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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

Cristian Dan Preda, Michaela Šojdrová, Sandra Kalniete, Mairead McGuinness, Elmar Brok, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Patricija Šulin, Jarosław Wałęsa, Ivan Štefanec, Luděk Niedermayer, Tomáš Zdechovský, Jaromír Štětina, Pavel Svoboda, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Milan Zver, Dubravka Šuica, Sven Schulze, Elisabetta Gardini, Krzysztof Hetman, Claude Rolin, Brian Hayes, Joachim Zeller, Eduard Kukan, Lefteris Christoforou, Adam Szejnfeld, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Romana Tomc, Roberta Metsola, Jiří Pospíšil, Csaba Sógor, Marijana Petir, Tunne Kelam, Seán Kelly, Ivana Maletić, Andrey Kovatchev, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Željana Zovko on behalf of the PPE Group

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

Postup : 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 previous resolutions on the situation in China, in particular the one of 21 January 2010 on human rights violations in China, notably the case of Liu Xiaobo, the one of 14 March 2013 on EU-China relations and the one of 20th February 2015 on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and the European Union policy on the matter,

–  having regard to the Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the status of Liu Xiaobo on 30 June 2017,

–  having regard to the 35th round EU-China dialogue on human rights on 22 - 23 June 2017 in Brussels,

–  having regard to the EU-China Summit held in Brussels on 1 -2 June 2017,

–  having regard to the EU statement at the 34st Session of the UNHRC on 14 March 2017,

–  having regard to the EEAS statement of 9 December 2016 on the International Human Rights Day,

  having regard to the European Commission and EEAS joint communication to the European Parliament and the Council: ‘Elements for a new EU Strategy on China’ on 22 June 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 10 December 2008 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

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

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

A. whereas Liu Xiabo, Chinese writer and human rights activist has been formally detained in prison four times over the course of the last thirty years; whereas Liu was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for "inciting subversion of state power" after he helped write a manifesto known as "Charter 08"; 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;

B.  whereas Liu’s wife Liu Xia, although never charged with any offense, has been held in house arrest since Liu was awarded the Peace Prize in 2010 and since then has been denied almost all human contact except with close family and a few friends;

C.  whereas on October 8, 2010, the Nobel Committee awarded Liu the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his "long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China";

D.  whereas Liu Xiaobo was recently transferred from a prison in China’s northeast Liaoning province to a hospital in the provincial capital Shenyang, after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer, where he is being treated for his serious health conditions;

E.  whereas Chinese authorities rejected requests by Liu and his wife to seek medical treatment outside China or move him to his home in Beijing;

F.  whereas Lee Ming-che, Taiwanese pro-democracy activist, went missing on 19 March 2017, after he crossed from Macau into Zhuhai in China’s Guangdong province; China’s Taiwan Affairs Office confirmed at a news conference that the “relevant authorities” had detained Lee and placed him under investigation on suspicion of “engaging in activities that endanger national security”;

G. whereas Chinese authorities have offered no credible evidence for the grave allegations against Lee Ming-Che; whereas Lee’s detainment comes at a period when the Cross-Strait relations are deteriorating; whereas Lee was active in providing information about democratic political culture of Taiwan to his friends in China through online platforms susceptible to Chinese government monitoring;

H.   whereas since 2013 the human rights situation in China continues to deteriorate with the government stepping up its hostility toward peaceful dissent, the rule of law, freedom of expression and freedom of religion as in the recent case of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who was forcibly removed” from his diocese in Wenzhou on 18 May 2017;

I.   whereas the Chinese government passed new laws, utilized to persecute public activism and peaceful criticism of the government as state security threats, strengthen censorship, surveillance and control of individuals and social groups and deter individuals from campaigning for human rights and rule of law, in particular, the State Security Law, the Counterterrorism Law, the Cybersecurity Law, and the Foreign NGO Management Law;

J.   whereas last month the Greek government refused to endorse an EU statement criticising the crackdown on activists and dissidents in China that was due to be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 15 June; whereas according to human rights NGOs this was the first time the EU had failed to make such a statement at the UN’s top rights body;

1.   Calls on the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally release 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife from house arrest, Liu Xia and allow him to obtain medical treatment wherever they wish;

2.   Deplores the failure of the Chinese authorities to provide Liu Xiaobo with the necessary adequate medical assistance to diagnose the illness at an earlier stage and calls for accountability at every single level for those who wrongfully imprisoned him and misjudged his health conditions;

3.   Urges the Chinese authorities to allow Lui Xiaobo unrestricted access to family, friends, and legal counsel;

4.   Calls on the Chinese authorities to release Lee Ming-che immediately as no credible evidence related to his case has been provided, and to disclose information about his exact whereabouts; to ensure in the meantime that Lee Ming-che is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and that he is allowed access to his family, a lawyer of his choice and adequate medical care;

5.  Believes that strong ongoing EU-China relations must provide an effective platform for a mature, meaningful and open human rights dialogue based on mutual respect;

6.  Regrets the failure of the EU to make a statement on Human Rights in China at the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva in June; calls on all EU Member States to adopt a firm value-based approach towards China and expects them not to undertake unilateral initiatives or acts that undermine the coherence, the effectiveness and the consistency of the EU action;

7.  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 Government and Parliament of the People’s Republic of China.