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Proposition de résolution - B8-0376/2016Proposition de résolution
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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Egypt, notably the case of Giulio Regeni

8.3.2016 - (2016/2608(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

Marietje Schaake, Petras Auštrevičius, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Marielle de Sarnez, Martina Dlabajová, Fredrick Federley, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Charles Goerens, Nathalie Griesbeck, Marian Harkin, Ivan Jakovčić, Kaja Kallas, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Louis Michel, Urmas Paet, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Frédérique Ries, Robert Rochefort, Hannu Takkula, Pavel Telička, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ivo Vajgl, Paavo Väyrynen, Cecilia Wikström, Valentinas Mazuronis on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0338/2016

Procédure : 2016/2608(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Egypt, notably the case of Giulio Regeni


The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular those of 6 February and 17 July 2014, of 15 January 2015 on the situation in Egypt, and of 14 December 2015 on the detention of Ibrahim Halawa

– having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Egypt of August 2013 and of February 2014,

–  ​having regard to the EU-Egypt Association Agreement of 2001, which entered into force in 2004, strengthened by the Action Plan of 2007, and to the Commission’s progress report on its implementation of 20 March 2013, and the European Neighbourhood Policy country progress report on Egypt of 15 March 2015

– having regard to the statement by the EU High Representative/Vice President Frederica Mogherini on 16 June 2015 on court sentences in Egypt,

–  ​having regard to the Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt adopted by referendum on the 14-15 January 2014, notably articles 15, 62, 65, 70, 73, 75, 89, 93, 96,155 and 204

– ​having regard to Egyptian Law 107 on the Right to Public Meetings, Processions and Peaceful Demonstrations of 24 November 2013,

- ​having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2012 on a Digital Freedom Strategy in EU foreign policy; having regard to its resolution of 20 May 2013 on the freedom of press and media in the world,

– ​having regard to the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline of 12 May 2014,

– having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN convention against Torture to which Egypt is a party,

– ​having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,


 A. whereas the human rights situation continues to deteriorate in Egypt; whereas the Egyptian authorities have conducted a large-scale campaign of arbitrary detention, harassment, intimidation, enforced disappearances and censorship against government critics, including journalists and human rights defenders, as well as political opponents including Members of the Muslim Brotherhood; whereas according to Interior Ministry officials nearly 12.000 people have been detained in 2015; whereas security forces are reportedly accused of  excessive and arbitrary use of force, torture and ill-treatment;


B. whereas freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are indispensable pillars of a democratic and pluralistic society and remain areas of particular concern in Egypt; whereas freedom of the press and media both online and offline, are vital elements for democracy and an open society; whereas Egyptian Law 107 on the Right to Public Meetings, Processions and Peaceful Demonstrations of 24 November 2013, which is a severe restriction on the freedom of assembly, giving the Interior Ministry great possibilities of stopping democratic protests, is contrary to Article 73 of the Egyptian Constitution which guarantees that citizens shall have the right to organise public meetings, marches, demonstrations and all forms of peaceful protest; whereas freedom of press is still under great pressure in Egypt; whereas journalists are still being detained on the basis of unfounded allegations for publishing, or having a history of publishing critical articles or documents regarding the authorities;

D. whereas the government has enacted a major new counter-terrorism law on 15 August 2015 that may open the way to human rights abuses, as it defines terrorism so broadly as to encompass civil disobedience; whereas the law also creates penalties for journalists whose reporting isn’t consistent with the government’s official statements and gives prosecutors greater power to detain suspects without judicial review and to order wide-ranging and potentially indefinite surveillance of terrorism suspects without a court order; whereas law No. 136/2014 grants the military courts greater scope to try civilians; whereas this law has been used against anti-government protestors;

E. Whereas Giulio Regeni, an Italian and European citizen conducting a doctoral research in Egyptian economy at the Cambridge University, was found dead after disappearing on the 25th of January 2016 in Cairo; whereas Giulio Regeni was openly a critic of the Egyptian regime vis a vis freedom of expression; whereas the official autopsy reports a specific number of inflicted injuries at different times in intervals from five to seven days clearly showing signs of torture, pointing to interrogations methods which human rights groups say are the hallmark of the security services;  

F. whereas the independence of the judiciary and respect for law and its implementation is an essential pillar in any democracy; whereas recent judicial practices, including the mass trials and accusations of unfair trials, cast serious doubts on the independence of the judicial system and on its ability to ensure accountability; whereas particularly those sentences resulting in the imposition of the death penalty risk to undermine prospects for long-term stability in Egypt;

G. whereas Article 75 of the Egyptian Constitution declares that all citizens shall have the right to form non-governmental associations and foundations on democratic basis; whereas the application of this law is meant to bring all civil society organisations in Egypt under the direct control of the government, which is why many Egyptian rights organisations have chosen instead to register as law firms or civil companies;

H. whereas freedom of movement, which is guaranteed by Article 62 of the Egyptian Constitution, has been severely curtailed in the past year as a result of the recent slew of arbitrary travel bans imposed on Egyptian nationals, in particular human rights defenders and advocates in order to prevent members of NGOs from travelling abroad; whereas Article 12 of the United Nations International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights  (ICCPR), to which Egypt is a state party, states that "everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own";

I. whereas the last UN Universal Periodic Review has issued 300 recommendations including the release of anyone arrested for exercising the freedom of expression; whereas seven human rights groups based in Egypt did not to take part in the U.N. review of their country's performance, fearing persecution;

J. whereas the El Nadeem Center for the Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, beneficiary of long term and extensive EIDHR funding is under threat of being closed by the authorities as a result of false accusations pertaining to health violations; whereas the center's role has been critical in treating victims of violence and torture, and has been crucial to the provision of information on torture, killings and the worst abuses in detention committed by the current government;

1. Expresses grave concern about the on-going restrictions of fundamental democratic rights, notably the freedom of expression, association and assembly, political pluralism and rule of law in Egypt; calls for an end to all acts of violence, incitement, hate speech, harassment, intimidation, enforced disappearances or censorship against political opponents, protesters, journalists, bloggers, students, women's rights activists, civil society actors and minorities by state authorities, security forces and services, and other groups in Egypt; condemns the excessive use of violence against protesters.

2. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, as well as those detained for their alleged membership of the Muslim Brotherhood; calls on the Egyptian authorities to ensure the right to a fair trial in accordance with international standards; reminds that judicial reform is crucial for establishing a genuine separation of powers, and the prohibition of an unwarranted interference of the executive in judicial matters.

3. Urges the Egyptian authorities to conduct prompt, impartial and independent investigations into allegations of excessive use of force, ill treatment and other human rights violations, including sexual abuses, by law enforcement forces during protests, punish those responsible, grant redress to the victims and establish an independent mechanism for monitoring and investigating the behaviour of security forces;

4. Demands the Egyptian authorities to ensure all necessary means for an independent and impartial investigation over the disappearance, torture and murder of the Italian and European citizen Giulio Regeni; urges for a consequent investigation where Mr. Regeni abductors, tortures and killers will be held and account for under Egyptian law. 

5. Calls on the authorities to repeal the presidential decree Law No. 136/2014 and urges the Egyptian authorities to stop trying civilians in military courts and to annul all verdicts against civilians handed down by military courts.

6. Stresses that Egypt’s anti-terrorism law has also been used to bring convictions in a number of trials; urges the President to act without delay, including through his constitutional right to grant pardon, in order to ensure that no death sentence is executed and that no one can be detained in Egypt with a verdict issued in a court procedure that does not meet these requirements; Calls on the authorities to immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, as a first step towards abolition

7. Calls on the Egyptian authorities to revoke the Protest Law of November 2013 and engage in a genuine dialogue with civil society organisations and legal experts to enact legislation on associations and assembly in line with international standards and safeguard the right to form an association enshrined in the art 75 of the Egyptian Constitution, including the right to receive and impart funding.

8. Calls on the competent authorities to review the new draft law for non-government organisations presented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity; urges that the new proposed law should be in line with the Egyptian constitution and with all international treaties that Egypt is a signatory of; notes with extreme concern that several key human rights organizations and international foundations in Egypt, such as the FNF, have had their offices raided, faced investigations or decided to relocate their offices to a neighbouring country due to the restrictive character of the NGO law,

9. Insists that only building a truly pluralistic society, respectful of the diversity of views and lifestyles, can ensure long-term stability and security in Egypt and calls on the Egyptian authorities to commit to a reconciliation dialogue bringing together all non-violent forces in order to rebuild trust in politics and economy in an inclusive political process; stresses that the transition process relies on further progress on the implementation of the rule of law and human rights.

10. Welcomes the constitution of the new Egyptian parliament and, stresses that in partnership with the country's authorities is ready to study the possibility of developing capacity-building programme for the Egyptian Parliament.

11. Highlights the importance of Egypt as an international actor and hopes that it will continue to play and indispensable constructive role to the search of stability in the Mediterranean region; reiterates the willingness of the EU to work with Egypt as a partner in the region for enhanced political and humanitarian stability and a general improvement of the conditions of human rights; stresses that this work must be done simultaneously in Egypt too.

12. Expresses its full solidarity with the Egyptian people in the current period of troubled transition in their country and in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism; condemns the terrorists' attacks on Egyptian civilians and military; expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims.

13. Encourages representatives of the EU Delegation and embassies of EU Member States in Cairo to attend politically sensitive trials of Egyptian and foreign journalists, bloggers, trade unionists and civil society activists in the country.

14. Calls for an EU wide ban on the export to Egypt of intrusion and surveillance technologies which could be used to spy on and repress citizens, taking note of the findings by Privacy International in the report of February 2016 on Egypt's intelligence infrastructure; calls for a ban on the export of security equipment or military aid in line with the Wassenaar Arrangement that could be used in the suppression of peaceful protest.

15. 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 parliaments and governments of the Member States, and the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and its interim government.