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Procedure : 2014/2694(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0408/2014

Texts tabled :

B7-0408/2014

Debates :

PV 17/04/2014 - 13.1
CRE 17/04/2014 - 13.1

Votes :

PV 17/04/2014 - 14.1

Texts adopted :


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 129kWORD 58k
15.4.2014
PE534.885v01-00
 
B7-0408/2014

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 Pakistan: recent cases of persecution (2014/2694(RSP))


Marie-Christine Vergiat, Patrick Le Hyaric, Nikola Vuljanić on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Pakistan: recent cases of persecution (2014/2694(RSP))  
B7‑0408/2014

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Pakistan,

- having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),

- having regard to the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief,

- having regard European Parliament's recommendation to the Council of 13 June 2013 on the draft EU Guidelines on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief,

- having regard to article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

- having regard to the Final report of the European Parliament's Delegation of the Subcommittee on human rights to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 25-29 August 2013, Islamabad and Lahore,

- having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

A. whereas decades of violence and the war in Afghanistan resulted in a destabilization of the whole region and in a strengthening of extremist religious groups; whereas tribal regions in Pakistan are regularly target of extrajudicial killings and attacks by US drones; whereas these attacks fuel the development of religious extremism in a country;

B. whereas violent attacks by religious extremists occur on an almost daily basis, challenging stability of the country and its democratic institutions; whereas the political, social and human rights situation in Pakistan in general is a matter of deep preoccupation; whereas the international community, including the EU for many years closed its eyes vis-à-vis the developments in Pakistan;

C. whereas bloodshed and various persecutions are continuing in Pakistan; whereas several Hindu temples have been attacked in different parts of Sindh over the past month; whereas members of different religious groups were persecuted and accused of blasphemy, some even sentenced to death; whereas several recent cases have prompted international concern about the application of blasphemy laws; whereas several hundred people were killed in attacks, bombings or terrorism-related incidents since the beginning of 2014;

D. whereas a Christian couple has been sentenced to death for blasphemy after allegedly sending a text message insulting the Prophet Muhammad in Punjab; whereas Sawan Masih, a Christian road sweeper from Lahore, was sentenced to death by hanging for blasphemy and fined 200,000 rupees after a friend accused him of making blasphemous remarks during an argument;

E. whereas Sawan Masih’s arrest provoked a two-day riot in his neighbourhood in Lahore, when 3,000-strong mob burned around 200 homes of Christians; whereas police were warned of the impending attack but failed to take adequate measures to protect the community; whereas dozens of the suspected perpetrators have been charged, nobody has yet been convicted so far;

F. whereas Pakistan is the most dangerous country for journalists in South Asia, with a total of 13 journalists killed in 2012 and 10 journalists killed in 2013, according to the South Asia Media Commission’s Media Monitor Report;

G. whereas Pakistan has recently ratified seven out of nine core international human rights including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (UN CAT) , which include many provisions relating to the administration of justice, fair trial, equality before the law and non-discrimination;

H. whereas Pakistan is dominantly Muslim country with a lot of different religious minority groups; whereas religious issues are used for political purposes and cause many deadly conflicts whose first victims often are women and children, whereas Pakistan authorities are frequently unwilling or unable to protect the civilian population, in particular women, ethnic and religious minorities, journalists and other vulnerable groups from abuses, and bring perpetrators to justice;

I. whereas the Government of Pakistan keeps the moratorium on capital punishment executions, nevertheless death penalty is still largely used in sentencing; whereas according to human rights organisations there are over 8,000 people on death row in Pakistan;

J. whereas the right to freedom of thought, belief and religion covered all beliefs including religious, non-religious, agnostic and atheistic beliefs, the right not to believe and the right to change one's religion or belief, is a universal human right and a fundamental freedom of each human being, interrelated with other human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; whereas discrimination, exploitation and harassment of non-Muslim minorities are daily facts of life which are not exclusively carried out only by extremists;

 

1. Expresses deep concerns about violations of human rights, intolerance and violence in many regions of Pakistan; expresses concerns about the acute situation regarding religious freedoms, gender discrimination and women's rights in Pakistan, minorities and child rights, freedom of expression and the fight against religious extremism; stresses that failure to address these severe shortcomings are undermining democratic processes in Pakistan;

2. Strongly condemns all attacks and persecution on religious minorities in Pakistan, killings, drone attacks and other acts of violence and other forms of extrajudicial killings; expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and of those wounded in the recent attacks against religious minority groups;

3. Calls authorities in Pakistan to investigate the attacks to assure that they do not remain unpunished; urges the authorities to prosecute those responsible for violence, in particular those calling for and, in some cases, offering rewards for the deaths of individuals and groups with whom they disagree;

4. Reiterates its strong opposition against the use of the capital punishment without exception, in all cases and under any circumstances and its call on the authorities in Pakistan to commute all death sentences as a further step towards abolition of capital punishment;

5. Calls on the Pakistan Government to take stronger and decisive actions in order to ensure the protection of all citizens and to take all appropriate measures to combat and eliminate hatred, discrimination, intolerance and acts of violence, intimidation and coercion motivated by religious intolerance, including attacks on religious places, and to encourage understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to freedom of belief or religion;

6. Stresses that the right to freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience, belief and religion and rights of the minorities are fundamental human rights guaranteed by international legal instruments; reiterates at the same time its commitment to the fundamental concept of interdependence of all human rights;

7. Supports all initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and mutual respect between religious communities in the country; calls on Pakistan government and religious authorities to promote tolerance, respect for freedom of religion and to take initiatives against hatred;

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and National Assembly of Pakistan, the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights and the governments of the Member

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