MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Iraq: the plight of minority groups, in particular Iraqi Turkmen
12.3.2013 - (2013/2562(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
Barbara Lochbihler, Tarja Cronberg, Rui Tavares, Raül Romeva i Rueda on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0147/2013
European Parliament resolution on Iraq: the plight of minority groups, in particular Iraqi Turkmen
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Iraq,
– having regard to the International Covenant on Civil, Political, Social and Cultural Rights, and notably Article 27 therof,
- Having regard to the Iraqi Constitution, notably its articles 3,4,14 and 127 as well as art. 20, 29,31 and 35 of the Constitution of the Kurdistan Region,
– having regard to its annual reports on the situation of human rights in the world and its previous resolutions on the rights of minorities,
- having regard to the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief,
- having regard to the declaration of EU HR/VP Catherine Ashton of 24 January on the killings at the funeral in Tuz Khurmatu
- having regard to the joint UNAMI/ Commission on Human Rights Report on Human Rights in Iraq: January to June 2012 of 19 December 2012
- having regard to the accompanying press statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Navi Pillay, that "the number of executions so far in 2012, and the manner in which they have been carried out in large batches, is extremely dangerous, cannot be justified, and risks seriously undermining the partial and tentative progress on rule of law in Iraq"
- having regard to the statement by UN Secretay Genral Ban Ki-Moon of 25 January, strongly condemning "the recent wave of terrorist attacks across Iraq, which have killed hundreds of people and have left many more wounded"
– having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
- having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 17 January 2013 on the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
– having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Iraq, of the other part,
· Whereas Iraq continues to face serious political, security and socio-economic challenges and the political scene is extremely fragmented and plagued by violence to the severe detriment of the legitimate aspirations of the Iraqi people for peace, prosperity and a genuine transition to democracy; whereas regrettably neither the Iraqi government nor the former occupying powers have adhered to the standards which could have been expected after the end of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship;
· Whereas the Iraqi Constitution guarantees equality before the law for all its citizens and the "administrative, political, cultural and educational rights of the various nationalities, such as Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians and all other nationalities"
· Whereas on April 2012 Iraqi Parliament approved the High Commission for Human Rights - the first independent human rights commission in the country's history, which is however not yet fully functional,
· Whereas in the political dialogue with its Iraqi counterparts, the European Parliament focuses on the human rights situation in Iraq, which continues to be of serious concern, with an unsatisfactory situation for vulnerable groups, including minorities,
· Whereas the EU-Iraq agreement and its human rights clause emphasizes that the EU-Iraqi political dialogue should focus on human rights and strengthening democratic institutions,
· Whereas on 18 December 2012 President Jalal Talabani, who has been playing a mediating role between various political constituencies, suffered a stroke and has been transported to Germany for treatment; whereas the ongoing dispute between the central government of Iraq and the Regional government of Kurdistan has recently escalated, which negatively affects the security situation in the region and endangers the peaceful co-existence of different ethnic groups, notably Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen;
· whereas in addition to territorial tensions, Northern Iraq is also a target of seemingly sectarian attacks, in which the Shiite population is frequently targeted by Sunni, possibly Al-Qaeda-linked, militants; Whereas on 31 December 39 pigrim were killed during the Shia Festival of Arbaye and on the 23rd of January, an attack on a Shiite mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, a town in the Nineveh Province of Northern Iraq which is disputed territory between the government of Iraq and Kurdistan regional government, with a significant ethnically Turkmen population, left at least 42 dead and injured a further 117;
· Whereas since the arrest of body-guards of Sunni Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi Iraq has embarked on a wave of protests against the Shiite lead government of Prime Minister al-Maliki over human rights violations, alleged mistreatment of Sunnis by the security forces and unequal distribution of power in the government among various communities;
· Whereas provincial elections are programmed for 20 April;
· Is deeply concerned at the increasing acts of violence perpetrated against the civilian population in Iraq, particularly the sectarian divide between Sunnis and Shiites, but also attacks against particularly vulnerable groups such as religious, ethnic and cultural minorities and calls on the Iraqi authorities to improve security and public order and to combat terrorism and sectarian violence throughout the country;
· strongly condemns all terrorist attacks and extends its condolences to the families and acquaintances of the deceased and the injured;
· Expresses its grave concern that the new surge of instability and sectarian violence in Iraq could jeopardize the forthcoming provincial elections of 20 April which if cancelled would spoil the chance for a more democratic and inclusive governance structure;
· Calls on both the government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional government to conduct a full and swift investigation of the recent terrorist attacks in the region, including the most deadly recent bombing of Shiite mosque, in Tuz Khurmatu and to bring those responsible to justice;
· Calls on the government of Iraq and the Regional Kurdistan government to take immediate steps to de-escalate the territorial dispute in the Nineveh plain, to recognize the multicultural, multi/ethnic and multi/religious diversity of the province and to allow its citizens to freely choose their identity, including language, religion and culture; calls on all political leaders of Iraq to engage in a genuine, inclusive dialogue with the aim of ensuring effective democratic governance of Iraq, underpinned by the rule of law and respect for the individual and collective rights of all Iraqi citizens;
· Calls on the Iraqi government and all political leaders in the country to take the necessary measures to provide security and protection for all Iraqi citizens in general and members of vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities in particular; calls on the government to instruct the security forces to show constraint in maintaining law and order, in keeping with the rule of law and international standards;
· welcomes in this context the recent launch of a reorganization and rehabilitation program for detention centers and prisons under the authority of the Iraqi Ministry of Justice and hopes that this will help to stop the endemic use of torture and the widespread impunity in Iraq, which human rights originations deplore;
· Deeply regrets that Iraq has returned to the status of being a country with one of the highest execution rates of the world, often imposing death sentences after unfair trials and on the basis of confessions obtained under duress; Urgently appeals to the Iraqi government to declare a moratorium on all executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty in the near future;
· Emphasizes the need to ensure that action coordinated between the Iraqi authorities and the international aid organizations is taken with a view to assisting vulnerable groups and creating adequate conditions to ensure their safety and dignity;
· insists that the Cooperation Council established by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Iraq should be used as a channel to convey to the Iraqi side the concerns over the situation of ethnic and religious minorities in the country;
· Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly, the governments of the UN member states and the Government and Parliament of Iraq.
-  OJ L 204, 31.7.2012, p. 20.