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Motion for a resolution - B7-0151/2013Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Iraq: the plight of minority groups, in particular the Iraqi Turkmen

12.3.2013 - (2013/2562(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

Metin Kazak, Marietje Schaake, Norica Nicolai, Leonidas Donskis, Louis Michel, Marielle de Sarnez, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Alexandra Thein, Robert Rochefort, Phil Bennion, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Sarah Ludford, Edward McMillan-Scott on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0147/2013

Procedure : 2013/2562(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on Iraq: the plight of minority groups, in particular the Iraqi Turkmen


The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and the Republic of Iraq, on the other hand[1],

-    having regard to the statement by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton of 25 January 2013 on the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Iraq,

-   having regard to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and to Additional Protocols I and II thereto,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 7 June 2006 entitled ‘Recommendations for renewed European engagement with Iraq’ (COM(2006)0283),

–   having regard to the International Compact with Iraq, launched by Ban Ki-moon and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2007, which pledges to "protect poor and vulnerable groups from deprivation and starvation",

–   having regard to the Commission’s Joint Strategy Paper for Iraq (2011-2013),

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



A. Whereas, attacks on the Turkmen community have seen a marked increase since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003;


B. whereas, following the withdrawal of US military forces from Iraq at the end of 2011, the Iraqi security forces have a crucial role to play for the stability and long-term sustainability of the country; 


C. whereas, hundreds of men, women and children are dying each year in Iraq because of their ethnic or religious identity;


D. whereas minorities in Iraq have been targeted for assimilation and are underrepresented within the Iraqi government and associated bodies;


E. whereas, Iraq was rated the fourth most dangerous country in the world for minorities by Minority Rights Group in 2012;


F. whereas the Iraqi Constitution preamble recognizes the suffering of the Turkmen and other minorities and guarantees their administrative, political, cultural and educational rights;


G. whereas, Iraq’s own High Commission for Human Rights acknowledges that “Turkmen have been subjected to terrorism, bombing, kidnappings and assassinations, which violates their rights and their security” and have recommended that “the official organizations take the necessary actions to provide security and protection for all Iraqi citizens generally and the Turkmen especially because they have been targeted on a large scale and more than one time [recently]”;


H. whereas since 2003 the EU and its Member States have channelled aid totalling more than EUR 1 billion to Iraq, in particular through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), and whereas the Union has played a direct role in improving the rule of law in the country since 2005, through its ESDP mission EUJUST LEX which includes the [promotion] of a culture of respect for human rights in Iraq by providing training for Iraqi officials from the criminal justice system in order to consolidate security by underpinning the system of rule of law; whereas the mandate for the EUJUST LEX mission has been extended until 31 December 2013.



1. Condemns the attacks of 23 January 2013 on a Turkmen funeral in Tuz Khurmato for a civil servant – who had himself been assassinated the previous day – leaving at least 42 dead and injured a further 117; of 3 February 2013 whereby a suicide bombing outside a police station in Kirkuk killed 30 people and injured 70; of 16 December 2012 when 2 Turkmen teachers were abducted, tortured and burnt alive;


2. Stresses the need for the international community to focus on this issue and publicly condemn these brutal attacks and discrimination in Iraq based on ethnicity and/or religion which results in the suffering of Turkmen and other minority groups;


3. Regrets that despite the reference in the Constitution to the rights of Turkmen and other minorities, these minorities continue to be plagued by ethnic and sectarian violence and discrimination;


4. Urges the Iraqi government to implement fundamental and basic human rights for all ethnic and religious communities, as enshrined in the Iraqi constitution, by focusing on strengthening democratic institutions, the rule of law, good governance and transparent decision-making;


5. Applauds the recent establishment of Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights as an independent institution that can give meaning to the rights guaranteed in Iraq’s Constitution and play a central role in the protection of these rights; emphasises the importance of maintaining this institution’s independence from political influence and of providing adequate, secure and independent financial support for its operations; stresses the need for regular, transparent and ongoing cooperation by government organs with the commission's investigations; calls on the Member States to support its development through technical assistance, ongoing dialogue and the sharing of experience in relation to human rights protection efforts;


6. Expresses concern at the growing sectarian tensions and deep lack of trust between the Iraqi Government and the opposition, which, if not remedied, may lead to the resumption of violent conflict; expresses great concern at the potential negative spill-over from the Syrian conflict into Iraq, which could exacerbate sectarian tensions in Iraq, and calls on all players in Iraq to behave responsibly and with restraint in order to avoid such a scenario;


7. Urges the Iraqi Government to undertake a national census that has been postponed indefinitely in order to ascertain the size of the Turkmen and other minority populations;


8. Stresses the need for the Iraq authorities and police forces to stop the violence against the minority groups immediately and calls on them to seize the opportunity to build up in coming decades a better Iraq with no discrimination, with united communities and with high human rights standards;


9. Welcomes the statement by the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, where she highlights the needs to use the many tools at the EU's disposal to put pressure on the Iraqi government to put measures into place that guarantee the safety and security of all Iraqi people and particularly those minority groups – such as the Turkmen – who are vulnerable to targeted violence;


10. Emphasises that political dialogue between the EU and the Iraqi authorities must primarily focus on matters relating to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, whether civic or individual, with particular reference to the continuing allegations of human rights violations and the protection of the rights of all religious and ethnic minorities and should further focus on the strengthening of democratic institutions, the rule of law, good governance, transparent decision-making, due process and national reconciliation; urges the Iraqi Government to work for the national reconciliation of an extremely fragmented society;, especially in light of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement;


11. Stresses the importance of giving sufficient prominence  in EU JUST-Lex initiatives - where possible  -  to Turkmen  and minority rights in general, and applauds the successes achieved by the EUJUST LEX mission and the implementation in Iraq, for the first time, of pilot projects coordinated with the Commission project; urges that on completion of that mission the EU should make use of all the experience gained by drawing on both the ESDP and Union instruments in order to continue to provide assistance on the ground so as to strengthen the Iraqi police and penal system;


12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President of the European Council, the President of the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the presidents of the parliaments of the Member States and the Government and the Council of Representatives of the Republic of Iraq.