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Motion for a resolution - B7-0038/2013Motion for a resolution

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

Willy Meyer, Patrick Le Hyaric, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Sabine Lösing on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

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

Procedure : 2013/2513(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


European Parliament resolution on human rights situation in Bahrain


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Charter of the UN,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

– having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,


- having regard to the Conclusions of the "Bahrain Independent Commission for Inquiry" (BICI),

- having regard to the Press Statement of the Delegation of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights to Bahrain (19-20 December 2012),

- having regard to the Statement by the spokesperson of EU High Representative on the final appeal court's verdict of 7 January 2013 against opposition activists in Bahrain,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Bahrain.

– having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas two years ago the peaceful mobilization in Bahrain asking for democracy, social and labour rights, respect of human rights, for better living conditions and end to torture and corruption started; whereas this turmoil lead to a violent repression by police using tear gas and live and rubber bullets against protesters,

B. whereas repression increased after the army intervened and with the invasion by Saudi Arabian troops; whereas on 15 March 2011 a three-month country-wide state of emergency was decreed; whereas so at least 45 people were killed, around 100 disappeared and thousands injured;

C. whereas in July 2011, the Bahrain Independent Commission for Inquiry (BICI) was established "to investigate and report on the events occurring in Bahrain in February/March 2011 and any subsequent consequences arising out of the aforementioned events, and to make such recommendations as it may deem appropriate; whereas the BICI Report was released on 23 November 2011, setting forth extensive recommendations; whereas among other incidents, it documented 45 killings, 1,500 cases of arbitrary arrest, and 1,866 cases of torture; whereas it has documented plenty of cases of trials by the National Safety Court with no respect for fair trial international standards;

D. whereas all cases heard by the NSC are being reviewed by ordinary courts, whereas the ordinary courts are generally not granting new trials but rather are reviewing convictions based on the record compiled by the NSC, whereas there are numerous complaints questioning the independence of the judiciary and concerns about its ties with the Bahraini royal family:


E. whereas a huge wage of public-sector job lay-offs affected over 2,000 workers and trade unionists, university students, teachers and medical workers where arrested or suspended in reprisal for their presumed participation in, or support of, the protest movement, whereas according to the latest data from the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions, a total of 1,776 employees had not returned to work,

F. whereas the conflict has been depicted as one being between Shias and Sunni in an attempt to deviate from the true reasons of it; whereas the Government of Bahrain uses this argument to try to re-frame the legitimate calls for democracy and respect for fundamental human rights, whereas protestors insist this is a popular uprising seeking much-needed reforms, not a sectarian one; whereas many of them still call for the resignation of King Hamad Ben Issa Al-Khalifa,

G. whereas on 2 July 2011 the Bahraini King Hamad said he was launching a National Dialogue to address the concerns of Bahraini citizens in the wake of the events; whereas a National Commission was set up following the release of the BICI Report to make recommendations to the legislative body to amend existing laws and to adopt new legislation taking into account the findings and recommendations in the Report, but so far with very few results,

H. whereas in the wake of the Grand Prix Formula 1 race in late April 2012, the crackdown on the protest movement increased; whereas during Bahrain's Universal Periodic Review session at the United Nation Human Rights Council in Geneva in May 2012, the civil society and political opponent participants faced threats from the Ministry of Interior and were subjected to a media slandering campaign,

I. whereas two years after the start of the uprisings, the repression still continues; whereas human rights defenders and activists continue to be arrested and prosecuted, and reports of torture and ill-treatment continue; whereas many people are still disappeared after the hard repression that followed the Saudi military intervention in Bahrain;

J. whereas the US 5th Fleet is stationed in Bahrain, facing Iran; whereas Bahraini riot police is trained and armed by British trainers and weapons; whereas despite the violence by the Bahraini authorities United States and United Kingdom have signed weapon contracts with Bahrain; whereas the Bahraini government is using these weapons, including the massive use of tear gas, against its population;

K. whereas the Government of Bahrain continues to arrest and charge protestors for "illegal gathering", which has the same effect of punishing people for exercising their rights to assembly, associations and expression, whereas during this time over 900 people were arrested for having supported, organised or taken part in the protest movement, or for denouncing the human rights violations committed by the authorities;

L. whereas on Monday 7 January 2013 the Bahraini Court of Cassation decided to uphold the sentences, including 7 life imprisonment, against 20 Bahraini political activists, 13 of them who had appealed, with the remaining 7 tried in absentia,

M. whereas the Cassation Court rulings ends any possibility of a judicial reversal of the convictions and sentences of human rights defenders like Nabeel Rajab, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja or Sayed Youssef Al-Muhafdhah;

1. Strongly condemns the decision of the Bahraini appeals court to uphold the sentences against 20 Bahraini activists,

2.  Firmly condemns human rights violations in Bahrain and requests the immediate release of all human rights defenders and individuals detained and charged with alleged violations related to the rights of expression, assembly and association,

3.  Condemns the persisting repression in Bahrain that has lead to at least 45 dead people and thousands of injured ones and expresses its solidarity with the families of all the victims; condemns the lack of improvement of the situation,

4. Calls on King Hamad and his government to stop violence, repression and detention of peaceful demonstrators; urges the authorities to act in strict accordance with their international and national obligations; stresses the need for a negotiated political solution that brings a proper answer to the legitimate demands of Bahraini people;

5. Reiterates its condemnation to the military invasion of Saudi and United Arab Emirates forces in Bahrain;

6. Reaffirms its support to the struggle of the Bahrain working people and the demonstrators for better living conditions, for the end of corruption and for attaining democracy; insists that the future of Bahrain must firmly rest in the hands of the Bahraini people, without any external interference;

7. Is strongly concerned about the situation in Bahrain, especially the means used to silence the opposition, the allegations of tortures and treatment of the wounded; is concerned about the role played by the Gulf Cooperation Council and mainly of Saudi Arabia;

8.  Reiterates its point of view that demonstrators have expressed legitimate democratic aspirations and that the government of Bahrain should engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue with the opposition without delay or preconditions;

9.  Condemns the use of Special military courts to try civilians; stress that civilians must be tried in civilian courts and that every detained person must be charged with a recognizable criminal offence, with adequate access to a lawyer and enough time to prepare a defence; expresses its strong concern on the life sentences of the opposition activists; 

10. Is strongly concerned about the massive dismissals and arrests of workers, trade union activists and trade union leaders;

11.  Reiterates its call the for the full respect of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms, with special regard to the freedom of assembly and expression, freedom of religion, women’s rights and gender equality, fight against discrimination;


12.  Calls on the Bahraini authorities to commute all death sentences in Bahrain; reiterates its strong opposition against the use of the death penalty and urges the Bahraini authorities to declare an immediate moratorium;


13. Calls for the establishment of an international monitoring mechanism, to be set up through a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council to be adopted during its next session in March 2013, with the mandate of monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) and of the UN Universal Periodic Review of Bahrain, including those related to human rights defenders; urges this new mechanism to conduct an independent and impartial inquiry in order to investigate committed breaches of human rights, including the cases of extrajudicial execution and arbitrary arrest, identify those responsible and where appropriate bring them to justice, with compensation for the victims and their families;


14. Calls for the 5th US Fleet stationed in Bahrain to leave the area; calls for the dismantling of all foreign military bases;


15.  Strongly criticises the intensive arms trade of some EU Member States with various countries in the region; calls in this respect on the Council to verify whether there have been breaches in the EU Code of Conduct on arms export and to adopt stringent measures so that this code is fully respected by all the Member States; calls for the suspension and ban exports of tear gas and crowd control material to Bahrain until investigations have been made as regards to their improper utilisation and until the perpetrators of such improper utilisation are held accountable;

16. Calls on the EU High Representative to work together with the EU Member States in order to push for the release of the imprisoned activists prior to the EU-GCC Ministerial Meetings due to take place in Bahrain mid 2013; calls on the High Representative to ensure the adoption of EU Foreign Affairs Council Conclusion on the human rights situation in Bahrain which should call for the release of the imprisoned activists;

17.  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, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Kingdom of Bahrain.