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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the cases of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and Lee Ming-Che

4.7.2017 - (2017/2754(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, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Hans-Olaf Henkel, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Urszula Krupa, Ruža Tomašić, Valdemar Tomaševski, Branislav Škripek, Monica Macovei on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0459/2017

Procedure : 2017/2754(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the cases of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and Lee Ming-Che


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its prior resolutions on China and Taiwan, particularly the resolution of 21 January 2010 on human rights violations in China, notably the case of Liu Xiabo;

-having regard to prior statements made by the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson on the disappearance of individuals and oppression of civil liberties in mainland China;

-having regard the statement of 30 June 2017 by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the status of Liu Xiaobo;

-having regard to the EU-China dialogue on human rights launched in 1995 and to the 35th round held in Brussels on 22 June 2017;

-having regard to the European Commission and EEAS joint communication to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Elements for a New EU Strategy on China’ of June 22 2016;

-having regard to Charter 08, a manifesto composed by over 350 Chinese political activists, academics and human rights defenders calling for the social, juridical and governmental reform, and released on December 10 2008 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

-having regard to the Taiwanese general election of 2016 and the subsequent victory of the Democratic Progressive Party;

-having regard to the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations in the Mainland of China, which came into force on January 1 2017;

-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966;

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

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

A.whereas Liu Xiabo, Chinese literary critic, professor and human rights activist well-known for his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government, has been formally detained in prison four times over the course of the last thirty years; whereas Liu was most recently taken into custody by Chinese police in Beijing on the evening of December 8, 2008, two days before the official release of Charter 08; whereas he was detained and held thereafter without charge for almost a year before being formally indicted on charges of ‘indicting subversion of state power’ in 2009; whereas Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, has been held under house arrest by the Chinese authorities since 2010; whereas the formal procedures undertaken in Liu’s prosecution have not allowed for Liu to represent or be present himself at formal proceedings, and diplomats from over a dozen states, including several Member States, were denied access to the court for the trial’s duration; whereas, despite his detainment, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, and was forbidden from receiving the award by the Chinese authorities;

B.whereas Liu was granted temporary release from prison on June 26 2017 on medical parole to combat advanced liver cancer, according to his legal representatives; whereas under Chinese law, Liu is still serving his prison sentence whilst on medical parole, and is likely to be returned to formal custody at the earliest juncture;

C.Whereas 154 Nobel Laureates have issued on 29 June 2017 a joint letter to the President of the People’s Republic of China urging the Chinese Government to let Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia go abroad for a medical treatment;

D.whereas Lee Ming-che, Taiwanese pro-democracy activist known for his human rights advocacy through social media, disappeared on March 19, 2017 after entering the semi-autonomous Chinese territory of Macau; whereas the Chinese government confirmed on March 29 that Lee was being held in mainland China under suspicion of harming national security and subverting state power; whereas Lee should have been formally charged or released as of 24 April 2017, within the limit of 37 days in custody normally applied by Chinese criminal law; whereas Lee’s detainment comes at a period when China-Taiwan relations are deteriorating;

E.whereas existing patterns of oppressive behaviour by the Government of the People’s Republic of China are also of great concern to the European Parliament, particularly in the form of oppression of religious groups and minorities such as Falun Gong, and also in the respect of the deeply worrying allegations concerning involuntary organ harvesting; whereas the Chinese government has yet to adequately account the sources of extra organs in organ transplant procedures, following the rise in such operations in recent years; whereas there are allegations that Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghur and Tibetan prisoners have been subjected to forced organ transplant procedures;

F.whereas the ongoing human rights situation in Tibet and Xinjiang is of great concern; whereas since the last EU-China Human Rights Dialogue in 2015, the Chinese government has gone on to harshly limit fundamental human rights including freedoms of expression, assembly, association and religion in Tibet, largely justified under the auspices of combating terrorism in the region despite the absence of confirmed incidences of violent insurgency in Tibet;

G.whereas the ongoing detention of Lee Ming-che and historic incarceration of Liu Xiaobo are testament to a tougher approach from the Chinese authorities toward human rights defenders and civil society activists, particularly those activists, dissidents or scholars based abroad; whereas forced disappearances, harassment, intimidation and physical assault of foreign media, domestic and international dissidents and ‘petitioners’ are included in this worrying pattern of behaviour;

H.whereas Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International note that it is increasingly difficult for NGOs and rights groups not directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party to operate without excessive monitoring, censorship and harassment; whereas the law passed as of January 1 2017 cuts off domestic NGOs from funding from non-registered foreign NGOs, effectively denying many domestic Chinese NGOs the capacity to operate at all;

1.Calls for the immediate, unconditional und complete release of Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia and the granting of complete freedom of movement to them in order to proceed with the medical treatment in Beijing or in any country of the couple’s choice;

2.Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Liu Xiaobo, Lee Ming-che and other civil society activists, intellectuals, human rights defenders, political dissidents, religious minority members and foreign workers detained on politically motivated grounds, as well as their family members, by the Government of the People’s Republic of China;

3.Calls for a new EU-China Human Rights Dialogue to be held at the earliest opportunity, in line with the announcement of President Tusk after the 18th EU-China Summit in Beijing; laments the fact that no such dialogue was held in 2016 and calls for a more concerted effort to be made to maintain correspondence with the Chinese government in the crucial domain of human rights at more regular intervals;

4.Calls for the People’s Republic of China, as a respected diplomatic and economic partner of the European Union, to take steps to improve the nation’s human rights record, which has been tarnished in recent years by lamentable behaviour towards its own citizens, particularly in religious oppression, harassment of civil society activists and oppression of human rights defenders;

5.Recognises the work of non-governmental organisations in making an important contribution to the development of civil society, the establishment of the rule of law and the practice of democracy; on this basis, regrets the politically motivated implementation of the Law on Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations, in particular where it denies human rights groups, civil society organisations and legal advocates from conducting their work;

6.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 and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.