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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Russia, notably the case of Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov

12.6.2018 - (2018/2754(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

Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Petras Auštrevičius, Marietje Schaake, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Gérard Deprez, Martina Dlabajová, Marian Harkin, Nadja Hirsch, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Valentinas Mazuronis, Louis Michel, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jozo Radoš, Frédérique Ries, Robert Rochefort, Jasenko Selimovic, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Cecilia Wikström, Urmas Paet on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0288/2018

Procedură : 2018/2754(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Russia, notably the case of Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous reports and resolutions on Russia, in particular the report on the State of EU-Russia relations from 13 May 2015 and the resolution on the closing-down of the NGO ‘Memorial’ of 23 October 2014; the resolution of 12 March 2015 on the murder of the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the state of democracy in Russia, the resolution of 10 September 2015 on the cases of Eston Kohver, Oleg Sentsov and Olexandr Kolchenko, the resolution on the implementation of the Council’s LGBTI Guidelines, particularly in relation to the persecution of (perceived) homosexual men in Chechnya of 16 May 2017 and the resolution from 8 February 2018 on Oyub Titev and the Human Rights Centre Memorial;

-having regard to the human rights obligations to which Russia has committed itself as a Member of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations;

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

-having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Protocols thereto;

-having regard to the Russian constitution, in particular Article 118 thereof, which states that justice in the Russian Federation is administered by the courts alone, and Article 120 thereof, which provides that judges are independent and are subordinate only to the Russian constitution and to federal law;

-having regard to the statement of 25 August 2015 by the VP/HR on the sentencing by a Russian court of Ukrainian citizen Oleg Sentsov to 20 years in prison on charges of plotting terrorist acts;

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


A.whereas the arrest in May 2014 and trail in August 2015 of Ukrainian film-maker Oleg Sentsov have been widely criticised as a politically motivated act of repression and is one of the most emblematic cases of the many Ukrainian and Russian citizens jailed on political grounds; whereas by early June 2018, over 70 Ukrainian nationals are detained in Russia or in the occupied Crimea, many of which are Crimean Tatars;


B.whereas Oleg Sentsov currently serves out his sentence in Russia’s northernmost prison in Labytnangi, Yamalo-Nenets, and announced an indefinite hunger strike on 14 may 2018;


C.whereas Oleg Sentsov opposed the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia, and has been treated as a Russian citizen despite holding Ukrainian citizenship and has allegedly been tortured in order to forcefully extract depositions which have subsequently been given legal value;


D.whereas Oleg Sentsov was tried by a military court for crimes over which civilian courts have full jurisdiction; whereas the trial was marred by numerous and grave procedural violations; whereas the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements envisaged the release and exchange of all hostages and of all those unlawfully detained, on the basis of the ‘all for all’ principle;


E.whereas Russia loses a substantial number of cases in the European Court of Human Rights and fails to implement the judgments delivered;


F.whereas the Russian Federation, as a full member of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations, has committed itself to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights; whereas, as a result of numerous serious violations of the rule of law and the adoption of restrictive laws during recent years, there are grave concerns about Russia’s compliance with international and national obligations; 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;


G.whereas, given these developments and changes in Russian attitude to its neighbours, it is critical that the EU develops a coherent Russia strategy, which would enable the EU to work towards a relationship with Russia that would allow it to protect and advance EU’s interests, and get Russia to respect its own constitution and domestic laws as well as international law and conventions in force;



1.strongly condemns the judgment handed down against Oleg Sentsov in the court in Rostov-on-Don on 25 August 2015, which sentenced him to 20 years in prison on charges of terrorism; equally condemns the 10 year sentence handed down to Oleksandr Kolchenko at the same trial and the ongoing trial of Volodymyr Balukh who is on hunger strike since March 2018; considers their cases to be in breach of international law and of elementary standards of justice;


2.urges the Russian Federation to act in accordance with its international obligations, and to immediately release Oleg Senstov and other unlawfully detained Ukrainian citizens, now numbering over 70 individual cases;


3.notes that Mr Senstov is on an open-ended hunger-strike since 14 May 2018, and that his health has deteriorated; calls on the authorities to ensure that all medical treatment provided to Oleg Sentsov is done in compliance with medical ethics, including the principles of confidentially, autonomy and informed consent, and that no unwanted treatment or force feeding is executed which may amount to torture or ill-treatment;


4.underlines that from the very beginning Oleg Sentsov was not afforded the right to a fair trial and that procedural concerns, including the allegations of torture, merit a thorough investigation, open to international observers; deplores that he was tried in a military court and points out that statements and testimonies gained through torture and other illegal methods should be inadmissible in court proceedings;


5.calls for the release of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, this being in line with the agreed Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the commitment to release all hostages and all those detained in connection with the conflict in Ukraine; calls for a similar measure to be implemented for the many Russian citizens in custody on political grounds, notably for Oyub Titiev, the Chechen office director of the Memorial Human Rights Centre, the 2009 Sakharov Prize-winning human rights organisation; underlines that the European Union and the Council of Europe should be ready to assist with judicial expertise, if needed;


6.emphasises that Russian courts, both military and civilian ones, are not competent to judge acts committed outside the internationally recognised territory of Russia, and points out that the judicial proceedings in this case cannot be regarded as legitimate; calls on the Council and the Commission to address this and the many similar cases in contacts with the Russian authorities and to report back to Parliament; calls on the Member States to do the same in bilateral meetings;


7.stresses that the Russian authorities and judicial personnel bear full responsibility for the safety and well-being of those detained, and that their right to family visits, to contact with their diplomatic representatives, to adequate medical assistance, to judicial and consular counsel and to comprehensive access for both them and their legal representatives to all documents and evidence pertaining to the charges against them must be fully respected;


8.recalls the importance of full compliance with domestic legislation, international legal obligations, and of the fact that judicial decisions have to be taken in an effective and impartial manner and must be independent, comply fully with the law and be based on legitimate evidence, without any political interference; takes the view that the Russian Federation, as a member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as of the United Nations, should honour the obligations to which it has signed up;


9.calls on the Council to consider a European Magnitsky Act under which further Russian officials, responsible for systematic human rights abuses, should be added to an extended EU list of those under an EU-wide visa ban and with assets frozen that they, or their immediate family, may hold within the European Union; commends Lithuania, Estonia and the UK for adopting Magnitsky Act national legislation which allow sanctions to be imposed against individuals suspected of involvement in human rights violations and urges other Member States to follow suit; 


10.calls for increased permanent monitoring of human rights violations in Russia and in the territories currently annexed by Russia;


11.urges the President of the European Council and the VP/HR to come up with a comprehensive policy strategy which would enable the EU to regain the initiative and to pursue a more clear-cut policy towards Russia; insists that a pillar of this strategy must be dedicated to a direct engagement with and support for Russian citizens and civil society; encourages the EU Member States to unilaterally facilitate the issuing of visas, so that Russian citizens not on EU sanctions lists encounter an open and constructive EU; encourages the deepening of cultural and research exchanges and dialogue between civil societies in Russia and the EU, reinforced support for independent civil society activists, media and NGOs and pluralism in the Russian-speaking media space;


12.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, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.


Ultima actualizare: 12 iunie 2018
Aviz juridic - Politica de confidențialitate