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B7-0044/2014
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    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of rights defenders and opposition activists in Cambodia and Laos

    14.1.2014 - (2014/2515(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, Søren Bo Søndergaard, Marisa Matias, Alda Sousa, Helmut Scholz on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0033/2014

    NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
    Procedūra : 2014/2515(RSP)
    Dokumenta lietošanas cikls sēdē
    Dokumenta lietošanas cikls :  
    B7-0044/2014
    Iesniegtie teksti :
    B7-0044/2014
    Pieņemtie teksti :

    B7‑0044/2014

    European Parliament resolution on the situation of rights defenders and opposition activists in Cambodia and Laos

    (2014/2515(RSP))

    The European Parliament,

    - having regards to its resolution of 25 November 2010 on human rights and social and environment standards in international trade agreements (2209/2219(INI))

     

    - having regard to the fifth report of the Special Rapporteur of the UN on the situation of human rights in Cambodia (5 August 2013)

     

    - having regards to its resolution of 7 February 2013 regarding the case of Sombath Somphone,

     

    - having regards to the New York International Covenant on economic social and cultural rights,

     

    - having regards to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

    - having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,

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

     

     

    A. whereas in Cambodia in the first days of 2014, in the context of a protest of textile workers asking for an increase of wages from 95 USD to of 160 USD a month, while the Government only offered 95 USD, 4 people have been killed by security forces, and dozens have been injured, and 23 others among them human right defenders and opposition leaders have been imprisoned in illegal conditions, beaten and tortured;

     

    B. whereas several multinational corporations and investors, some of them based in the EU, are profiting from the very low wages and the infra-human working conditions granted to the textile workers in Cambodia; whereas textiles represent 80% of the exportation of Cambodia, and considering the high level of corruption and the nearly inexistence of a judicial system in the country;

     

    C. whereas in Laos, Sombath Somphone, one of the most respected and influential voices for sustainable people-centered and just economic and social development in Laos, awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2005 and co- chair of the 9th Asia-Europe People’s Forum held in Vientiane in October 2012 ahead of the ASEM 9, was victim of a forced disappearance on 15 December 2012, taped on camera in front of a police station in Vientiane;

     

    D. whereas despite the declaration of the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thongloune Sisoulith that the Lao Government will find the perpetrators and punish them, the Lao Prosecutor has not so far opened an investigation of the Sombath case as he is obliged to under Article 5 of the Lao Criminal Procedure Code and the investigation still remains in the hands of the police;

     

    E. whereas the wife and relatives of the victim have no access to the evidence of the police investigation including, a high quality copy of the footage registering clearly how Sombath Somphone was stopped by the police and abducted in front of a police station and his car was taken away;

     

    F. whereas the Lao Government has publicly refused to accept the assistance of foreign experts to technically enhance the CCTV footage taken when Sombath Somphone’s disappeared, despite the fact that it had earlier admitted that it did not possess the technical capacity to enhance the footage so that persons and vehicles shown on the CCTV footage might be properly identified,

     

    G. whereas the Lao PDR has signed but not ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, but whereas the Vienna Convention on the Law and Treaties states that when a State has signed a treaty, it is obliged to refrain from acts that would defeat the treaty’s object and purposes,

     

    H. whereas the cooperation agreement passed between the UE and the Lao PDR states that Human Rights are an essential element of the agreement, and according article 19 of the same "appropriate measures" will be applied in case a party is not applying the agreement,

     

    I. whereas Article 6 of the Lao Constitution states that “the State protects the freedom and democratic rights of the people which cannot be violated by anyone”; whereas forced disappearance is a crime that seeks to create fear within a society and which whose perpetrators cannot have any protection according to international law,

     

     

    1. Expresses its solidarity to the victims of the violence in Cambodia, their relatives and friends, and to the relatives and friends of Sombath Somphone who continues to be victim of a forced disappearance in Laos;

     

    2. Calls on the Government of Cambodia

     

    - to immediately release the 23 persons detained in the framework of the social protests for better wages in the textile industry,

     

    - to investigate and bring to trial the persons responsible of the killing and all the violence exerted against workers human rights defenders and opponents,

     

    - to allow protests of those claiming for better working conditions, opposing land grabbing and other abuses of national or international investors, according to the ILO conventions, and to provide guarantees for political opposition,

     

    3. Calls on the Lao Government:

     

    - to immediately assume the responsibility for the security of Sombath Somphone after he was stopped by the police and then was the victim of an abduction in front of a police station;

     

    - to bring to trial and punish those who are responsible of this forced disappearance;

     

    - to provide to the wife and the other family members of Sombath Somphone relevant material and conclusions from any investigation;

     

    - to seek and accept assistance from foreign experts for the analysis of forensic evidence especially the tapes of the abduction;- to ratify without further delay the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICCPED) as a concrete step to reduce the climate of fear created by the abduction of Sombath Somphone;

     

    - to comply with its international obligation of non-refoulement which is a core tenet of international humanitarian law

     

     

    4. Calls on the ASEAN governments to encourage the AICHR to act on the issue of the recent repression in Cambodia and on the case of Sombath Somphone and to clearly and definitely reject, -on the basis of consistent international Human Right Law-, the argument that acting on a case of a major Human Rights violation, the AICHR would interfere in internal affairs of a Laos;

     

     

    5. Calls on the Commission, the High Commissioner for Security and Defence and the Member States:

     

     

    - to put the question of human rights and freedom of expression, and the defense of social rights and environmental rights at the centre of the political dialogue with Laos and with ASEAN countries;

     

    - to suspend the negotiation of a possible investment protection agreement of the EU with those two countries, and to orient the political dialogue with those countries on the obligation for international and national investors to respect social and environmental rights;

     

    - to close its border to the importation of goods produced in conditions of social or environmental dumping, and to cut any kind of EU and national subsidies to those company and investors producing and/or importing goods produced violating the BIT Conventions

     

    - to act at the level of the United Nation in order to condition the membership of Laos to the UN Council to Human Rights to a decent answer of the Lao Government on this case;

     

     

    6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance of the United Nations and the Government and Parliament of Cambodia and Laos.