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5.7.2016 - (2016/2808(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

Cristian Dan Preda, Tomáš Zdechovský, Davor Ivo Stier, Andrey Kovatchev, Lefteris Christoforou, Patricija Šulin, Claude Rolin, Marijana Petir, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Milan Zver, Ivana Maletić, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Roberta Metsola, David McAllister, Sven Schulze, Therese Comodini Cachia, Csaba Sógor, Tunne Kelam, József Nagy, Dubravka Šuica, Jiří Pospíšil, Francesc Gambús, Adam Szejnfeld, Giovanni La Via, Eva Paunova, Ivan Štefanec, Eduard Kukan, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Francisco José Millán Mon on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0900/2016

NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
Postup : 2016/2808(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Bahrain


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Bahrain,


-having regard to the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights, which aims to place the protection and surveillance of human rights at the heart of all EU policies,


-having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),


-having regard to UN General Assembly resolution 68/178 and UN Human Rights Council resolution 25/7 on protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism,


-having regard to the Bahraini Constitution adopted in February 2002,


-having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,


A.whereas Bahrain is a key partner of the European Union in the Persian Gulf, including in the areas of political and economic relations, energy, and security; whereas it is in our mutual interest to further deepen our partnership in order to better respond to future challenges;


B.whereas since the beginning of the 2011 uprisings the Bahraini authorities have been stepping up the use of repressive measures based on allegations of terrorism against protesters;


C.whereas on 13 June 2016 police arrested the Human Rights activist Nabeel Rajab on expression-related charges and placed him in solitary confinement;


D.whereas the sentence against Ali Salman, Secretary-General of Al Wefaq political society, was increased from 4 to 9 years imprisonment by a Bahraini Court of Appeal on 30 May 2016, retaining the charge of "seeking to overthrow by force the monarchy and change the political system";


E.whereas the government forced Zainab Al-Khawaja into exile and imposed travel bans on a group of rights activists travelling to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva;


F.whereas fifty-three persons were stripped of Bahraini citizenship, including leading religious figure Sheikh Isa Qassim; whereas the majority of denaturalized persons were native Shia Bahrainis;


G.whereas the EU will continue to support Bahrain in promoting further reforms aimed at strengthening human rights and the rule of law in a context free of violence and with freedom of expression;


H.whereas freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are indispensable pillars of a democratic and pluralistic society; whereas the Bahraini Constitution adopted in 2002 enshrines fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and assembly;


1.Expresses its concern about the use of anti-terrorism laws in Bahrain to punish political beliefs and convictions and prevent citizens from pursuing political activities;


2.Condemns the on-going campaign of restrictions of fundamental democratic rights, notably the freedom of expression, association and assembly, political pluralism and rule of law in Bahrain; calls for an end to all acts of violence, harassment, intimidation, including at judicial level, or censorship against human rights defenders, political opponents, peaceful protesters and civil society actors by state authorities, security forces and services;


3.Calls on the Bahraini authorities to ensure the full implementation of the 2002 Constitution and to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed therein as well as the international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Bahrain; in particular calls on the effective implementation of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, the Universal Periodic Review and the national a human rights institution in order to allow for an improvement of the human rights situation;


4.Stresses the obligation to ensure that human rights defenders are protected and allowed to conduct their work without hindrance, intimidation or harassment;


5.Notes the Government of Bahrain’s ongoing efforts to reform the country’s penal code and legal procedures, and encourages the continuation of this process; urges the Government of Bahrain to uphold international standards on the right to a fair trials;


6.Stresses the importance of the support given to Bahrain, in particular as regards its judicial system, with a view to ensuring compliance with international human rights standards; calls for reinforcing the human rights dialogue between the EU and Bahrain;


7.Calls on Bahraini authorities to immediately lift the travel ban against human rights defenders and insists that authorities guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities, nationally and internationally, without hindrance, intimidation or harassment;


8.Calls on the Bahraini authorities to unconditionally release Nabeel Rajab and other human rights activists targeted for their human rights activities and sent to prison for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of speech and expression; calls on the authorities to guarantee their physical and psychological integrity; calls on the Bahraini authorities to lift the travel ban on Nabeel Rajab and to drop all pending free-speech-related charges against him;


9.Expresses strong concern about the suspension of Al-Wefaq, considers it contrary to the principles of democratic pluralism and harmful to the long-term stability of Bahrain; calls on the government to immediately stop the persecution of the organisation and create conditions for peaceful expression of dissent in the country;


10.Reminds the Bahraini government of its responsibility to ensure the security and safety of all citizens irrespective of their political views, affiliation or confession; insists that only building a truly pluralistic society, respectful of the diversity of views and lifestyles, can ensure a long-term stability and security in Bahrain and, in that regard, calls for the release of Sheikh Ali Salman and other activists currently being held arbitrarily in Bahraini prisons;


11.Commends Bahrain for generally respecting the right of citizens and foreign residents to practice their religion; calls on Bahraini authorities to live up to the country´s constitution that stipulates that there shall be no discrimination in the rights and duties of citizens on grounds of religion and to end any discrimination of the Shia population;


12.Urges the VP/HR to continue to raise the concerns about attacks against freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Bahrain and other GCC countries, both on bilateral level and using such multilateral platforms as the upcoming EU-GCC ministerial meeting on July 20, 2016;


13.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 governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.