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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Russia, the case of Oyub Titiev and the Human Rights Centre Memorial

6.2.2018 - (2018/2560(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

Elena Valenciano, Victor Boştinaru, Soraya Post on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0096/2018

Procedūra : 2018/2560(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Russia, the case of Oyub Titiev and the Human Rights Centre Memorial


The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and on the situation in Chechnya, mainly the one on the implementation of the Council’s LGBTI Guidelines, particularly in relation to the persecution of (perceived) homosexual men in Chechnya, Russia of May 2017,

-  having regard to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

-  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

-  having regard to the European Convention of Human Rights and the Protocols thereto,

-  having regard to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, in particular Chapter 2 on the Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen,

-  having regard to its recommendation of 2 February 2012 to the Council on a consistent policy towards regimes against which the EU applies restrictive measures,

-   having regard to the EP DROI Chairman call of 12 January 2018 for the immediate release of human rights defender Oyub Titiev,

-  having regard to the EU Statement on human rights violations concerning the Memorial Human Rights Centre in Russia of 19 January 2018, and the Statement by the Spokesperson of EEAS (11 January 2018) on the detention of the Director of the Memorial Human Rights Centre in the Chechen Republic, Mr Oyub Titiev,

-  having regard to the Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visit to the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation in November-December 2017,

-  having regard to the existing Agreement on partnership and cooperation establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of one part, and the Russian Federation, of the other part (PCA) and, as well, the suspended negotiations for a new EU-Russia agreement,

-  having regard to the ‘Partnership for Modernisation’ initiated in 2010 in Rostov-on-Don and to the commitment made by the Russian leadership to the rule of law as a fundamental basis for the modernisation of Russia,

-  having regard to the European Council guidelines of 24 June 2013 to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons,

-  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 16 June 2016 on LGBTI equality and the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, on Torture and Ill-Treatment, and on Human Rights Defenders,

–  having regard to the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019,

–  having regard to its resolution on the EU's Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the world in 2016,

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

A.  whereas Oyub Titiev was arrested on 9 January 2018 in the town of Kurchaloi and has reportedly been charged with drugs-related offences; whereas since his arrest, Mr Titiev’s family has also faced harassment and threats allegedly made by the local Chechen security forces, coercing them to leave their homes and leave Chechnya;

B.  whereas significant doubts have been raised about the legitimacy of Mr Titiev’s incarceration, including by the head of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council, Mr Fedotov;

C.  whereas the arrest of Oyub Titiev is part of a worrying trend of arrests, attacks, intimidations and discrediting of independent journalists and human rights defenders working in Chechnya;

D.  whereas the case of Oyub Titiev is especially concerning, taking into account that his predecessor, Ms Natalia Estemirova, was killed in 2009 and that no one has yet been brought to justice for this crime;.whereas, after years of threats and repression, almost no independent journalists or human rights activists are able to work in the region; whereas, according to the Memorial Human Rights Centre, the number of political prisoners in the country has significantly increased in recent years;

E.  whereas another sign of the persecution and harassment suffered by human rights organisations in the North Caucasus region was the attack on 17 January against the offices of Memorial in the neighbouring Republic of Ingushetia;

F.  whereas other cases that form part of this worrying trend include journalist Zhalaudi Geriev and the chair of the Assembly of the Peoples of the Caucasus, Ruslan Kutaev, who were both sentenced on dubious grounds relating to drugs;

G.  whereas there is a high level of concern regarding the human rights abuses of LGBTI people in Chechnya; whereas the Russian Federation is a signatory to several international human rights treaties and, as a member of the Council of Europe, to the European Convention on Human Rights and thus has the duty to ensure the safety of all persons who may be at risk and whereas the European Union has repeatedly offered additional assistance and expertise to help Russia to modernise and abide by its constitutional and legal order, in line with Council of Europe standards; whereas Russia has the obligation and means to investigate the crimes carried out by the Chechen authorities; whereas homosexuality was decriminalized in the Russian Federation in 1993;

H.  whereas LGBTI individuals are protected under existing international human rights law and under Russian domestic legislation; whereas, however, specific action is often required to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by LGBTI people, as sexual orientation and gender identity can be bring additional risks of discrimination, bullying and prosecution, in schools, workplaces and the wider society, but also within families; whereas it is the task and responsibility of the police, judiciary and authorities to combat these forms of discrimination and counter negative social attitudes;

1.  Urge the Russian authorities to ensure full respect for Mr Titiev’s human rights, including access to a lawyer and medical care and the rights to a fair trial, to physical integrity and dignity, and to protection from judicial harassment, criminalisation and arbitrary arrest and to release him swiftly;

2.  Strongly condemns the attack on 17 January against the offices of Memorial in the Republic of Ingushetia;

3.  Deplores the statement by the Chechen authorities accusing the work of human rights defenders, expressing its particular concern regarding the statements made by the speaker of the regional Chechen parliament, Mr Magomed Daudov, whose public remarks dating from 25 December 2017 appear to condone violence against human rights defenders;

4.  Expresses its deep concern regarding worrying trend of arrests, attacks, intimidations and discrediting of independent journalists and human rights defenders working in Chechnya;

5.  Highlight the significance of civil society and organisations such as Memorial and the message that civil society activists everywhere must be free to exercise their most basic rights of freedom of thought and freedom of expression;

6.  Calls upon the Russian authorities, as a matter of urgency, for immediate, independent, objective and thorough investigations into the deplorable developments in Chechenia; calls on the Chechen authorities and those of the Russian Federation to abide by domestic legislation and international commitments and uphold the rule of law;

7.  Expresses serious concern at the climate of impunity which allows these acts to take place and calls for the development of legal and other measures to prevent, monitor and effectively prosecute perpetrators of such violence in cooperation with civil society; underlines that Russia and its government carries the ultimate responsibility for investigating these acts, bringing perpetrators to justice and protecting all Russian citizens from unlawful abuse;

8.  Calls on the Presidents of the Council and the Commission, as well as the VP/HR to continue to follow such cases closely, to raise these issues in different formats and meetings with Russia, and to report back to Parliament on the exchanges with the Russian authorities;

9.  Expresses its deep concern at the reports of arbitrary detention and torture of people perceived to be LGBTI in the Republic of Chechnya in the Russian Federation; calls on the authorities to end this campaign of persecution and to allow international human rights organisations to conduct a credible investigation into the alleged crimes;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; to the Council and the Commission, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and to the governments of the Russian Federation and of the Republic of Chechnya.


Atnaujinta: 2018 m. vasario 6 d.
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