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Πέμπτη 5 Ιουλίου 2018 - Στρασβούργο Αναθεωρημένη έκδοση

11.1. Παραβίαση των θεμελιωδών ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων των γυναικών στο Πακιστάν
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die große Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung mit Aussprache von Marijana Petir, Alojz Peterle, Anna Záborská, Franc Bogovič, Michaela Šojdrová, Ivana Maletić, Željana Zovko, Elisabetta Gardini, Lorenzo Cesa, Jan Olbrycht, Miroslav Mikolášik, Lars Adaktusson, Luigi Morgano, Arne Gericke, Alberto Cirio, Fulvio Martusciello, Tomáš Zdechovský, Mihai Ţurcanu, Massimiliano Salini, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Ivica Tolić, Pavel Svoboda, Seán Kelly, Peter Liese, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Kinga Gál, Heinz K. Becker, Tunne Kelam, Bendt Bendtsen, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Norbert Erdős, Giovanni La Via, Fernando Ruas, Ivan Štefanec, Othmar Karas, Paul Rübig, Nuno Melo, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Angelika Niebler, Patricija Šulin an die Kommission: Verstoß gegen die Grundrechte der Frau in Pakistan (O-000058/2018 – B8-0035/2018).

 
  
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  Marijana Petir, autor. – Poštovani predsjedniče, Visoka predstavnice, Pakistan zauzima peto mjesto među pedeset zemalja u kojima je najteže biti kršćanin prema svjetskom indeksu progona kršćana za 2018. godinu, koji sastavlja organizacija Open Doors. Od 8 milijuna pripadnika manjinskih vjerskih zajednica, koliko ih živi u Pakistanu, 3,9 milijuna čine kršćani. U Pakistanu se kontinuirano primjenjuje Zakon o blasfemiji, kojim se vrši pritisak na kršćane i ostale vjerske manjine. Vrhovni sud Pakistana smatra kako su osobe optužene za blasfemiju izložene nerazmjernoj i nepopravljivoj patnji zbog nepostojanja adekvatnih zaštitnih mehanizama protiv pogrešne primjene ili zlouporabe ovoga zakona.

Kršćanka Asia Bibi, uhićena je i osuđena na smrt vješanjem 2010. godine temeljem ovoga zakona i danas se nalazi u zatvoru zbog lažnih optužbi. Asia nije jedina. Pakistanski policijski službenik oteo je četrnaestogodišnju djevojčicu Sumbal Arif i prisilio je da se preobrati na islam. Asma Yaqoob, 25-godišnja kršćanka preminula je nakon što ju je 10. travnja 2018. godine musliman Rizwan Gujjar polio kiselinom i potom zapalio, a sve zbog toga što se odbila preobratiti na islam i udati za njega.

Asia, Sumbal i Asma. Za njihove strašne sudbine znamo. Pitam se što je sa sudbinama tisuće djevojčica i žena kojima ne znamo ni ime, a koje trpe zbog ovog zakona? Kako je moguće da život kršćana u Pakistanu ne vrijedi ništa? I da oni koji počine zločin protiv njih prolaze nekažnjeno?

Jasno je da u Pakistanu nema političke volje da se poštuju ljudska prava, prava žena i prava kršćana jer je sindski kazneni zakon, koji predviđa kazne za prisilnu preobraćenje na drugu vjeru, ostao neratificiran. No, unatoč svemu, EU je omogućila Pakistanu ulazak u poseban opći sustav povlastica OSP+. Omogućili smo im da profitiraju s otprilike milijardu eura godišnje trgovinskog suficita s Europskom unijom, iako je više nego očito da Pakistan u naravi ne provodi međunarodne konvencije koje se tiču ljudskih prava.

Imamo obvezu štititi temeljne vjerske slobode u odnosu s trećim zemljama. Slobode koje se tiču vjere, njezina nesmetanog prihvaćanja, vanjskog štovanja i prakticiranja u vlastitom životu zauzimaju posebno mjesto među općim ljudskim pravima. A poštivanje ljudskih prava i temeljnih sloboda jedno je od ciljeva vanjske i sigurnosne politike EU-a. Kako se ta sloboda ne bi olako shvaćala, moramo njome uvjetovati našu vanjsku politiku jer tek ćemo tada osigurati pravi mir.

U suprotnom, dok se poštivanje ljudskih prava olako shvaća i „gura pod tepih” radi gospodarske suradnje, sve dok se čini da nam je novac važniji od ljudskih života, bojim se da dijelimo odgovornost i za Asiu, Sumbal i Asmu i za sve progonjene kršćane diljem svijeta, a kršćani su danas, nemojmo to zaboraviti, najprogonjenija vjerska skupina na svijetu.

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice—President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, today we are here – not too numerous I have to say, unfortunately – for all the women in Pakistan killed or abused simply because they wanted to choose who to love or how to pray.

The story of Asma is only one of too many tragic stories coming from Pakistan – and let me say, not only from Pakistan but these stories of abuses on religious minorities happen everywhere in the world, including potentially in Europe. We have to remember about human rights and human dignity, also within our borders.

At the same time, Pakistan’s recent history tells us that change is possible and is happening. Laws can change and even culture can change. It takes the courage of women and men who are challenging the status quo – people who want Pakistan to be a better place, not just for women and minorities but for all its people. We all know the names of Malala or Asia Bibi, but there are also many more unknown stories of brave people who are helping Pakistan turn the page. It is thanks to these people that change is happening – slowly and still in a limited manner but is happening today. According to data provided by NGOs, acid attacks in Pakistan went down by 50% in the last three years and this is happening thanks to new laws that were introduced to protect women and victims, but it is also happening because of the relentless work of Pakistani civil society.

I am proud that the European Union has supported, is supporting and will continue to support this work. We’re working with civil society organisations that provide specialised medical support to the victims of acid attacks, and we have supported better legislation against these crimes. These may sound like small steps, but they tell us that progress is possible, change is possible and that engagement pays off.

Also on the rights of minorities, some important initiatives have been put in place. In the Punjab and Sindh provinces new actions have been taken to protect places of worship of non—Muslim religious communities. A nationwide debate has started on how to prevent false allegations of blasphemy. There is still too much violence against religious minorities in Pakistan, it’s true, but there are also many daily stories of coexistence. And let me add that the decision by Pope Francis to name the Archbishop of Karachi as a cardinal points precisely in this direction. We must invest in dialogue and coexistence, even more so in times when others invest in division and segregation.

We, as the European Union, are trying to accompany and incentivise all progress in the condition of women and minorities in Pakistan. We always raise these issues in the EU—Pakistan Joint Commission and in the subgroup on governance and human rights. Human rights are also a fundamental part of the monitoring process that we carry out in the context of our generalised scheme of preferences, the GSP+.

The European Commission presented its second biannual GSP+ report to Parliament and the Council in January and the report also includes an assessment on Pakistan. The next sessions of both the EU—Pakistan Joint Commission and the GSP+ monitoring mechanism are foreseen for next autumn, and our special envoy for freedom of religion and of belief was also recently in the country. As a consequence of our engagement, the government of Pakistan has committed to strengthening human rights institutions and human rights awareness.

On top of our diplomatic work, we are engaged on the ground. I’ve mentioned our support for NGOs, but beyond that we use our support for the Pakistani economy to empower women and girls across the country. Let me give just one example: one of the main development programmes we are running in Pakistan, in the Sindh province, relies exclusively on women and women groups for its implementation. This is empowering women.

The main objective of the programme is poverty reduction. We’re working with 750 000 poor households to lift out of poverty at least 30% of them, and we’re doing so working with women, helping them to get a job and raising their position within their communities.

We’re also engaged in increasing the number of girls who enrol in quality primary education. We have invested 210 million on education in Pakistan over a seven—year period. This is also investing in women and girls’ rights and empowering women. But this debate also coincides with a particularly important moment in Pakistan’s democratic life. General elections will be held on the 25th of this month, of July, and they can and should lead to a second consecutive democratic transition of an elected civilian government, which would be unprecedented in the country’s history, and improving women’s participation has become one of the major issues in the upcoming elections and various measures have been developed to this goal.

So in a moment like this, I believe we have a duty to engage even more closely with Pakistan. Only through dialogue and engagement can we make a difference to the life of Pakistani women, all of them. The GSP+ scheme provides us with an efficient and indispensable tool in this regard as a complement to our diplomatic action and to our development aid.

Pressure and dialogue can only go hand—in—hand. So our work with the people of Pakistan can lead to a country where no person is killed for their love or their faith. It is a realistic goal and I thank you for your engagement to make it happen together with us.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, firstly I would like to compliment High Representative Mogherini, and also my colleague and friend Marijana Petir, for initiating this topic, which I fully support, and reiterate the questions Marijana put on this important issue.

Attacks on women are widespread in Pakistan and the severity of these attacks is not to be underestimated. Women are continuously treated as second class citizens, and there are severe imbalances which need to be addressed. Pakistan’s latest national report on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, for example, has been overdue since 1 March 2017, so pressure needs to be put on Pakistan immediately to start taking the lives of women seriously.

Furthermore, coming from a very religious country like Ireland, with a history of religious conflict unfortunately, I understand the dynamics of religious coexistence and the challenges it creates. However, I absolutely condemn acts of violence in an attempt to coerce another into converting to a different religion, or acts of violence as punishment for someone who is not willing to join that religion. The intersection of religious conflict with gender inequality further exacerbates the traumas women face on a daily basis, and so both of these issues need to be tackled head on.

I would also like to reiterate Marijana Petir’s position regarding GSP+.

Finally, I want to say that we have on too many occasions had to discuss gender violence and discrimination in this Parliament. It needs to stop within and outwith the European Union.

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, observance of women’s rights in Pakistan is a big human rights question in the West. Unfortunately, we have to admit that this country is one of the most dangerous countries for women. The state does little to protect women and girls, despite constitutional guarantees, with loss of free will for the women of Pakistan. They are denied their basic fundamental rights.

Women in Pakistan have been constantly complaining of isolation from the mainstream of society. Women feel disillusioned by being maltreated by the male oriented set—up in Pakistan. However, Pakistani society usually adopts a hostile attitude towards women, who face substantial systematic challenges in Pakistan, and most fundamental is the question of violence.

Violence against women is a very alarming situation in the country because it is getting to a very threatening situation in that the violence is getting more brutal day by day. The honour and dignity of females is endangered, and no woman is efficiently protected by the state. One of the key problems is that there is a very fragmented legal framework for violence against women and girls. Moreover, there are no proper mechanisms on the ground for proper law enforcement and prosecution of crimes against women. Despite several legislative developments to strengthen women’s protection system, there is no significant decline in the number of cases of violence against women.

Many laws for building the country’s protection of women’s rights for freedom, equality and justice were formally introduced, but never enforced in the country. As a result, dramatically cruel and ruthless actions of crime against women are still happening. Violence against women and girls, including rape, murder, through so—called honour killings and domestic violence and forced marriage remain routine. In fact, Pakistani human rights NGOs estimates that there are about 1 000 honour killings every year; yes, one thousand. As you can imagine, investigation rates on them are close to zero.

For example, in 2017 in Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KPK) Province in north—west Pakistan, 94 women were murdered by close family members. In June 2016, Zeenat Rafiq, aged 18 was burned to death in Lahore by her mother for ‘bringing shame to the family’ by marrying a man of her choosing. In the same year, family members tortured and burned to death an 18 year—old schoolteacher in Murree, Punjab, for refusing an arranged marriage, and Qandeel Baloch, a well—known Pakistani model, was killed by her brother in a so—called honour killing.

These are just a few examples of the numerous inhuman brutal crimes against women in Pakistan. Especially vulnerable are women from religious minority communities. The report by the movement for solidarity and peace in Pakistan found that at least 1 000 girls belonging to Christian and Hindu communities are forced to marry Muslim men every year. The government failed to act to stop such forced marriages. Moreover, child marriages still remain a serious concern in Pakistan, with 21% of girls marrying before the age of 18, despite the submission of proposals aiming to raise the legal minimum age to 18 for females and to introduce harsher penalties for those who arrange child marriages. It was withdrawn by the national parliament of Pakistan.

Given these facts, women and girls in Pakistan do not possess their due rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. I know the situation. I visited Pakistan in April last year with the Committee on Foreign Affairs on an ad hoc mission to Pakistan. The state is unable to protect them from the inhuman social customs prevalent in this society. Dear colleagues, let us stop our silence. We have to protect women in Pakistan.

Thank you, Ms Mogherini, for your support on this issue.

 
  
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  Urszula Krupa, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Z analiz Open Doors wynika, że 215 mln chrześcijan jest narażonych na prześladowania w takich krajach, jak Pakistan, Korea Północna, Afganistan, Sudan, Iran, Irak, Jemen czy Erytrea. Według Ordo Iuris do represji dochodzi aż w 128 państwach. W islamskim Pakistanie chrześcijanie stanowią około 2% wśród 160 mln Pakistańczyków. Należą do najbiedniejszych. Są pozbawieni dostępu do edukacji, pracy, mienia. Są prześladowani, torturowani, więzieni, co ma miejsce w około tysiącu przypadków rocznie. Mimo że prawo gwarantuje mniejszościom pewien stopień wolności religijnej, około 700 dziewcząt rocznie zostaje uprowadzonych i zmuszonych do małżeństwa oraz do przejścia na islam, co prowadzi do eliminacji chrześcijan w Pakistanie, gdzie szczególnie kobiety są gwałcone i podpalane. Chrześcijanka Asma Yacoob zmarła w szpitalu. Przykładem jest więziona od lat Asia Bibi, która – podobnie jak wielu innych chrześcijan – została niesłusznie oskarżona o bluźnierstwo przeciwko Koranowi, za co grozi więzienie, a nawet śmierć. Coraz częściej dochodzi do ataków na kościoły chrześcijańskie, dlatego zasadne stają się pytania o obronę praw człowieka i mniejszości chrześcijańskich, i to nie tylko w Pakistanie, gdzie w ostatnim raporcie tamtejszego instytutu poświęconym wolności religijnej wskazano problem, oceniając sytuację jako krytyczną. Unia ma wiele możliwości nie tylko poprzez rezolucje, interpelacje czy inne interwencje, tym bardziej że na arenie międzynarodowej problem prześladowania chrześcijan wydaje się bagatelizowany. Istnieje potrzeba solidarności, środków politycznych, zwłaszcza że prześladowania mogą zagrażać niegdyś chrześcijańskiej Europie, i to nie tylko w związku z migracją, ale przewagą sił – delikatnie mówiąc – niechętnych chrześcijaństwu.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić, u ime kluba ALDE. – Poštovani predsjedavajući, želim odmah na početku izraziti svoju osobnu solidarnost sa svima onima koji pate u Pakistanu iz vjerskih razloga, s kršćanima koji pate u Pakistanu, s drugima koji pate u toj državi. Želim izraziti svoju veliku solidarnost sa ženama koje upravo zbog vjerskih razloga bivaju mučene, ubijane i silovane.

Nasilje nad ženama u Pakistanu je samo jedan primjer onoga čemu svjedočimo u današnje vrijeme, nepravdi koje se čine prema ženama ili drugim manjinama koje postoje, vjerskim manjinama, ali Pakistan nažalost nije jedina zemlja, imamo ih puno još za nabrojiti i to su često i partneri Europske unije. Ono što želim naglasiti je da naravno da vidimo pozitivne razvoje, naravno da vidimo i ono što znači nadu da će svijet biti bolji, da će i Pakistan biti bolje mjesto za življenje i za žene i za kršćane i da će i druge zemlje biti bolje mjesto za življenje za razne manjine.

Cijeli svoj život posvetio sam borbi za prava manjina, borbi za ono što znači ljudsko dostojanstvo i čast i zato želim naglasiti da odgovornost za sve ovo što se dešava u svijetu snose prije svega one osobe koje nisu dostojne pogledati najprije u svoje dvorište.

Pogledajmo najprije u svoje dvorište jer ako mi kažemo o ovome pitanju da zakon koji još nije stupio na snagu u regiji Sindh, nije stupio na snagu zbog prosvjeda konzervativnih vjerskih zajednica, ja ne mogu a ne povući paralelu s ekstremnim vjerskim zajednicama i u Hrvatskoj koje se protive ratifikaciji Istanbulske konvencije. Opet prava žena, samo negdje drugdje, na našem kontinentu. Nemoguće je ne povući tu paralelu i nemoguće je ne ukazati na takvu licemjernost i zato pozivam Vas, visoka povjerenice, da zaista sagledate sve elemente o kojima smo danas govorili.

Naravno, Vaša je obaveza da promovirate europske ideje, da promovirate ono što je Europska unija u Pakistanu i drugdje, ono što smo mi stvorili kao kontinent, vrijednosti od kojih mnogi moraju učiti od nas. Ali s druge strane, vjerujem da prije svega, ako želimo biti pošteni, ako želimo biti zaista iskreni kršćani, trebamo staviti ruku najprije na svoje srce, a onda gledati u tuđa dvorišta.

(Zastupnik je pristao odgovoriti na pitanje postavljeno podizanjem plave kartice (članak 162. stavak 8. Poslovnika))

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins (S&D), zilās kartītes jautājums. – Augsti godātais Jakovčiča kungs! Paldies liels, ka jūs pieņēmāt manu zilās kartītes jautājumu. Jūs visu pareizi pateicāt par kristiešu tiesībām un to aizsardzību Pakistānā, bet saprotiet — kad mēs tur bijām ar Ārlietu komitejas delegāciju pagājušā gada aprīlī, katra mūsu tikšanās sākās ar korāna lasīšanu. Pakistāna — tā ir dziļi reliģiska valsts, musulmaņu valsts, sunnītu valsts. Kā jūs saredzat kristiešu aizstāvību šajā situācijā?

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE), odgovor na pitanje postavljeno podizanjem plave kartice. – Poštovani predsjedavajući, nema nikakve dvojbe da u Pakistanu ili u Iranu, gdje sam ja bio, gdje svi sastanci počinju s molitvom, imamo nešto što nije na neki način u Europi više slučaj. Imamo slučaj u takvim zemljama. Ja mislim da mi moramo prije svega razumijeti situaciju, ali pokušati zaista ono što je nama najbitnije, vrijednosti koje imamo a to su vrijednosti manjina, protivljenje nasilju, pogotovo nad ženama i djevojčicama. To je ono što mi moramo učiniti i učiniti sve upravo u tim zemljama, a hoće li svatko...

(predsjedavajući je govorniku oduzeo riječ)

 
  
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  André Elissen, namens de ENF-Fractie. – Voorzitter, vanmiddag voeren we een belangrijk debat over de rechten van de vrouw in Pakistan. Eigenlijk had dit debat beter kunnen worden hernoemd naar het schrijnende gebrek aan rechten van de vrouw in Pakistan. Ontvoering, verkrachting, intimidatie en gedwongen bekering tot de haatideologie die islam heet. Het zijn slechts enkele voorbeelden van het leed dat veel Pakistaanse vrouwen treft.

Vaak wordt gedacht dat dit soort wreedheden kan worden gestopt met een subsidieprogramma vanuit het Westen. Ook het Europees Parlement maakt zich daar schuldig aan, dit terwijl steeds duidelijker wordt dat die zogenaamde hulp niet werkt. Lokale stamhoofden zeggen het één, maar doen het ander. Zo zijn gigantische sommen belastinggeld weggestroomd zonder enige verbetering van de leefomstandigheden van bijvoorbeeld vrouwen en christelijke minderheden. Waarom maken we dan nog steeds ieder jaar slaafs geld over?

Dit is helaas geen op zichzelf staand geval. Niet voor het eerst en niet voor het laatst ben ik bang, maakt de islam onschuldige slachtoffers. Overal in de wereld zorgt deze primitieve haatdragende ideologie voor oorlog en geweld. Westerse democratische waarden worden in geen enkel land waar de islam dominant is gedeeld.

En dan hebben we het nog niet eens over islamitisch terrorisme gehad. Europa is de afgelopen jaren opgeschrikt door vele tientallen islamitische aanslagen. De islam blijft de voornaamste bron van inspiratie en legitimatie voor terroristen die de afgelopen jaren al veel te veel slachtoffers hebben kunnen maken. Het lijkt tegenwoordig eerder regel dan uitzondering. Elke week is het wel ergens in Europa raakt. Ook Europol concludeert dat jaarlijks meer dan 95 % van alle doden die vallen bij terroristische aanslagen voortkomen uit islamitisch geïnspireerd geweld.

Enkele weken geleden heb ik schriftelijke vragen gesteld aan de Europese Commissie. Ik heb de Commissie verzocht te garanderen dat op geen enkele wijze geld zal worden uitgegeven aan islamitische dictaturen. Deze regimes waar zonder uitzondering vrouwen worden onderdrukt, kunnen hun kwalijke praktijken blijven uitoefenen, mede dankzij geld vanuit de Europese Unie.

Dit alles kan maar tot één conclusie leiden: het financieren van islamitische dictaturen als Pakistan moet direct stoppen. Iedere euro richting Pakistan is een steun in de rug van de islam, is een steun voor haat jegens iedereen die zich niet onderwerpt aan de verachtelijke regels van de sharia.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Herr Kollege Elissen! Das Thema, das wir hier besprechen, ist sehr ernst. Und auch das Thema Islamismus ist sehr ernst. Aber ich halte die pauschale Beschimpfung einer Religion für nicht angemessen. Ich rufe Sie zur Ordnung.

 
  
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  André Elissen (ENF). – Ik zal kort reageren in mijn eigen taal. Kijk, u mag de islam een religie vinden, wij vinden het een intolerante ideologie en alle wreedheden die we hier vandaag gehoord hebben, ook van de collega's, alles wat daar gebeurt in Pakistan, wat die vrouwen wordt aangedaan – u kunt wegkijken, de andere kant op kijken, maar het is verschrikkelijk. Wij komen gewoon op voor gerechtigheid voor de vrouwen, gelijke rechten en gewoon het beestje bij de naam noemen. Het is een intolerante ideologie en de inspiratiebron voor al deze wreedheden.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Herr Kollege Elissen! Ich habe Sie zur Ordnung gerufen. Es bleibt dabei, weil Sie andere Worte in Ihrer Rede gebraucht haben als „intolerant“, und die halte ich für unparlamentarisch. Ich gedenke auch nicht, Ihnen ein weiteres Forum dadurch zu geben, dass ich eine Frage zulasse.

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Marek Jurek (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie i Panowie Posłowie! Islam jest pluralistycznym państwem. Jest państwem, w którym funkcjonuje opinia publiczna. Jest państwem demokratycznym. My nie powinniśmy wyrabiać sobie opinii na temat islamu ani na podstawie ekstremistycznych grup terrorystycznych, ani na podstawie poprawności multikulturalnej. Rzeczywistym obrazem socjologii islamu są państwa takie jak Pakistan. I dlatego nasza polityka zagraniczna powinna mówić bardzo wyraźnie Pakistanowi, że to na przykład, że Asia Bibi siedzi w więzieniu, to jest obrazem islamu dla Europy. Bo to się nie dzieje wskutek decyzji bandy terrorystów, która kogoś zamknęła w piwnicy. To się dzieje za przyzwoleniem społecznym. Co więcej, szlachetni ludzie, politycy, którzy w Pakistanie chcieli zagwarantować jej wolność, spotykali się z ostrzeżeniami. Przecież to społeczeństwo nie wypuści jej z więzienia. Nasi dyplomaci powinni otwarcie mówić: nie budujcie złego obrazu swojej cywilizacji, swojej religii. Wolność dla Asi Bibi!

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice—President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, let me share with you a bit of background. A European Union Member State that I know very well, an extremely Catholic Member State that I know very well used to have a law justifying honour killing that was abolished only less than 40 years ago. This is to say that legislation changes, culture changes, and what we can and must do is to accompany and encourage this change towards having full respect of every single human being – this is what the European Union stands for – regardless of gender, religious ethnicity or whatever other conditions.

This is where we stand. This is our DNA. And let me add one additional point that some of you raised and with which I will conclude. It is that our credibility in defending and protecting religious minorities everywhere in the world is directly linked to our capacity, our policies and practices, to protect and defend minorities inside the European Union – inside the European Union. I hope this is a message that we bring back home to all our countries, to all our Member States, because this is something I face in my daily work with our partners around the world. If we want to stand firmly and clearly in defence of all religious minorities in the world, we have to be consistent on this at home.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

 
Τελευταία ενημέρωση: 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2018Ανακοίνωση νομικού περιεχομένου - Πολιτική απορρήτου