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    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on human rights situation in Bahrain

    10.9.2013 - (2013/2830(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

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

    NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
    Procedura : 2013/2830(RSP)
    Ciclo di vita in Aula
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    European Parliament resolution on human rights situation in Bahrain


    The European Parliament,

    –   having regard to its previous resolutions of 27 October 2011 on Bahrain, of 15 March 2012 and 16 January 2013 on human rights violations in Bahrain(2),

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

    –   having regard to the visit of a delegation of its Subcommittee on Human Rights to Bahrain on 19 and 20 December 2012 and to the press statement issued by that delegation,

    –   having regard to the statements by the UN Secretary-General of 23 June 2011 and 30 September 2011 on the sentences imposed on 21 Bahraini political activists, human rights defenders and opposition leaders, and to the statements by a spokesperson for the Secretary‑General of 12 April 2012 on the bomb attack in Bahrain and of 30 September 2011, of 15 February 2012, of 24 April 2012, of 5 September 2012, of 1 November 2012 and of 8 January 2013 on Bahrain,

    –   having regard to the report released by the BICI in November 2011 and to its follow-up report of 21 November 2012,

    –   having regard to Articles 61, 84, 87, 134, 135 and 146 of Bahrain’s Law of Criminal Procedure,

    –   having regard to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 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 Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

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

    –   having regard to the 1949 Geneva Convention,

    –   having regard to Rules 122(5) and 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,


    A.  whereas since more than 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 the Government of Bahrain continues to arrest and charge protestors 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;

    D. Whereas between may and june 2013 prosecution and sentences were pronounced against  Naji Fateel, Ms. Zainab Al Khawaja and Ms. Masooma Al Sayed,  Mohammed Al-Maskati, whereas it is reported that the health of detained human rights activist Zainab Al-Khawaja is at risk, whereas on 31 July 2013, on line  activist Mohamed Hassan was arrested and held in incommunciado detention for a week, whereas his lawyer Abdul Aziz Moussa, was finally permitted access to his client but was subsequently himself arrested when he publicly reported that there was marks on his clients arms from having been tortured while in detention,


    H. whereas on 1 of august Ahead of peaceful protest planned in Manama on August 14, the King of Bahrain banned any protest and sit-in in the Capital and ordered the implementation of a set of draconian measures which will further jeopardise a number fundamental freedoms in the Kingdom, thus putting human rights defenders activities at further risk


    I.   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,

    J.    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,

    K.  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,

    L.  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;

    M. 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;


    N.       whereas the 14 of august the police closed off a number of streets with razor wire and police vehicles and used tear gas to disperse those who gathered on the streets, whereas  according to information received by the NGO's at least 13 arrests were made over the course of the day, whereas these arrests follow the dozens of arrests made by security forces during home raids over the past number days, without warrants, whereas many of those arrested have reported that they were severely beaten during the arrests,


    1.  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,

    2.  Condemns the persisting repression in Bahrain that has lead to dozens of 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,

    3.  Calls urgently 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;

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

    5.  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

    6. 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;

    7.  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;

    8.  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; 

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

    10.  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;


    11. 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;


    12. 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, 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;

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


    14.  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;

    15. 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.