of an effective judiciary;


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 and the Government and Parliament of the Kingdom of Bahrain.