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Procedura : 2021/2578(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
Ciclo del documento : B9-0193/2021

Testi presentati :

B9-0193/2021

Discussioni :

PV 11/03/2021 - 9.2
CRE 11/03/2021 - 9.2

Votazioni :

Testi approvati :

P9_TA(2021)0086

<Date>{09/03/2021}9.3.2021</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0193/2021</NoDocSe>
PDF 154kWORD 48k

<TitreType>MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreSuite>with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Titre>on the human rights situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain, in particular the cases of death row inmates and human rights defenders</Titre>

<DocRef>(2021/2578(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Malik Azmani, Olivier Chastel, Svenja Hahn, Irena Joveva, Karin Karlsbro, Moritz Körner, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Javier Nart, Dragoș Pîslaru, Frédérique Ries, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu, Dragoş Tudorache, Hilde Vautmans</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0190/2021
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

B9‑0193/2021

European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain, in particular the cases of death row inmates and human rights defenders

(2021/2578(RSP))

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Bahrain,

- having regard to the November 2011 report by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI),

- having regard to the statement of 9 January 2020 by the Spokesperson of the HR/VP on the confirmation of the death sentence for two citizens in Bahrain, and the one of 27 July 2019 on the executions of Mr al-Arab and Mr al-Malali,

- having regard to the statement of 12 February 2020 by Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Fionnuala Ni Aolain, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, urging Bahrain to quash the death sentences against Mohamed Ramadan and Husain Moosa

- having regard to the joint statement of 10 October 2019 by VP/HR Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the EU, and the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, on the European and World Day Against the Death Penalty,

- having regard to the EU Guidelines on human rights defenders, on human rights dialogues with third countries, on the death penalty, on torture, and on freedom of expression online and offline,

- having regard to the 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 the conclusions of the 25th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting of 18 July 2016,

- having regard to the EU-Bahrein Cooperation Arrangement

- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention against Torture, and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, to all of which Bahrain is party,

- having regard to the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Istanbul Protocol),

- having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), in particular Article 3 thereof,

- having regard to Rules 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Bahraini authorities continue to violate and restrict the rights and freedoms of the population, in particular the rights of individuals to peaceful protest, freedom of expression and digital freedom both online and offline; whereas human rights activists face ongoing systematic targeting, harassment and detention;

B. whereas there are concerns about allegations regarding the arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and extrajudicial killings of Bahraini nationals, and their convictions following trials that do not meet international standards for a fair trial and due process; whereas these actions would be in breach of various international conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Bahrain acceded in 2006;

C. whereas anti-terrorism law criminalises acts of peaceful dissent and is used to impose death penalty sentences; whereas, according to reports, Bahrain is still holding a considerable number of prisoners of conscience;

D. whereas on 9 June 2020, after spending four years in prison, Nabeel Rajab, one of Bahrain’s prominent human rights defender was released from prison on the condition that he complete three years' community service;

E. whereas almost 300 people, human rights defenders, politicians, journalists and senior religious authorities among others, whose citizenship had been stripped in recent years remain without Bahraini nationality and in most cases are stateless; whereas revocation of nationality is used as a mean of political repression in contravention of Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights;

F. whereas the Bahraini courts passed seven death sentences in 2015; whereas on 15 January 2017 Bahrain executed Ali Al-Singace, Abbas Al-Samea and Sami Mushaima by firing squad, ending a six-year moratorium, and in July 2019 executed Ali Al-Arab and Ahmed Al-Malali;

G. whereas in February and March 2014 respectively Husain Ali Moosa and Mohamed Ramadan were allegedly arrested without a warrant, and whereas both men report that they were violently beaten and tortured until they were forced into a confession, but later retracted their confessions in front of the public prosecutor; whereas the confessions allegedly obtained under torture were the main evidence in their trials

H. whereas the death sentences handed down to Mohamed Ramadan and Husain Ali Moosa on 29 December 2014 were upheld by the Court of Cassation, Bahrain’s highest court of appeal, on 16 November 2015, despite the men having retracted their confessions and reiterating that they had confessed under torture;

I. whereas in October 2018 Bahrain’s Court of Cassation overturned their verdicts and ordered a case review by Bahrain’s High Criminal Court of Appeals; whereas Bahrain’s High Criminal Court of Appeals has upheld the death sentences of Mohamed Ramadan and Husain Ali Moosa on 8 January 2020;

J. whereas on 12 February 2020 UN human rights experts expressed concern to the Bahraini Government about allegations of torture and admission of evidence obtained under torture violating the rights to due process and fair trial in the case of Mohamed Ramadan and Husain Ali Moosa; whereas the experts declared that if carried out in these circumstances, the death penalty would constitute an arbitrary killing;

K. Whereas human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, a Bahraini and Danish citizen, is one of the internationally recognized human rights defenders in the Middle East; whereas he served as Front Line Defenders Protection Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa between 2008-2011 and is the co-founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights; whereas Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja is currently completing his tenth year in prison serving a life imprisonment sentence on charges of “financing and participating in terrorism to overthrow the government and spying for a foreign country"; whereas the human rights defender was arrested in April 2011 in connection with his role in organising peaceful protests in Bahrain in February 2011; whereas following his arrest, he was beaten, tortured and in June 2011, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in an unfair trial in courts that did not comply with Bahraini criminal law or international fair trial standards; Whereas In July 2012, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Al-Khawaja’s arrest was arbitrary and resulted from his exercise of the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, and called for his release;

L. whereas as of March 2021 at least 12 Bahraini political prisoners are at imminent risk of execution in Bahrain, having exhausted all domestic remedies;

M. whereas the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violates the right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); whereas the conditions on death row inflict extreme psychological suffering

N. whereas there are serious concerns over reports of "inhuman" conditions in prisons in Bahrain including reports of prisoners denied medical care, in violation of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners

O. whereas the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), established on 29 June 2011 in the Kingdom of Bahrain pursuant to Royal Order No. 28 to investigate and report on the events that took place in Bahrain in February 2011, made a series of recommendations on human rights and political reforms;

P. whereas since the 2011 protests and following the conclusions of the BICI report to monitor governmental abuses, a number of internal bodies, such as the Office of the Ombudsman within the Ministry of the Interior, a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) within the Office of the General Prosecutor, and the Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission (PDRC), have been set up, but are not effective and independent enough;

Q. whereas the lack of independence of these bodies reportedly causes a lack of accountability within the Bahraini Government and security forces; whereas this has fostered a culture of impunity that undermines democratic reform attempts and serves to further destabilise the country;

1. Strongly condemns the sentencing of Mohamed Ramadan and Husain Ali Moosa to death; expresses its concern and disappointment over Bahrain’s return to the practice of capital punishment; calls for the reintroduction of the moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition; Urges the release of human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja;

2. Calls on the Government of Bahrain, and in particular His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to grant them a royal pardon or to commute their sentences;

3. Deplores the continued imprisonment of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and calls on the EU HR/VP and EU member states to secure the immediate release of the human rights defender in the lead up to the 10th anniversary (April 2021) of his unjust imprisonment;

4. Recalls that the EU opposes capital punishment and considers it to be a cruel and inhuman punishment which fails to act as a deterrent to criminal behaviour and is irreversible in the event of error;

5. Calls on the Bahraini authorities to  review all death sentences to ensure that all  trials adhere to international fair trial standards excluding evidence obtained under torture and without recourse to the death penalty in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; calls on Bahrain to review the independence and effectiveness of internal bodies monitoring governmental abuses such as the Ombudsman, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission (PDRC), that are conducting inadequate investigations and whitewashing the Bahraini court’s reliance on forced confessions to secure convictions.

6. Deplores the poor prison conditions in the country and the use of torture by Bahraini security and prison personnel; urges the Bahraini authorities to refrain from all torture, cruel and degrading treatment of detainees, including denial of medical care, to investigate fully all allegations of violation of basic rights of prisoners and torture and to bring the perpetrators to justice; urges the Bahraini authorities to protect all detainees from the danger of COVID 19.

7. Reminds the Bahraini authorities that Article 15 of the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) prohibits the use of any statement made as a result of torture as evidence in any proceedings; calls for the immediate ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR aiming at the abolition of the death penalty;

8. Calls on the Bahraini authorities to release all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including human rights defenders detained, arrested, charged and convicted for carrying out their legitimate and peaceful human rights activities; calls on the Bahraini authorities to amend the country’s citizenship law and to restore Bahraini citizenship to those individuals who have been unfairly stripped of it;

9. Condemns the imposition of travel bans on human rights activist collaborating with UN and international bodies; calls on the Bahraini authorities to lift these bans and insists on the need that Bahraini authorities respect the fundamental human and political rights of Bahraini civil society representatives;

10. Notes the Government of Bahrain’s ongoing efforts to reform the country’s penal code and legal procedures, and encourages the continuation of this process; calls to fully implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR);

11. Expresses particular concern regarding the misuse of anti-terrorism laws in Bahrain and stresses the importance of the support given to Bahrain, in particular as regards its judicial system, with a view to ensuring compliance with international human rights standards;

12. Reiterates that surveillance technologies exported by European companies to Bahrain could facilitate repression of human right defenders emphasizes the need for the EU export control authorities to take human rights criteria into account before granting an export license to a third country; calls on all EU Member States to strictly observe the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, and in particular to halt all transfers of weapons, surveillance and intelligence equipment and material that can be used by Bahrain in its ongoing crackdown on human rights;

13. Encourages the Government of Bahrain to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteurs (notably on torture, freedom of assembly, the independence of judges and lawyers, and human rights defenders) and to issue a standing invitation for them to undertake an impartial investigation into all allegations of torture and convictions made of the basis of confessions obtained under torture;

14. Calls for reinforcement of the human rights dialogue between the EU and Bahrain in accordance with the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Dialogues; notes that an EU-Bahrain human rights dialogue is no substitute for a thorough dialogue between government, opposition and civil society in Bahrain itself;

15. Urges the EEAS, the European Commission and EU Member States to remain vigilant with regard to developments in the country and in the Gulf region in general, and to use all means of influence at its disposal; Welcomes the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Bahrein and Israel, and the full resumption of relations among Gulf Cooperation Council members, paving the way for an easing of tensions in the region; Deplores Iran’s continuous  interferences in Bahrein’s domestic politics and its repeated efforts to destabilise the country as well as other countries in the region;

16. Encourages dialogue and bilateral and multilateral initiatives between the European Union, its Member States and Gulf countries including Bahrain on issues relating to human rights, as well as in other areas of mutual interest;

17. Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service, the Council and the Member States to systematically raise the concerns about the violation of human rights in Bahrain and to consider the introduction of targeted measures against those responsible for grave human rights violations;

18. 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, and the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council; calls for this resolution to be translated into Arabic.

Ultimo aggiornamento: 9 marzo 2021Note legali - Informativa sulla privacy