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Motion for a resolution - B8-0851/2015Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Russia - in particular the case of Eston Kohver, Oleg Sentzov, and Alexander Kolchenko

8.9.2015 - (2015/2838(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 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Helmut Scholz, Patrick Le Hyaric, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Martina Michels, Stelios Kouloglou, Kostas Chrysogonos on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Procedure : 2015/2838(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on Russia - in particular the case of Eston Kohver, Oleg Sentzov, and Alexander Kolchenko


The European Parliament,

- having regard the European Parliament resolution of 10 June 2015 on the state of EU-Russia relations

- having regard to the conclusions and statements of the European Council, of the Foreign Affairs Council and of the G7 leaders over the past months on the situation in Ukraine and on relations with Russia,

- having regard to the agreements reached in Minsk on 5 and 19 September 2014 and on 12 February 2015,

- having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0162/2015)

- having regard to Rules 135 of its Rules of Procedure,


A. Whereas Russian courts sentenced Eston Kohver to 15 years in prison on 19 August 2015;


B. Whereas Russian courts sentenced Oleg Sentsov and Aleksandr Kolchenko, respectively to 20 and 10 years in prison, on 25 August 2015.


C. Whereas the Pskov region's court sentenced Eston Kohver, an Estonian intelligence officer, during a closed-doors hearing on charges of spying, possession of weapons and illegally crossing the border.


D. Whereas Kohver was arrested by the Russian authorities on 5 September 2014 and was charged with crimes including smuggling arms and illegally crossing the Russian border; while from the Estonian side, authorities said that he was taken at gunpoint at the border crossing and quickly denounced his detention as illegal, and


E. Whereas Oleg Sentsov has been sentenced for allegedly setting up a branch of a terrorist group and organized terrorist acts in April 2014 shortly after the Russian occupation and annexation of Crimea; and Kolchenko has been sentenced for allegedly committing terrorist acts.


F. Whereas Oleg Sentsov -an Ukranian film director-, was detained on the night of 10-11 May 2014 at his home, complained that when he was detained by the FSB officers they tortured him by placing a plastic bag over his head, and suffocating him until he passed out. They threatened him with rape and murder and forced him to confess to organizing explosions, terrorist acts and to possessing illegal firearms; while Alexandr Kolchenko -an Ukranian ecologist and anti-fascist activist-, was detained on 16 May 2014 in the centre of Simferopol, the capital.


G. Whereas both, Sentsov and Kolchenko, were transferred to Moscow on 23 May along with other Ukrainian detainees from Crimea; and were denied access to their Russian lawyers until 27 and 28 May, respectively four and five days after their transfer to Moscow, in violation of international fair trial standards and Russian law.


H. Whereas allegations of torture and other ill-treatment have been ignored by the court, in violation of Article 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.


1. Calls on the Russian authorities to take the needed steps to overturn the convictions of Eston Kohver, Oleg Sentsov and Aleksandr Kolchenko under disproportionate related charges and present them with appropriate charges or release them; on the basis that if new legitimate charges are brought against them, all testimony gained through torture and other ill-treatment and other illegal methods should be excluded;


2. Stresses the need that all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by the defendants, witnesses and their lawyers are immediately, effectively and impartially investigated.


3. Remarks the unquestionable fact of respecting human rights standards and basic rights such as freedom of expression, association and assembly so as to permit civil society's development.


4. Is concerned about the growing tense atmosphere against social activists, human rights defenders, representatives and militants of minorities as well as journalists in Russia; calls on the Russian government as well as on all political forces in the Russian Federation to stop any subsequent intimidation through violence, provocations, trials, imprisonments and other measures.


6. Expressly calls to the Russian authorities to acknowledge the gravity of the problem of violence against LGBTI people.


7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation and to the UN Human Rights Council.