Procedure : 2015/2559(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0138/2015

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Votes :

PV 12/02/2015 - 4.6
CRE 12/02/2015 - 4.6
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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0136/2015

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria, in particular in the IS context (2015/2559(RSP))

Cristian Dan Preda, Arnaud Danjean, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Elmar Brok, Andrej Plenković, David McAllister, Tunne Kelam, Barbara Matera, Davor Ivo Stier, Lara Comi, Philippe Juvin, Fernando Ruas, József Nagy on behalf of the PPE Group

European Parliament resolution on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria, in particular in the IS context (2015/2559(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its resolutions on Iraq and Syria,

–       having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 15 December 2014,

–       having regard to the European Council conclusions on Iraq and Syria of 30 August 2014,

–       having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Iraq and Syria,

–       having regard to the statements by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Iraq and Syria,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the ongoing violence in Syria has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, with more than 200 000 people killed, most of them civilians, and more than 7 million internally displaced, and whereas more than 12 million Syrians are in need of assistance; whereas more than 3 million Syrians have fled the country, mainly to Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt;

B.     whereas the humanitarian situation in Iraq is deteriorating; whereas more than 5 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance and more than 2 million Iraqis are internally displaced;

C.     whereas the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) has launched systematic campaigns of ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq and Syria, carrying out war crimes, including mass summary killings and abductions, against ethnic and religious minorities; whereas the UN has already reported on targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, the selling of women, the enslavement of women and children, the recruitment of children for suicide bombings, and sexual and physical abuse and torture; whereas Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shabak, Kaka’i, Sabean and Shia communities, as well as many Arabs and Sunni Muslims, have been targeted by IS;

D.     whereas IS has established unlawful so-called ‘sharia courts’ in the territory under its control, which have been carrying out cruel and inhuman punishments against men, women and children; whereas IS has published a penal code listing crimes punishable by amputation, stoning and crucifixion; whereas those who are punished are accused of violating the group’s extremist interpretations of Islamic sharia law, or of suspected disloyalty;

E.     whereas educated, professional women, and particularly women having run as candidates in elections for public office, seem to be at risk; whereas at the beginning of 2015 reports indicated that three female lawyers had been executed;

F.     whereas four doctors were recently killed in central Mosul, allegedly after refusing to treat IS fighters; whereas on 1 January 2015, IS reportedly executed 15 civilians from the Jumaili Sunni Arab tribe in Fallujah for their suspected cooperation with Iraqi security forces; whereas on 9 January 2015, IS executed at least 14 men in a public square in Dour for refusing to pledge allegiance to it; whereas in 2015 IS has executed the Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto and the Jordanian pilot Muath al‑Kasaesbeh;

1.      Strongly condemns the systematic and widespread human rights abuses and violations committed by IS in Iraq and Syria, including the killing of hostages and the violence against religious and ethnic minorities and vulnerable groups; rejects without reservation and considers illegitimate the announcement by the IS leadership that it has established a caliphate in the areas it now controls; deplores the establishment of unlawful so-called ‘sharia courts’ in the territory under IS control; extends its deep sympathy and condolences to the families of all victims of the conflict; calls for the immediate release of all hostages;

2.      Emphasises that widespread or systematic attacks directed against civilians because of their ethnic or political background, religion, belief or gender may constitute a crime against humanity; strongly condemns all forms of persecution, discrimination and intolerance based on religion and belief, and acts of violence against all religious communities; stresses once again that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a fundamental human right;

3.      Expresses its support for all victims of religious intolerance and hatred; expresses its solidarity with the members of the Christian communities being persecuted and facing the danger of extinction in their motherlands, Iraq and Syria, as well as with other persecuted religious minorities; stresses that the crimes committed against Christian minorities such as Assyrians, Syriacs and Chaldeans, as well as Yazidis and Shia Muslims, represent a final push by IS for a complete religious cleansing in the region; emphasises that for centuries members of different religious groups coexisted peacefully in the region;

4.      Stresses that IS not only poses a serious threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and to the broader Middle East, but is also a direct threat to the security of European countries; emphasises that Iran and certain Gulf states, which are significant parties, have a responsibility to contribute to de-escalation efforts in Iraq and Syria; commends the role of neighbouring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon, in accepting refugees; calls for the EU to present its comprehensive regional strategy on Syria and Iraq and the IS threat without delay; emphasises that the EU needs a strategy that complements UN and counter-IS coalition activities and is aimed at engaging with regional partners in order to address terrorism financing, the supply of weapons and the flow of transnational foreign fighters;

5.      Supports the global campaign against IS, and welcomes the commitment of the coalition partners to work together under a common, multifaceted and long-term strategy to degrade and defeat IS; welcomes the defeat of IS in the Syrian town of Kobani;

6.      Is deeply worried by IS expansion in northern Africa and especially in Libya, where the group is taking advantage of the political vacuum and the escalation of violence in the country; recalls that IS already controls the town of Darna in the east and has a foothold in major towns including Tripoli, Benghazi and Sirte; believes that the region risks ending up in destructive chaos along the lines of what is happening in Syria and Iraq; strongly condemns the murders by IS in 2015 of two Egyptians, the reporter Sofien Chourabi and the camera operator Nadhir Ktari; also strongly condemns the attack of 27 January 2015 on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, which cost nine lives, including those of an American security contractor and a French citizen; also denounces the kidnapping by IS and other affiliated terrorist groups (Ansar al-Sharia) of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Sirte; calls for the immediate release of those hostages;

7.      Condemns the use and exploitation of oilfields and related infrastructure by IS and associated groups, which enables IS to generate substantial income, and urges all states to uphold UN Security Council resolutions 2161 (2014) and 2170 (2014), which condemn all trade, direct or indirect, with IS and associated groups;

8.      Expresses its concern at the increasing involvement of extremist Islamist groups and transnational foreign fighters in the conflict in Syria; stresses that a lasting solution requires a political transition through a Syrian-led, inclusive political process with the support of the international community; welcomes and supports the work of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, and his efforts to achieve a freeze on heavy fighting in Aleppo; calls on all parties to the conflict in Syria to ensure the protection of the civilian population, to honour their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, to facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid and assistance through all possible channels, including across borders and conflict lines, and to ensure the safety of all medical personnel and humanitarian workers;

9.      Calls on the Iraqi Government to be truly representative, with an inclusive agenda; stresses that the government should properly represent the political, religious and ethnic diversity of Iraqi society, including its Sunni minority, in order to stop the bloodshed and the fragmentation of the country; calls on all participants to work together in the interests of political stability and peace, and in combating the IS insurgency; underlines the fact that Iraq’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity are essential for stability and economic development in the country and the region;

10.    Supports the request from the Human Rights Council to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to dispatch a mission to Iraq, as a matter of urgency, to investigate violations and abuses of international human rights law committed by IS and associated terrorist groups, and to establish the facts and circumstances of such abuses and violations, with a view to preventing impunity and ensuring full accountability;

11.    Remains convinced that there can be no sustainable peace in Syria and Iraq without accountability for the crimes committed by all sides during the conflict, in particular those based on religious or ethnic grounds; reiterates its call for the referral of those suspected of committing crimes against humanity in Syria and Iraq to the International Criminal Court, and supports all initiatives in this direction;

12.    Reiterates its concern at the fact that thousands of transnational foreign fighters, including citizens of the Member States, have joined the IS insurgency; calls on the Member States to take appropriate measures to prevent fighters from travelling from their soil, in line with UN Security Council resolution 2170 (2014), and to develop a common strategy for security services and EU agencies with regard to monitoring and controlling jihadists; calls for cooperation in the EU and at international level with a view to appropriate legal action against any individual suspected of being involved in acts of terrorism; calls on the Member States to intensify cooperation and the exchange of information among themselves and with EU bodies;

13.    Calls on the international community to provide more humanitarian aid and assistance to the people affected by the crisis in Iraq and Syria, and to provide direct financial support to the host countries; welcomes the commitments made by Member States of the EU, as the biggest donor of financial aid, and their pledges for the future; calls for the EU to put pressure on all donors to fulfil their promises and to deliver on their pledges swiftly;

14.    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 EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council, the Government and Council of Representatives of Iraq, the Regional Government of Kurdistan, and all the parties involved in the conflict in Syria.

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