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Entschließungsantrag - B8-0865/2015Entschließungsantrag
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    8.9.2015 - (2015/2840(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

    Marlene Mizzi, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Kati Piri, Josef Weidenholzer, Eric Andrieu, Nikos Androulakis, Maria Arena, Zigmantas Balčytis, Hugues Bayet, Brando Benifei, Goffredo Maria Bettini, José Blanco López, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Biljana Borzan, Nicola Caputo, Andi Cristea, Viorica Dăncilă, Jonás Fernández, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Enrico Gasbarra, Neena Gill, Michela Giuffrida, Maria Grapini, Theresa Griffin, Roberto Gualtieri, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Anna Hedh, Richard Howitt, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Afzal Khan, Jeppe Kofod, Kashetu Kyenge, Javi López, Krystyna Łybacka, Louis-Joseph Manscour, David Martin, Csaba Molnár, Clare Moody, Alessia Maria Mosca, Victor Negrescu, Demetris Papadakis, Vincent Peillon, Tonino Picula, Miroslav Poche, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Renato Soru, Tibor Szanyi, Claudia Tapardel, Julie Ward, Flavio Zanonato, Elena Valenciano, Andrejs Mamikins on behalf of the S&D Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0856/2015

    NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
    Verfahren : 2015/2840(RSP)
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    European Parliament resolution on Azerbaijan


    The European Parliament,

    -       having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Azerbaijan, in particular those concerning human rights and the rule of law, and specifically its urgency resolution of 18 September 2014 on the persecution of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan,


    -       having regard to the statement by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz on the verdict handed down to Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus of 15 August 2015,


    -       having regard to the statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on the sentencing of Khadija Ismayilova in Azerbaijan of 1 September 2015,


    -       having regard to the statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the sentencing of Leyla and Arif Yunus, prominent Human Rights Defenders in Azerbaijan of 14 August 2015,


    -       having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the High Representative/Vice-President on the death of Azeri journalist Rasim Aliyev of 10 August 2015,


    -       having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the High Representative/Vice-President on the sentencing of Mr Intigam Aliyev, a prominent Human Rights Lawyer in Azerbaijan of 24 April 2015,


    -       having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the High Representative/Vice-President on the sentencing of Rasul Jafarov, a prominent Human Rights Defender in Azerbaijan of 16 April 2015,


    -       having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the High Representative/Vice-President on the latest developments in Azerbaijan of 31 December 2014,


    -       having regard to the established relationship between the EU and Azerbaijan which entered into force in 1999, and represented by the implementation of the ENP Action Plan, the creation of the Eastern Partnership, the development of the Association Agreement alongside participation from Azerbaijan in the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly,


    -       having regard to Rules 135(2) of its Rules of Procedure



    A.     Whereas the overall human rights situation in Azerbaijan has deteriorated continuously over the last few years despite the adoption of the ENP Action Plan, with growing intimidation and repression of NGOs and human rights defenders, independent media and journalists, as well as lawyers, engendering a widespread sense of fear among opposition forces, human rights defenders and youth and social network activists and leading to systematic restrictions of fundamental rights and freedoms;


    B.     Whereas Leyla Yunus and Rasul Jafarov, before they were themselves arrested, led a group of prominent Azerbaijani human rights defenders and experts that produced a list of nearly one hundred Azerbaijanis who qualify as political prisoners under the definition adopted by the Council of Europe in 2012;


             C.     Whereas many more civil society organisations and their leadership are facing legal charges brought against them in Azerbaijan and are today unable to operate due to refusals to register their grants by the government and freezing of their assets and bank accounts;


    D.     Whereas journalists and civil society leaders are subjected to continuous intimidation and harassment, including Emin Milli, Director of Meydan TV, who has received death threats and member of whose family have been arrested on trumped up charges, as well as journalists working with Meydan TV in Azerbaijan;


    E.     Whereas the European Union has not been able to disburse 11 of its 13 grants to NGOs in 2014 because of restrictive legislation and continues to face severe limitations to its ability to fund independent civil society groups and activists in Azerbaijan, and many of the European Union grantees are either in prison, such as human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev, or have fled the country and closed their operations;


    F.     Whereas peaceful protesters have been effectively banned from demonstrating in central Baku since 2006, and recently new, harsh fines and longer periods of administrative detention for those who organise or participate in unauthorised public gatherings were introduced;


    G.     Whereas journalists, bloggers, activists and other independent thinkers continue to experience serious limitations to their freedom of expression in Azerbaijan;



    1. Reiterates its insistence that full respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are at the heart of the framework for cooperation within the Eastern Partnership as well as the commitments of Azerbaijan in the framework of the Council of Europe and the OSCE;

    2. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and other civil society activists, including Khadija Ismayilova, Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus, Anar Mammadli, Rasul Jafarov, Intigam Aliyev, Hasan Huseynli, Rauf Mirkadirov, Ömar Mammadov, Tofiq Yaqublu, Ilgar Mammadov and others, and calls for all charges against them to be dropped and for full restoration of their political and civil rights and public image;

    3. Calls on all senior EU officials to explicitly condemn the crackdown of all critical voices in Azerbaijan;

    4. Calls on the Council to apply targeted financial sanctions and apply visa bans against all politicians, officials and judges involved in the political persecutions;

    5. Calls upon the authorities in Azerbaijan to guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms Leyla Yunus, Mr Arif Yunus, Mr. Intigam Aliyev and all the human rights defenders in Azerbaijan and to provide urgently adequate medical care including proper medication and hospitalisation;

    6. Reiterates its deep concern for the fate of their colleagues who are still free but under criminal investigation, in the light of reports from human rights defenders and domestic and international NGOs about the alleged use of fabricated charges against politicians, activists and journalists;

    7. Calls upon the Azeri authorities to conduct prompt investigation into the death of journalist Rasim Aliyev, Chairman of the Institute for Reporters Safety and Freedom (IRSF);

    8. Reiterates its strong condemnation of any intimidation, violence, arrests, detentions, and prosecutions of opposition parties leaders, members, activists, journalists, bloggers solely for expressing their views and exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms;

    9. Notes that independent election monitors, including the long-term OSCE observation mission and national ones, have documented major breaches to electoral standards in Azerbaijan for all presidential and parliamentary elections since and including the presidential election of October 2003, and expresses its serious concern about the conditions in place for a free and fair vote on 1 November 2015 given that leaders of opposition parties have been imprisoned, media and journalists are not allowed to operate freely and without intimidation, and climate of fear is prevalent;

    10. Deplores the continued actions taken by the Azerbaijani government to curb contacts between the civil society, youth groups activists as well as intellectuals from Armenia and Azerbaijan, which are of extreme importance for bridging the long hostility between the two countries; in this regard, again recalls the important work done in this area by Ms Leyla Yunus and Mr Arif Yunus;

    11. Reiterates its call on Azerbaijani authorities to unequivocally respect freedom of the press and media, both online and offline, and to ensure freedom of expression;

    12. Reiterates its call on Azerbaijani authorities to ensure a full respect of the right of the freedom of assembly for the Azerbaijani population;

    13. Reiterates its call on the Azerbaijani authorities to comply with all rulings of the European Court on Human Rights concerning Azerbaijan;

    14. Reiterates its call on the Azerbaijani authorities to step up their efforts to reform all aspects of the judicial system: prosecution, trial, sentencing, detention and appeals, in line with its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE;

    15. Reiterates its call on Azerbaijani authorities to reform defamation legislation by ensuring that defamation is dealt with through proportionate fines and not imprisonment, in line with its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE;

    16. Reiterates its call on the Azerbaijani authorities to conform the national NGO legislation to the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, as well as international and regional instruments, including the European Convention on Human Rights;

    17. Calls on the EU delegation in Baku and other EU embassies to visit the political prisoners in jail, and if declined, to make an official complaint with the Azerbaijani authorities;