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Ketvirtadienis, 2015 m. lapkričio 26 d. - Strasbūras Atnaujinta informacija

4.3. Žodžio laisvė Bangladeše
Kalbų vaizdo įrašas
PV
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  Elnök asszony. – A következő napirendi pont:

A véleménynyilvánítás szabadsága Bangladesben (2015/2970 (RSP))

 
  
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  Jean Lambert, author. Madam President, I very much regret the need for this resolution today, but we know that the debate will be watched in the Bangladeshi press, and I think that is positive.

In my visits to Bangladesh as Chair of Parliament’s relevant delegation, we have seen a very vibrant press in the past, but it certainly feels under attack now. We know that governments and politicians in general do not always like a vibrant press, but it is part of democratic development, as are active NGOs and civil society. Indeed, much of Bangladesh’s considerable development in terms of gender equality, child nutrition and climate change adaptation is a result of civil society working with government.

I think that it is really important that there should be general political condemnation of violent attacks and death threats against journalists, bloggers, writers and indeed the public in general. We need a high-quality justice system that acts impartially to put forward the best interests of the people and bring perpetrators to justice. We would certainly hope that the government will put in place a system of protection for those at risk and for members of the political opposition too, because they have also been under attack in many circumstances. There is a need for political agreement in Bangladesh to move the country forward.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao, Autore. Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, nonostante le garanzie previste dalla Costituzione, dal Codice penale e dall'atto che proibisce le torture, sparizioni, l'uso della tortura e altra forma di maltrattamento continuano a persistere in Bangladesh. Negli ultimi anni sono stati uccisi numerosi scrittori laici, blogger ed editori solo perché esprimevano le loro opinioni.

Invece di fornire aiuto nell'affrontare questa oltraggiosa ingiustizia, le istituzioni politiche e statali hanno iniziato ad incolpare le vittime stesse, facendo peggiorare le cose. Ci sono gravi e credibili accuse di torture per confessioni forzate e di persone arrestate. Vorrei menzionare il caso dell'uccisione dell'italiano Cesare Travella.

Le autorità del Bangladesh devono intraprendere indagini trasparenti sull'uccisione dei blogger in stretta conformità con le garanzie costituzionali di diritto al giusto processo, identificando gli autori di tali crimini.

L'Unione europea deve richiamare le autorità del Bangladesh ad assumere impegni pubblici per garantire che anche i membri dei partiti politici siano liberi di esprimersi e di riunirsi. E vanno immediatamente rilasciati i membri dei partiti di opposizione che sono stati incarcerati per aver partecipato ad assemblee segrete.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, author. Madam President, the recent murders and violence perpetrated against secular and atheist bloggers, journalists and activists in Bangladesh are clearly acts of terrorism and deserve our utmost condemnation. They are part of a wider vision intended to destabilise Bangladesh’s fragile secular democracy and to establish an Islamist, Sharia-based medieval state in that country, led by Jamaat-e-Islami and splinter groups. The Bangladesh Government, though far from perfect, is committed to protecting the right to freedom of expression for its citizens but is doing so in very difficult circumstances.

As we battle against terrorism in our own countries, with all our economic advantages, we are seeing how difficult that task is in Europe. Nevertheless, the balance between the need to protect citizens’ rights and the ideals of ensuring universal freedom of expression and religion is always a delicate one and is something of which we should remain mindful when we are discussing or criticising Bangladesh. Today’s resolution is a positive one, but we must not fall into the trap of demanding safeguards and protection for people while simultaneously criticising all measures introduced to protect a modern secular state such as that of Bangladesh.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda, Autor. Doamna președintă, aș vrea să spun, după cum au subliniat și doamna Lambert și domnul Tannock, că discutăm despre o țară în care libertatea de expresie, libertatea media există și oricine poate vedea asta în Bangladesh. Numărul de ziare și disputele care au loc în presă sunt o dovadă.

Pe de altă parte e îngrijorător ce se întâmplă în ultimul timp, și anume amenințările cu moartea și agresiunile la adresa unor jurnaliști sau a unor bloggeri.

E de salutat faptul că guvernul s-a angajat să practice o politică de toleranță zero față de aceste abuzuri. Desigur că sunt foarte multe de făcut.

Nu trebuie uitat, de altfel, așa cum spunea și domnul Tannock, că discutăm despre o țară în care valoarea laicității este importantă, dar care, pe de altă parte, se află sub amenințarea ISIS care ne preocupă pe noi aici în egală măsură.

Cerem guvernului să asigure protecția efectivă a tuturor jurnaliștilor și bloggerilor care nu apără cauze islamiste radicale.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová, author. Madam President, freedom of speech and expression is fundamental to all democracies, including Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi Constitution guarantees these freedoms to all of its citizens in Article 39. It also states that only reasonable restrictions can be imposed on these freedoms. I believe we would all agree that murder at the hands of religious extremists for writing an internet blog is not a reasonable restriction. These acts of extremist violence are nothing less than acts of terrorism, terrorist acts on a par with the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

We are ready to work with the Bangladeshi Government to fight such terrorists and to help them to counter extremist movements in their country, but the government must also continue to work to make clear to its citizens, through its words and deeds, that there can be no justification for these crimes. No offence to religion or morality can justify murder.

 
  
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  Pier Antonio Panzeri, Autore. Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il 6 agosto 2014 il governo del Bangladesh ha deciso una nuova politica dei media, con lo scopo di limitare la libertà, vietando ogni discorso contro lo Stato, che mette in ridicolo l'ideologia nazionale e non coerente con la cultura del Bangladesh, limitando inoltre la divulgazione di notizie riguardanti ribellioni e violenze.

Il 31 ottobre scorso è stato ucciso l'editore Faisal Arefin Dipon e un altro editore è stato gravemente ferito. Negli stessi giorni l'Ansarullah Bangla Team, un gruppo ispirato da Al Qaida ha rivendicato la responsabilità dell'uccisione di 5 blogger e attivisti laici e il gruppo stesso ha pubblicato una lista nera di coloro che sono considerati critici dell'Islam e ha promesso, sostanzialmente, che nessuno sarà risparmiato.

Le forze di sicurezza stanno effettuando esecuzioni extragiudiziali, rapimenti e arresti arbitrari, prendendo di mira i leader e i sostenitori dell'opposizione e il 21 novembre 2015 due leader sono stati giustiziati per crimini di guerra commessi durante la guerra d'indipendenza contro il Pakistan.

C'è una situazione insostenibile sulla quale bisogna intervenire e lo facciamo con questa risoluzione.

 
  
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  Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Autora. Señora Presidenta, los derechos humanos son inalienables, indivisibles e interdependientes y están interrelacionados. La libertad de expresión es un derecho necesario para alcanzar una sociedad democrática, como lo son los derechos políticos o los sociales.

Bangladés es un socio comercial de primera línea de la Unión Europea, pero no es un ejemplo en materia de derechos humanos. Este año han sido asesinados cinco blogueros y periodistas independientes, y los sindicatos y todo opositor al régimen son también perseguidos.

Y ¿qué decir de los derechos laborales? Después de dos años de la tragedia del Rana Plaza, los trabajadores de Bangladés siguen en condiciones próximas a la esclavitud.

En Bangladés las desapariciones y ejecuciones extrajudiciales son frecuentes. La violencia contra las mujeres y los colectivos LGTB está a la orden del día. En Bangladés todavía, a día de hoy, hay pena de muerte.

¡Basta ya de cinismo! No podemos seguir siendo socios de Estados cuyas autoridades violan sistemáticamente los derechos humanos. La dignidad de las personas debe estar siempre por encima de los beneficios económicos de unos pocos. ¡Siempre!

 
  
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  Seán Kelly, on behalf of the PPE Group. Madam President, obviously we are right to absolutely condemn the acts of Islamist extremists who have carried out brutal murders against bloggers and journalists, etc. This is particularly regrettable, because Bangladesh itself signed up to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2000. For some, freedom of expression, which is guaranteed in that, is not really worth the paper it is written on. In particular, the country itself has an Information and Communication Technology Act, which criminalises defamatory anti-state publications and which is often used as a kind of ‘catch all’ to stop opposition to government. Journalists, bloggers and writers have been targeted, and I think it is only right we should call on the authorities to drop charges against journalists and writers for merely expressing their opinion.

 
  
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  Richard Howitt, on behalf of the S&D Group. Madam President, secular writers, bloggers and publishers have been hacked to death. ‘There is no freedom of expression in Bangladesh’ – so wrote Sakharov Prize winner, Taslima Nasrin, when she heard about today’s debate. Here she can have a voice, but in Bangladesh today such a voice risks being silenced for good. Unable to speak out any more are slain bloggers Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman, Niloy Neel and Ananta Bijoy Das. Bangladesh ranks 12th from bottom on the Committee for the Protection of Journalists 2015 impunity index, spotlighting countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go unpunished.

I am proud that this resolution calls for independent investigations into such killings but never to resort to the death penalty in response. It is not just the killings that prevent free speech; the government has criminalised criticism. Section 57 of the ICT Act criminalises criticising Islamic religious views or reporting on human rights violations. I echo Amnesty International’s calls to repeal Section 57 so that Bangladesh complies with its international human rights obligations. Last week, the Bangladesh Government banned Facebook and What’s App ‘indefinitely’, citing security reasons. George Orwell said, ‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’. The Bangladesh Government and the European External Action Service, in their dealings with this government, must remember this.

 
  
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  Karol Karski, w imieniu grupy ECR. Pani Przewodnicząca! W ostatnim czasie w Bangladeszu z zimną krwią zamordowano wielu niewinnych ludzi – aktywistów, publicystów, blogerów, cudzoziemców, członków mniejszości religijnych, w tym chrześcijan. Innym grożono śmiercią. Za atakami stoją islamscy ekstremiści, prawdopodobnie w części powiązani z obecną opozycją, w części współpracujący z Państwem Islamskim lub Al-Kaidą.

Terroryzmu doświadczyliśmy niedawno w Europie, wydarzenia Bangladeszu są wyraźnym sygnałem, że mówimy o problemie o globalnym zasięgu, który dotyka wielu państw w różnych regionach globu. Władze kraju dokładają wszelkich starań, aby odnaleźć sprawców zamachów i doprowadzić ich przed oblicze sprawiedliwości oraz aby zapobiec podobnym atakom przemocy w przyszłości.

Powinniśmy zdecydowanie wspierać tego typu działania, jednocześnie bacząc, by ataki terrorystyczne nie stały się pretekstem do zaostrzenia przepisów dotyczących wolności mediów lub działalności organizacji pozarządowych i obrońców praw człowieka, a niestety tego typu starania miały w ostatnim czasie miejsce. Niemniej jednak byłoby błędem w obecnej sytuacji skupienie się wyłącznie na polityce rządu w tym zakresie, a pomijanie głównego problemu, który ten rząd stara się rozwiązać. Zwalczanie zagrożenia, jakie stanowi islamski terroryzm – niezależnie od tego, jakie jest jego źródło i czy powiązany jest z wewnętrznymi siłami w kraju, czy też z Państwem Islamskim – powinno być absolutnym priorytetem władz.

 
  
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  Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, en nombre del Grupo ALDE. Señora Presidenta, señora Comisaria, en el marco del Acuerdo de cooperación sobre colaboración y desarrollo que mantenemos con Bangladés hemos aumentado ―nosotros: la Unión Europea― la financiación para el periodo 2014-2020 en un 70 % respecto al anterior periodo.

Este Acuerdo, en su artículo 1, especifica que el respeto de los derechos humanos y de los principios democráticos constituye un elemento esencial. Sí, en el artículo 1. La libertad de prensa y de medios de comunicación constituye un pilar indispensable para una sociedad democrática, pluralista y abierta.

El asesinato continuado de blogueros y editores, la puesta en marcha de políticas que coartan la libertad de expresión de los medios, la prohibición del lenguaje «antiestatal» o el cierre de medios sociales ―como Facebook, WhatsApp o Messenger― son claras señales de que la democracia en Bangladés se está deteriorando con demasiada celeridad.

Llegados a este punto me gustaría lanzarles estas preguntas: ¿Creemos que Bangladés está respetando el Acuerdo? ¿Creemos que tenemos que seguir manteniendo las mismas condiciones?

En este sentido, quiero hacer un llamamiento al Servicio Europeo de Acción Exterior para que exija al Gobierno bangladesí, de manera inmediata, que vuelva sin demora a la senda de la democracia.

 
  
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  Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL). Madam President, the recent news that secular bloggers, publishers and journalists are once again the targets of violence in Bangladesh is extremely worrying. The attacks against, and indeed murders of, people exercising their freedom of expression there have escalated over the past year, and five secular thinkers have been killed in 2015.

Such intimidation and the threats of continued violence are quickly eroding freedom of expression in Bangladesh – a freedom enshrined in that country’s constitution. Many writers have fled, are in hiding or have been silenced by such threats. This is unacceptable. The Government of Bangladesh must not be seen to be granting impunity to those responsible for attacks on secularism. In a climate of increasing fear and denigration of the freedom of expression, the government must move away from defending laws that prohibit criticism of itself and instead must protect free, independent and secular thought.

 
  
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  Diane James, on behalf of the EFDD Group. Madam President, Bangladesh is one of the world’s newest and also poorest countries, but it has a very special relationship with the United Kingdom, which is a member of the United Nations. The European Union should recognise that Bangladesh is undergoing its own security threat coupled with a general-election outcome that has magnified the aspects of killing, maiming and intimidation of its citizens. It also has in place laws that further impact on freedom of expression – for instance, freedom of belief is not allowed. Now the usual European Union interference should not happen – specific actions, criticisms and threats do not work. Leave it to the body that is acknowledged in the world, across the world – the United Nations. Ignore what my fellow United Kingdom party, the Labour Party, would like to do, which is to take the United Kingdom off the United Nations, but let the United Nations solve this and leave the United Kingdom to be the principal voice leading what is required in Bangladesh.

 
  
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  Λάμπρος Φουντούλης ( NI). Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η ελευθερία της έκφρασης είναι μία κατάκτηση του ευρωπαϊκού πολιτισμού εδώ και πολλούς αιώνες. Η κατάκτηση αυτή, όσο και αν για κάποιους είναι δύσκολο να το καταλάβουν, δεν είναι ούτε δεδομένη και πολλές φορές ούτε επιθυμητή σε κάποιες περιοχές του πλανήτη. Όσο όμως και αν μας ενοχλεί αυτό, θα έπρεπε πριν ασχοληθούμε με το Μπαγκλαντές να ασχοληθούμε με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Διότι, ειδικά τα τελευταία χρόνια, το δικαίωμα αυτό θυσιάζεται στο βωμό της πολιτικής ορθότητας, με τον μανδύα της οποίας πολύ νόμοι πλέον περιορίζουν την ελεύθερη έκφραση.

Επιπλέον, όταν οι νόμοι δεν αρκούν, παρακρατικές δομές αναλαμβάνουν τον ρόλο της καταστολής της ελεύθερης έκφρασης των ιδεών. Θυμάστε πολύ καλά πώς αντέδρασαν κάποιοι, όταν για παράδειγμα ένα περιοδικό δημοσίευσε γελοιογραφίες του Μωάμεθ. Την καταστολή της έκφρασης ανέλαβαν οι τρομοκράτες στο Charlie Hebdo, αλλά και στις πρόσφατες αποτρόπαιες επιθέσεις στη γαλλική πρωτεύουσα. Ας σημειωθεί ότι οι τρομοκράτες αυτοί έχουν πολλές συμπάθειες, τόσο στο Μπαγκλαντές, όσο και σε άλλες μουσουλμανικές χώρες του κόσμου.

Επιπλέον, η υποκρισία στην Ένωση περισσεύει, όταν μιλάτε για ελευθερία της έκφρασης, αλλά ταυτόχρονα συνεργάζεστε άψογα με καθεστώτα που αποδεδειγμένα λογοκρίνουν τους πολίτες τους, πολύ συχνά και με ωμή βία, όπως η Σαουδική Αραβία και η Τουρκία.

Ας προστατεύσουμε, λοιπόν, την ελευθερία της έκφρασης στην Ευρώπη και μετά ας ασχοληθούμε με το υπόλοιπο κόσμο.

 
  
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  Neena Gill (S&D). Madam President, this is a matter of urgency because of the increasing lack of freedom of expression in Bangladesh. The media clampdown, the crackdown on social media, attacks on secular thinkers and opposition groups, and the shutting down of online platforms are clear signals of repression. It is worrying that the violence is coming from two directions: from radicalised groups and from the security forces.

Western media have reported the spread of radicalisation in Bangladesh and threats issued by IS against that country. My message to the Bangladesh Government is that there are no better weapons for safeguarding a society from extremist violence than inclusiveness, democracy, respect for human rights and freedom of speech. I would urge the government, led by the Awami League Party, truly to heed this message.

I know a significant step has been taken with the adoption by enforcement agencies of a zero tolerance policy towards human rights violations, as well as the Police Reform Act, but these measures really need to be implemented, and I urge the High Representative and the Commission to support Bangladesh in these efforts. Equally, they need to convene a national dialogue that includes all democratic parties and civil society.

 
  
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  Monica Macovei (ECR). Organizația Reporteri fără frontiere spune simplu și la obiect: fără libertatea de informație, nu există opozanți.

Probabil că asta au urmărit autoritățile din Bangladesh atunci când au interzis prin lege, în 2014, discursurile împotriva statului, discursurile care ridiculizează ideologia națională sau cele care nu sunt conforme culturii din Bangladesh.

De aceea cer eliberarea celor închiși pe baza acestor prevederi și explicații convingătoare cu privire la soarta opozanților care au dispărut din partidele de opoziție și investigații imparțiale în cazurile acestor dispariții.

Legea privind securitatea cibernetică din 2015, precum și legea privind tehnologia informației, trebuie modificate așa încât să nu limiteze opiniile și viziunile diferite de cele ale autorităților.

Gândirea liberă și cuvântul „liber” nu pot fi ascunse în închisori.

 
  
 

„Catch the eye” eljárás

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). Paní předsedající, já jsem chtěl poděkovat autorům tohoto návrhu usnesení, které rád podpořím. Je faktem, že situace v Bangladéši se výrazně zhoršuje. Ten stav je tam neutěšený, ale bohužel je čím dále horší. Bylo tady popsáno to, jak je útočeno na novináře a blogery.

Zkrátka a dobře, základní právo demokracie, právo na svobodu projevu, je v Bangladéši potlačováno. A to nejen radikálními teroristickými islámskými skupinami, ale bohužel samotnou vládou. Já tedy proto vyzývám a připojuji se ke slovům, která zde padla vůči Komisi, aby na to byla bangladéšská vláda při jednáních s orgány Evropské unie permanentně upozorňována. Že není možné, aby nezávislý novinář, bloger byl uvězněn za to, že na svém facebookovém profilu kritizuje ministra vlády. Že není možné, aby trestní právo obsahovalo paragraf 57, kde jsou skutkové podstaty, které více méně brání svobodně vládu kritizovat. Dokud vláda Bangladéše nebude respektovat demokracii, není možné ji podporovat.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). Κύριε Πρόεδρε, στο Μπανγκλαντές οι δυνάμεις ασφαλείας και το περίφημο Τάγμα Ταχείας Δράσης είναι κράτος εν κράτει. Παραβιάζουν τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, ασκούν βία, κατηγορούνται για εξαφανίσεις αντιφρονούντων, διώκουν δημοσιογράφους, bloggers και συνδικαλιστές και όλα αυτά με το πρόσχημα της δήθεν προστασίας του συμφέροντος του κράτους και της εθνικής ιδεολογίας.

Τι κάνει όμως η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση; Κλείνει τα μάτια μπροστά σε αυτή τη βίαιη παραβίαση ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και την κοινωνική εκμετάλλευση και εξαθλίωση του λαού του Μπανγκλαντές. Και όλα αυτά στο όνομα της συμφωνίας συνεργασίας για εταιρική σχέση και ανάπτυξη που έχει συνάψει με το Μπανγκλαντές. Μια συμφωνία που δίνει την ευκαιρία στις ευρωπαϊκές πολυεθνικές να κερδοσκοπούν ασύστολα, έχοντας εγκαταστήσει τα εργοστάσιά τους στο Μπανγκλαντές, τα οποία λειτουργούν απασχολώντας εργαζόμενους χωρίς κοινωνική ασφάλιση, με μισθούς πείνας, μη τηρώντας τα εργασιακά δικαιώματα και τους όρους υγιεινής και ασφάλειας, με αποτέλεσμα να έχουμε συνεχείς πυρκαγιές και εκατοντάδες θανατηφόρα εργατικά ατυχήματα, όπως έχουμε επανειλημμένα καταγγείλει στην αίθουσα αυτή κυρία Επίτροπε.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). Gospodine predsjedniče, treba nam sekularni Bangladeš. Trebamo podržati vladu u namjeri da Bangladeš ostane sekularna država, jer vidimo što znači radikalizacija političkih scena u raznim državama ili u državama koje se raspadaju pred našim očima.

Treba nam da taj dio svijeta ne bude obuhvaćen radikalnim mjerama koje predlažu pripadnici Islamske države i drugi koji ne vjeruju u demokraciju i slobodu. Međutim, ono što također treba naglasiti je, i tu podržavam sve one koji kažu da Europska komisija u pregovorima s Bangladešom treba staviti na stol pitanje slobode izražavanja novinara, opozicije, sindikata i svega onoga što u Bangladešu danas praktično nemamo, jer u praksi tih sloboda praktički nema.

Mi smo kao Europska unija najveći partner Bangladeša u mnogočemu, prema tome imamo i pravo to tražiti od vlade Bangladeša.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). Paní předsedající, já musím říci, že jsem letos velmi přivítal udělení Sacharovovy ceny panu Badawímu, protože tento saudskoarabský bloger reflektuje skupinu, která se zasazuje o svobodu projevu, a to je vlastně otázka, na kterou se zde vytvořilo i usnesení všech frakcí spojených v našem parlamentu.

My tím dokazujeme, že svoboda projevu je pro nás zcela zásadní. A v politických projevech je diskuze, svobodná výměna názorů zcela klíčová. Obvinění, které se dostalo novinářům v Bangladéši, je nepochybně vykonstruované. Já vyzývám vládu, aby naopak stíhala zločiny, vraždy, únosy, teror, kterým jsou v této zemi vystaveni civilní obyvatelé a aby tato vykonstruovaná, nepodložená obvinění novinářů byla stažena.

 
  
 

(A „catch the eye” eljárás vége.)

 
  
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  Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the Commission. Madam President, as many Members of Parliament have noted, in Bangladesh in the past two years restrictive legislative measures and policies have been adopted, or are in preparation, which could have a negative impact on freedom of expression and independent media and narrow the space for civil society.

Some examples of this which were mentioned include a 2013 amendment to the Information Technology and Communication Act and the draft cyber security act, as well as the national broadcast policy and the national online mass media policy. This year has been marked by tragic attacks on journalists and the brutal murders of secular bloggers and a publisher, while others are facing death threats. This is taking place against the backdrop of a volatile security situation, which includes an unprecedented attack on a Shia procession in Dhaka last month, as well as recent killings and attacks on foreign citizens. I extend my condolences to the family of Cesare Tavella, who was killed on 28 September. There was also the attack on Father Parolari last week.

These issues were discussed at a meeting between High Representative/Vice—President Federica Mogherini and the Bangladesh Foreign Minister in Luxembourg on 5 November, as well as in a follow-up at the meeting of the EU—Bangladesh Joint Commission on 11 November in Dhaka.

The EU has expressed its alarm at the deteriorating human rights and security situation. We have called on the government to protect bloggers and also to bring the instigators and perpetrators of attacks to justice and to prevent the repetition of such horrible acts. We have stated our concern about legislation and policies that can be used to restrict media and internet freedom, while calling on the government to defend and protect freedom of expression and other fundamental rights.

Upholding these rights is an integral part of what is so very clearly a top priority for all of us today, namely the fight against radicalisation. When we restrict the public space for dissenting voices, what we are in danger of doing is fuelling extremism. Our cooperation, as set out in the EU—Bangladesh Cooperation Agreement, is based on a mutual commitment to respecting human rights and democratic principles, respecting the principles of the international conventions on core human rights and labour rights – some speakers spoke about labour conditions – and also underpinning the scheme that provides Bangladesh with quota—free and duty—free access to the EU market. The EU will therefore continue to raise freedom of expression in our dialogue with Bangladesh as we remain committed to assisting Bangladesh in carrying out the reforms necessary to strengthen democracy and governance.

(Applause)

 
  
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