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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

    Victor Boştinaru, Soraya Post, Ana Gomes on behalf of the S&D Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0150/2017

    NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
    Proċedura : 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, notably of 3 February 2016 on the case of Mohammed Ramadan and of 7 July 2016 on Bahrain, and on Death penalty in October 2015,


    –  having regard to the statement of 15 January 2017 by the Spokesperson of Vice-President/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on the execution carried out in Bahrain and the one of 25 January on the recent executions in the State of Kuwait,


    – having regard to the statement of 25 January by the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, and on Torture, Nils Melzer urgently calling for the government of Bahrain to stop new executions, and the statement of 17 January by the spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville on Bahrain,


    – having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty, on Torture, on Freedom of Expression and on Human Rights Defenders,


    –  having regard to the new 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 United Nations General Assembly Resolutions, in particular the one of 18 December 2014 on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty


    – having regard to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, to all of which Kuwait and Bahrain are a party,


    – having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly Article 15,


    – having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,




    A. whereas on 25 January, Kuwait's authorities executed seven people [1]convicted for different criminal offences, including a member of the royal family; whereas five of the prisoners were foreigners and three of them women; whereas the executions were the first in the country since 2013, when Kuwaiti authorities executed five people after a six-year moratorium;


    B. whereas human rights organisations have documented due process violations in Kuwait's criminal justice system that have made it difficult for defendants to get a fair trial;


    C. whereas on 15 January, Bahrain executed Ali Al-Singace, Abbas Al-Samea and Sami Mushaima, ending a six-year moratorium; whereas the three men are the first Bahrainis executed since 1996; whereas there are serious doubt whether the accused were provided with the right to fair trial; whereas they were found guilty after being allegedly tortured into making false confessions; whereas one of the convicts was under the age of 18 when he was arrested for his alleged crime; whereas the three men were accused of a bombing in Manama on 2014, which killed several people, including three police officers;


    D. whereas two other persons, Mohammad Ramadan and Hussein Moosa, are still at imminent risk of execution in Bahrain following the confirmation of their sentences late 2015; whereas both men were allegedly tortured while in prison, which the authorities have failed to investigate, coerced to confess their crime and prevented to have proper legal assistance, as already denounced by the European Parliament; whereas their convictions have been based almost exclusively on these confessions; whereas they have been accused of a bombing in February 2014 killing 1 security officer and wounded several others;


    E. whereas Bahraini authorities have intensified their crackdown on the enjoyment of rights to freedom of expression and association since mid-2016, including the dissolution of the al-Wefaq party in July 2016; a nine-year prison sentence against Al-Wefaq’s Secretary General, Sheikh Ali Salman, for giving speeches critical of the government, following an unfair and arbitrary verdict; arbitrary revocation of nationality of Al Wefaq’s spiritual leader Sheikh Issa Qassem; detention of prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab solely on charges that violate his right to freedom of expression; travel bans imposed on activists for solely expressing their views;


    F. Whereas Bahrain has restored arrest and investigatory powers to Bahrain’s National Security Agency (NSA) that systematically tortured detainees during the 2011 uprising, thus reversing a significant security sector reform introduced after 2011, in line with the the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) established by the King of Bahrain in 2011; whereas Bahraini authorities failed to implement most of other BICI recommendations;



    G. whereas, according to a joint statement of independent United Nations human rights experts in August 2016, the systematic harassment of the Shia population by the authorities in Bahrain, including stripping many of them of citizenship, is deeply concerning;


    H. whereas in August 2016, the United Nations Committee against Torture expressed its concern at reports of prolonged arrest and torture by Kuwaiti police and security forces of protesters, members of minorities, and persons suspected of terrorist activities.


    1. Is deeply alarmed by Kuwait and Bahrain’s decision to return to the practice of capital punishment; reiterates its condemnation of the use of the death penalty and strongly supports the introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty, as a step towards abolition; emphasizes once again that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and that the ultimate aim of the EU is universal abolition;


    2. Calls on the Bahraini authorities to halt the executions of Mohammad Ramadan and Hussein Moosa and to ensure a re-trial in compliance with international standards; reminds the Bahraini authorities that all allegations of human rights violations committed during the proceedings, including torture by security forces during interrogations have to be duly investigated;


    3. Stresses that the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights expressly prohibit the death penalty for offences committed by persons below 18 years old; expresses its strong concern over the fact that the executions contravened domestic and international obligations;


    4. Reminds that the EU considers capital punishment to be a cruel and inhuman punishment which fails to act as a deterrent to criminal behaviour;


    5. Calls on Kuwait and Bahrain to sign and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty;


    6. Urges the EEAS and the Member States to continue fighting against the use of the death penalty; strongly urges Kuwait and Bahrain to comply with international minimum standards, and to reduce the scope and use of the death penalty; urges the EEAS to remain vigilant with regard to developments in these two countries and in the gulf region in general, and to use all means of influence at its disposal;


    7. Urges Bahraini authorities to put an end to the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful activists and fully respect the rights to freedom of expression and association; in particular, calls on Bahrain to reinvigorate the process of political reform by reversing the dissolution of the al-Wefaq party, releasing political detainees, ending harassment of peaceful activists and the practice of arbitrary revocation of citizenship, as applied to Al Wefaq’s spiritual leader Sheikh Issa Qassem and other dissidents;


    8. 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; calls in particular for the effective implementation of the recommendations issued by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, the Universal Periodic Review and the national human rights institution, in order to allow for improvements in the human rights situation;


    9. Calls on the Bahraini authorities to pursue the national consensus dialogue with a view to finding lasting and inclusive national reconciliation and sustainable political solutions for the crisis; notes that in a sustainable political process legitimate and peaceful criticisms should be expressed freely; reminds the Bahraini authorities, in this context, that engaging the Shia majority and its peaceful political representatives on the basis of human dignity, respect and fairness should be an indispensable element of any credible strategy for national reconciliation and sustainable reform;


    10. 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, the Government and Parliament of the State of Kuwait and the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.