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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Bahrain, in particular the cases of Nabeel Rajab, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Ibrahim Sharif

4.2.2014 - (2014/2553(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

Cristian Dan Preda, Bernd Posselt, Tunne Kelam, Monica Luisa Macovei, Roberta Angelilli, Petri Sarvamaa, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Giovanni La Via, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Sari Essayah, Krzysztof Lisek, Elena Băsescu, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Davor Ivo Stier and Salvador Sedó i Alabart on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0100/2014

Procedură : 2014/2553(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Bahrain, in particular the cases of Nabeel Rajab, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Ibrahim Sharif


The European Parliament,

–        having regard to its previous resolutions on Bahrain,

–        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, and having regard to the Arab Peninsula delegation visit from 27 to 30 April 2013 and its press statement,

–        having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Bahrain of 16 January 2014,

–        having regard to the 23rd EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting, held in Manama, Bahrain, on 30 June 2013,

–          having regard to the decision of the Arab League's Ministerial Council, meeting in Cairo on 1 September 2013, to set up a pan-Arab court of human rights in Bahrain's capital Manama,

–        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, the Convention on the Rights of Child and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, to all of which Bahrain is a party,

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

–        having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

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

A.      whereas the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and deputy secretary general of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Nabeel Rajab was convicted to three years in prison in August 2012 for calling for and participating in "illegal gatherings" and "disturbing public order" between February and March 2011; whereas his sentence was reduces to two years in prison on appeal;

B.       whereas on Friday 29 November Nabeel Rajab served three quarters of his two years sentence and has become legally eligible for release; whereas a third request for early release was submitted by Nabeel Rajab’s lawyers on 21 January 2014 to the Court but it was rejected;

C.       whereas the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, characterised the detention of Mr. Nabeel Rajab, as arbitrary;

D.       whereas on 22 June 2011 Abdulhadi-al-Khawaja founder of BCHR and regional coordinator of Front Line Defenders with Danish nationality, and Ebrahim Sharif secretary general of the National Democratic Action society, were sentenced to life sentence by a special military court; whereas after 3 years of appeals the legal process came to a conclusion and the sentences are upheld; whereas both leaders of peaceful protests were charged with attempting to "topple the regime forcibly in collaboration with a terrorist organization working for a foreign country" and "collecting money for a terrorist group";

E.       whereas, following the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report, the Bahraini authorities committed themselves to undergoing reforms; whereas progress has been made in overhauling the legal and law enforcement systems, reinstating employees who were unfairly dismissed, and setting up a special prosecution unit to investigate abuse claims, as well as in carrying out reforms of the police;

F.       whereas on 2 September 2013 Bahrain announced that it would host the permanent headquarters of the Arab Human Rights Court following its approval at an Arab League meeting in Cairo;


1.        Welcomes the news that HRH Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, upon the request of HM King Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa, held wide ranging talks with participants in the National Consensus Dialogue in recent days, including in particular with Al-Wefaq's Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman for the first time since the events of February 2011; welcomes the positive reaction of the opposition and looks forward to the resumption of the National Consensus Dialogue; notes that there is no solution other than a Bahraini one based on compromises and mutual trust;


2.        Hopes that the consultations led by HRH Crown Prince Salman, as well as the decision to raise the level of governmental and other parties' representation in the dialogue, will pave the way for long term national reconciliation and sustainable reform in Bahrain;


3.       Calls for the release of Nabeel Rajab, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Ibrahim Sharif, and other prisoners of conscience;


4.       Welcomes the steps taken by the Bahraini authorities to implement the recommendations by the Bahraini Independent Commission of Inquiry; recognises that efforts have been undertaken in this respect; calls for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms;


5.       Notes the Bahraini Government's ongoing efforts to reform the penal code and legal procedures, and encourages this process to continue; calls on the Government of Bahrain to take all necessary steps to guarantee due process, and the independence and impartiality of the judiciary in Bahrain, and to ensure that it acts in full accordance with international human rights standards;


6.        Welcomes the operational launch of the office of the Ministry of Interior’s Ombudsman and a Special Investigations Unit in the Public Prosecution Office; welcomes the increasingly active role assumed by the National Institution for Human Rights since its reform and the creation of the 'Prisoners and Detainees' Commission", which will monitor places of detention in order to prevent torture and ill-treatment;


7.       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 government and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and Parliament of the Kingdom of Bahrain.