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Procedure : 2021/2873(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0440/2021

Texts tabled :

B9-0440/2021

Debates :

PV 16/09/2021 - 6.2
CRE 16/09/2021 - 6.2

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0390

<Date>{14/09/2021}14.9.2021</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0440/2021</NoDocSe>
PDF 183kWORD 50k

<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 case of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor in UAE</Titre>

<DocRef>(2021/2873(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Pedro Marques, Andrea Cozzolino</Depute>

<Commission>{S&D}on behalf of the S&D Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0434/2021
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

B9‑0440/2021

European Parliament resolution on the case of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor in UAE

(2021/2873(RSP))

The European Parliament,

-  regard to its previous resolutions on UAE, in particular that of 4 October 2018

 

-  having regard to the statement made by HR/VP Josep Borrell on 10 December 2020 at the Foreign Affairs council stating that “human rights are in the DNA of the European Union”,

 

-  having regard to the Cooperation Arrangement between the UAE and the EEAS signed in 2018; the ninth round of the EU-UAE human rights dialogue held in Brussels in January 2020; the second senior officials meeting between the UAE Foreign Ministry and the EEAS of 3 March 2021;

 

-  having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT),

 

-  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966, 

 

-  having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ICESCR) of 1966, 

 

-  having regard to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),

 

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

 

-  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

 

-  having regard to the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime; 

 

-  having regard to the fact that Loujain Al Hathloul was awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Award 2020 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,

 

  1. whereas Ahmed Mansoor was arrested by UAE security officers in March 2017; whereas he is a prominent human rights activist and the 2015 laureate of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders; whereas Mr Mansoor may have been one of the last remaining human rights defenders in the UAE who had been able to criticise the authorities publicly;

 

  1. whereas the UAE authorities have held Ahmed Mansoor largely incommunicado, isolated him from other prisoners, and denied him a bed and mattress since imprisoning him in March 2017;

 

  1. whereas Ahmed Mansoor is held in the notorious al-Sadr prison near Abu Dhabi serving a 10-year prison sentence handed down in 2018 by the State Security Chamber of the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals following a grossly unfair trial on spurious charges; whereas he was also fined one million UAE dirhams (EUR 232 475) and was to be placed under surveillance for three years on his release;

 

  1. whereas the UAE’s authorities have violated Mansoor’s rights for more than 10 years with arbitrary arrest and detention, death threats, physical assault, government surveillance, and inhumane treatment in custody; whereas he has been denied his rights as a prisoner under international human rights law, including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;

 

  1. whereas holding Mansoor in isolation for nearly four years amounts to torture, and the UAE authorities are in violation of their obligations under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the UAE ratified in 2012;

 

  1. whereas Mansour may face retaliation after a private letter he wrote detailing his mistreatment in detention and flagrantly unfair trial was published in the regional media;

 

  1. whereas the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights has assessed that the arrest and secret detention of Ahmed Mansoor may constitute an act of reprisal for his engagement with UN human rights mechanisms and for the views he has expressed on social media, including Twitter, as well as for being an active member of organisations such as the Gulf Centre for Human Rights;

 

  1. whereas a group of UN human rights experts has called on the UAE Government to release Mr Mansoor, describing his arrest as a direct attack on the legitimate work of human rights defenders in the UAE;

 

  1. whereas other human rights defenders who are still detained in the UAE include Mohamed Al-Roken and Nasser bin Ghaith;

 

  1. whereas  the persecution of  human rights defenders in UAE is systematic; whereas since 2011, the state has intensified its crackdown on freedom of association, assembly and freedom of expression; whereas human rights defenders and members of their families are subjected to forced disappearance, prolonged arbitrary detention, torture, judicial harassment and unfair trials, travel ban, physical and digital surveillance and arbitrary dismissal from work;

 

  1. whereas the Penal Code includes vague legal provisions that have been used against human rights defenders; whereas Article 176 provides for up to five years imprisonment for “whoever publicly insults the state president, its flag or national emblem”; whereas the Counter-Terrorism Lawadopted in 2014 provides the authorities with broad powers to prosecute peaceful critics, political dissidents and human rights activists and declare them terrorists; whereas the vague and overly broad definition of terrorism in the law makes it possible to qualify a wide range of peaceful and legitimate activities as mounting to terrorism, and may be used to sentence human rights defenders to lengthy prison terms or even death; whereas under this law, peaceful protesting can be viewed as “antagonising the state”, which the law considers as an activity having a “terrorist outcome”;

 

  1. whereas the EU Member States have approved exports of various cybersurveillance technologies to countries with appalling human rights records, including the UAE;

 

  1. whereas the UAE makes an extensive use of illegal means of surveillance and interception of dissidents and human rights defenders both in the country and abroad, including on EU territory, as demonstrated by the NSO/Pegasus affair, which reveals the deep involvement of the Emirati security services;

 

  1. whereas the latest SIPRI figures show that the EU-27 is the second arms exporter to the United Arab Emirates (UAE); whereas according to the UN Group of Regional and International Eminent Experts, parties to the armed conflict in Yemen, including the UAE, have perpetrated, and continue to perpetrate, crimes in violation of international law;
  2. whereas the UAE continuously targets political dissidents’ phones, including Ahmed Mansour’s, as well as those of dozens of Emirati, Arab and Western journalists and academics, and even political leaders in the region; whereas Loujain al-Hathloul, a prominent Saudi women’s rights defender, was also subjected to cyberattacks by the UAE authorities who hacked into her email before arresting and forcibly transferring her to Saudi Arabia;

 

  1. whereas women in UAE continue to be subjected to a range of discriminatory laws and practices; whereas violations of the women’s rights include the kidnapping and hostage-taking of Saudi and Emirati women and women’s rights activists, sexual assault of British national Caitlin McNamara without the accused perpetrator being investigated and held accountable, systemic discrimination against women, exploitation of women migrant workers, sex trafficking and sexual slavery;

 

  1. Whereas the kafala system is still being implemented in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) as an integral part of its social and legal order; whereas according to reports by international human rights organizations, the UAE inhumane practices against foreign workers constituting 80% of the country’s population are pervasive and such violations increased during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic; whereas in the upcoming international fair, Dubai Expo 2020, to be hosted from October 2021 until March 2022, businesses and construction companies coerce workers into signing untranslated documents, confiscate their passports, expose workers to extreme working hours under unsafe weather conditions and provide them with unsanitary living accommodation;

 

  1. whereas the death penalty continues to be applied in the UAE; 

 

  1. Whereas the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the European Union (EU) have signed a reciprocal bilateral short-stay visa waiver agreement exempting the UAE citizens from Schengen visa and making the UAE the first Arab country to receive such a visa waiver for its nationals;

 

  1. Whereas the EU is the main donor of Interpol inter-judicial cooperation programmes; Whereas in this context, General Inspector of the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Interior Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi is candidate to the Interpol presidency even if he stands accused in multiple civil and criminal jurisdictions, including in the EU Member States, for massive and systematic atrocities;

 

  1. Reiterates its call for the immediate and unconditional release of Ahmed Mansoor, Mohamed Al-Roken and Nasser bin Ghaith, as well as of all human rights defenders, political activists, and other dissidents imprisoned solely for exercising their basic human rights, including the rights to free speech, association, and peaceful assembly;

 

  1. Deplores the continued imprisonment of Ahmed Mansoor, Mohamed Al-Roken and Nasser bin Ghaith and calls on the EU HR/VP and EU member states to champion and pursue a vigorous campaign to secure their immediate release; calls in particular, on the EU HR/VP to request prison visits to the human rights defenders during his upcoming visit to the UAE and to publicly and privately call for their immediate and unconditional release during meetings with UAE authorities;

 

  1. Urges UAE authorities to immediately clarify whether those held beyond their original sentences face active charges for recognizable criminal activity; if so, they should be brought to trial promptly; if not, authorities should release them immediately; further urges that measures be taken to remedy due process and fair trial violations, including holding trials in public, revising judgements and sentences, and releasing detainees;

 

  1. Pending release, urges UAE authorities to ensure Ahmed Mansoor and all other prisoners are treated in line with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; urges in particular that Mansoor be removed from solitary confinement, and that all prisoners be allowed regular lawyer and family visits, provided with adequate medical care, that UN experts and international NGOs be allowed to visit Mansoor and others in prison and monitor detention conditions, and that all torture allegations be thoroughly investigated;

 

  1. Urges UAE authorities to repeal the counterterrorism law and bring the cybercrime law in line with international and regional standards on free speech by repealing articles 28, 29, 30, 32, and 38;

 

  1. Calls on the UAE authorities to reform the Personal Status Law to provide women with equal rights in entering marriage, during marriage, and at its dissolution, including in all issues concerning children, inheritance, and property rights;

 

  1. Calls on the UAE authorities to ensure Emirati women can pass nationality to their children on an equal basis as men;

 

  1. Calls on the UAE authorities to repeal Article 332(3) of the penal code that provides that in cases of killings, including pre-meditated murder, if family members of the murdered victim who are entitled to diya (blood money) waive their right to see the person punished, the accused can be subject to a minimum sentence of seven-years imprisonment instead of life imprisonment;

 

  1. Deeply regrets the timid diplomatic approach taken so far by the EU and its member states on Mansoor’s case, which stands in stark contrast with the EU’s human rights guidelines and pledges; urges the VP/HR, the EU and its Member States to resolutely urge Mansoor’s release, both publicly and privately, in all contacts they have with the UAE authorities and in international fora; pending his release, urges the EU and member states’ delegations in Abu Dhabi to provide all appropriate support to Ahmed Mansoor, including prison visits, trial monitoring and the provision of legal or any other form of assistance that he may require;

 

  1. Urges the EEAS to reconsider its informal human rights dialogue with the UAE and to suspend it until and unless it is possible to set meaningful benchmarks for human rights progress; stresses that human rights dialogues should not be alternative but rather complementary to high level talks on human rights;

 

  1. Calls on the Commission and the representatives of the EU Member States to firmly oppose the candidacy of Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi as President of Interpol and to publicly state the reasons for this stance;

 

  1. Strongly supports the application of the Global Human Rights Sanctions Mechanism against those responsible for grave human rights violations in UAE, including the persecution of Ahmed Mansour and other human rights defenders;

 

  1. Calls on the Commission, in view of  the Regulation (EU) 2018/1806, to monitor and report regularly to Parliament on the human rights situation in the third countries which are beneficiaries of the visa waiver, and suspend the visa exemption in the case of violations in the country concerned; Urges the European Commission and the Council to consider temporarily suspending the Schengen visa waiver for citizens of the UAE and to subordinate the waiver restoration to concrete progress in the areas covered by this resolution;

 

  1. Given the UAE’s record of unlawful attacks in Yemen and Libya and its internal repression, and in line with Common Position 2008/944/CFSP and with the new regulation on dual use items, urges all EU member states to halt weapons and surveillance technology sales to the UAE and suspend all future sales until the UAE curtails unlawful airstrikes in Yemen and Libya, halts support for and weapons transfer to abusive local forces, credibly investigates previous alleged violations in both countries, and takes concrete and measurable steps to address systematic human rights abuses in the UAE;

 

  1. In order to signal a disapproval of the human rights violations in the UAE, invites the international companies sponsoring Dubai Expo2020 to withdraw their sponsorship and the Member States to not participate in the event;

 

  1. Calls for the UAE authorities to be held accountable for the extradition of the women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul to Saudi Arabia, where she has been imprisoned, tortured and persecuted for the advocacy of women’s rights;

 

  1. Calls on the UAE authorities to make serious efforts to end trafficking and sexual slavery, including holding the perpetrators accountable and protecting rather than punishing women who report sexual trafficking to authorities;

 

  1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and Parliament of the United Arab Emirates, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the governments of the Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council; calls for the translation of this resolution into Arabic.

 

 

 

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