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Procedura : 2013/2951(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
Ciclo del documento : B7-0497/2013

Testi presentati :


Discussioni :

PV 21/11/2013 - 15.1
CRE 21/11/2013 - 15.1

Votazioni :

PV 21/11/2013 - 16.1

Testi approvati :


PDF 125kWORD 55k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0497/2013

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

on Human rights and forthcoming elections in Bangladesh (2013/2951(RSP))

Véronique De Keyser, Ana Gomes, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Joanna Senyszyn, Mitro Repo, Pino Arlacchi, Richard Howitt, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Marc Tarabella on behalf of the S&D Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Human rights and forthcoming elections in Bangladesh (2013/2951(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Bangladesh, notably the ones of 4 September 2007, of 9 July 2008 and of 14 March 2013;


- having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the People's Republic of Bangladesh on Partnership and Development;


- having regard to the latest statements of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on Bangladesh of 2 March 2013, 8 May 2013 and of 1 June 2013;


- having regard to the statement of UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay of 6 November 2013 on the death sentence of 152 paramilitary personnel following a mutiny in Dhaka in February 2009;

- having regard to Rule 115 of its Rules of Procedure;


A. Whereas the European Union has good, long-standing relations with Bangladesh, including through the Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development,


B. Whereas Bangladesh will hold general elections in January 2014 following five years of rule by an elected, civilian government; whereas a free, fair and transparent election is essential to strengthen the country's relatively stable democratic governance that has developed over the past five years,


C. Whereas after the calling of the election political confrontation in Bangladesh recently escalated, including attacks on minorities and a growing number of prosecutions of journalists and human rights activists,


D. Whereas the current government decided to end the system of a caretaker government assuming power in the interim between the calling of an election and the formation of a new government; whereas this decision has been justified on the basis that the previous caretaker government, backed by the military, held on to power for two years rather than the legal maximum of 90 days,


E. Whereas the Bangladesh Supreme Court has declared the system of caretaker governments unconstitutional; whereas the Bangladeshi legislature passed legislation abolishing the caretaker government system despite a boycott by the opposition,


F. Whereas Bangladesh's main opposition Bangladesh party, the National Party (BNP) headed by Begum Khaleda Zia, refused a request from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to form an all-party government to oversee the upcoming elections; whereas instead BNP president Zia wants the Prime Minister to resign to pave the way for a caretaker government made up of outside people from the mainstream political parties,


G. Whereas the BNP and 17 allies last week enforced a four-day nation-wide strike to push for their demands,

H. Whereas the country in recent months has been hit by a wave of violent protests over war crime convictions leading to the deaths of more than 100 people,


I. Whereas at the beginning of November a special court in Bangladesh set up to prosecute a mutiny by members of the Bangladesh Boarder Guards in February 2009, sentenced 152 soldiers to death and 161 to life imprisonment; whereas UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed "serious alarm" at the death sentences handed down by the special court to those 152 soldiers,


J. Whereas Bangladesh in 2010 set up the International Crimes Tribunal (ITC) to bring to justice citizens accused of committing atrocities during the country's 1971 independence war;

whereas the ITC has passed capital sentences on some of the defendants;


K. Whereas the EU and the UN oppose the imposition of death penalty under any circumstance; whereas the International Criminal Court - of which Bangladesh is a State member - and other international criminal courts all exclude the death penalty for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide,


1. Emphasises the EU’s support for democratic development in Bangladesh based on the principles of equality including gender equality, human rights and the rule of law;


2. Calls on all political parties to hold a constructive political dialogue in order to ensure peaceful, free and credible parliamentary elections;


3. Stresses that the election should not be used by any political party or movement as a pretext for violence or subversion and urges all political parties and movements to closely cooperate to reduce tensions and promote national harmony;


4. Calls on the military not to interfere adversely with the conduct or the result of the elections;


5. Considers that the question of caretaker governments is for the executive, judiciary and legislature of Bangladesh to resolve according to democratic means; takes note of the

Supreme Court decision and the legislative vote on this issue;


6. Recalls the destabilising effect of the previous caretaker government; urges all political parties and movements to accept the decision and not to use it as a pretext for further destabilising the political situation in Bangladesh;


7. Expresses concern about the growing number of prosecutions of journalists and human rights activists and the increasing violence ahead of the parliamentary elections;

7. Is deeply concerned about the procedural irregularities, including the lack of adequate and timely access to lawyers, during the mass trials of the suspects of the Bangladesh Boarder Guards' mutiny in February 2009 which resulted in the death sentence for 152 troops, while at the same time condemning the reprehensible and heinous acts of the mutineers and expressing its sympathy with the grieving families of the victims of the mutiny;


8. Calls for an independent and thorough investigation into the allegations of human rights abuses, custodial torture and unlawful deaths of the suspects of the mutiny that took place after the events in February 2009;


9. Recalls that Bangladesh has ratified the UN Convention against Torture and is therefore obliged to take effective legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction;


10. Is concerned about the conduct of Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal (ICT); recalls that the proceedings must meet the highest standards in terms of fairness if they are to reinforce the rule of law in Bangladesh;


11. Notes that, to date, 10 individuals have been sentenced by the ITC for crimes committed during the 1971 independence war, seven of whom have received death sentences;

12. Urges the Government of Bangladesh not to proceed with the death penalty, particularly given concerns about the fairness of the trials both in front of the ITC and in front of the special court for the 2009 mutiny;


13. Recalls that the EU continues to oppose the use of the capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstance and that it has consistently called for its universal abolition;


14. Calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to commute these sentences and to introduce a moratorium on executions as a first step towards a definitive abolition of capital punishment in Bangladesh;


15. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, the SAARC Member States and the Government of Bangladesh.



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