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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Executions in Kuwait and Bahrain

14.2.2017 - (2017/2564(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

Charles Tannock, Karol Karski, Arne Gericke, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Angel Dzhambazki, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Raffaele Fitto, Notis Marias, Valdemar Tomaševski, Jana Žitňanská, Ruža Tomašić, Branislav Škripek, Monica Macovei on behalf of the ECR Group

Procedură : 2017/2564(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Executions in Kuwait and Bahrain


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Bahrain and on Kuwait;


- having regard to its previous resolutions on abolition of the death penalty, including that of 8 October 2015;


- having regard to the European Union Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy;


- having regard to the United Nations Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of those facing the Death Penalty;


- having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights, and specifically to Articles 6 and 13;


- having regard to Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;


- having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty;


- having regard to United Nations General Assembly resolutions on the death penalty, including that of 18 December 2014;


- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948;


- having regard to Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;


- having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, including Article 15 thereof;


- having regard to the statements from the European External Action Service of 15 January 017 and 25 January 2017 on executions in Bahrain and Kuwait respectively;


- having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between the European Union, its Member States, and countries of the Cooperation Council for Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) of 1988;


- having regard to the conclusions of the 25th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting of 18 July 2016;


- having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure;


A. Whereas relations between the European Union, Kuwait and Bahrain are based on the 1988 Cooperation Agreement with members of the Cooperation Council for Arab States of the Gulf (GCC);


B. Whereas the stability of the Arabian Gulf region is of strategic interest to the European Union, its Member States, and to NATO; whereas it is in the mutual interest of all sides to deepen partnerships in order to better respond to future security challenges;


C. Whereas abolition of the death penalty worldwide represents one of the main objectives of the EU’s human rights policy;


D. Whereas 103 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes and the number of countries which have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice has increased significantly since 1977;


E. Whereas Sami Mushaima, Ali Al-Singace, and Abbas Al-Samea were executed in Bahrain on 15 January 2017 having been convicted of the 3 March 2014 murder of three policeman and of injuring 13 others in the town of Daih; whereas the three men were accused of belonging to a listed terrorist organisation, the Al-Ashtar Brigades;


F. Whereas the three men were the first people executed in Bahrain since 2010, and the first Bahrainis executed since 1996;


G. Whereas Bahraini authorities insist all three men were tried at all three levels of the country’s judicial system and convicted based on “clear and convincing evidence”; whereas human rights groups have alleged that the men were executed despite serious concerns their convictions were based on evidence obtained under torture;


H. Whereas the United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard, and others, have condemned the executions in Bahrain as “extrajudicial killings” and questioned the evidence, trial, and alleged torture which led to the convictions;


I. Whereas the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was “appalled” by the executions and that there were “serious doubts” that the men received a fair trial;


J. Whereas two other men, Mohammad Ramadan and Hussein Moussa, also face the death penalty in Bahrain; whereas both men allege they were tortured into falsely confessing to capital crimes and may be executed at any moment;


K. Whereas on 25 January 2017 it was confirmed that Kuwait had executed seven prisoners, including a member of the royal family - the first death sentences carried out in the country since 2013;


L. Whereas those executed were convicted of a variety of crimes including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and rape; whereas the executed prisoners included nationals from the Philippines, Egypt, Ethiopia and Bangladesh;


1. Respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Bahrain and of Kuwait, and further welcomes the ongoing and historic relationship between the European Union, its Member States, and countries of the Gulf;


2. Encourages continued dialogue between the European Union, its Member States, and Gulf countries including Kuwait and Bahrain, on issues relating to human rights, as well as in other areas in the interests of mutual prosperity and security;


3. Recognises the serious nature of the crimes involved in both Kuwait and Bahrain but regrets that both countries have ended their moratoria on the use of the death penalty as a consequence;


4. Welcomes the growing international momentum towards abolition of the death penalty; further notes that over the last 20 years there has been a significant increase in the number of countries abolishing the death penalty, or imposing a moratorium on its use; further believes the recent executions in Kuwait and Bahrain undermine this goal;


5. Strongly encourages both Kuwait and Bahrain to reinstate moratoria on the death penalty as a precursor to abolition;


6. Calls for an immediate stay of execution for Mohammad Ramadan and Hussein Moussa;


7. Expresses concern at allegations surrounding the arrest, investigation and convictions of Sami Mushaima, Ali Al-Singace, and Abbas Al-Samea and encourages the Bahraini authorities to ensure these allegations are properly, openly, and independently investigated;


8. Notes that while the death penalty is not prohibited under international law, there is considerable international pressure for its abolition;


9. Supports efforts to ensure minimum European Union and other international standards are met in those countries which retain the death penalty;


10. Encourages bilateral and multi-lateral initiatives between Member States, the European Union, United Nations, third countries, including Kuwait and Bahrain, and other regional organisations on issues relating to the death penalty;


11. Supports global efforts to restrict the application of the death penalty in those countries which retain capital punishment, and thereby reduce the number of executions;


12. Demands that those defendants facing trial for crimes which carry the death penalty are afforded full access to legal representation and a fair trial in accordance with accepted international standards;


13. Rejects violence as a political tool and fully supports the stability and development of the Kingdom of Bahrain, but believes this can only be achieved through a sustainable and inclusive national reconciliation process;


14. Believes continued international support to the Government of Bahrain in the full implementation of its human rights, judicial, and political reform programme, as recommended in the BICI report, can contribute to its reinstatement of a moratorium on the death penalty; further encourages similar efforts in Kuwait;


15. Welcomes Bahrain's participation in the fight against international terrorism as well as its efforts to combat terror financing; further welcomes Kuwait’s commitment to address security issues in the region;


16. Welcomes the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Union and Kuwait in July 2016 aimed at strengthening cooperation between both sides;


17. Offers its support and advice, where appropriate, to both Bahrain and Kuwait in order to develop their respective democratic institutions, governance and human rights frameworks;


18. Encourages the European Union and its Member States to continue working through international channels as well as bilateral initiatives to lobby governments to establish moratoria on or to abolish the death penalty;


19. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Government of Kuwait, and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.