Kolmapäev, 23. oktoober 2019 - Strasbourg Uuendatud versioon

22. Olukord Iraagis, eelkõige seoses noorte ja tudengite protestide vägivaldse mahasurumisega (arutelu)
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the statement by the Vice—President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the situation in Iraq, in particular the violent suppression of young people’s and students’ protests (2019/2884(RSP)).


  Tytti Tuppurainen, on behalf of the Vice—President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President and honourable Members of Parliament, at the beginning of October protests erupted in Baghdad, and later spread to other parts of Iraq. The demonstrations escalated into violent clashes with the security forces, resulting in over 110 deaths and more than 6 000 wounded. A curfew was imposed and the internet was shut down for several days. There have been reports of attacks against press agencies and television stations, but also of unknown armed individuals attacking protesters.

The European Union made it immediately clear, already on 3 October, that we expect the security forces to exercise maximum restraint in the handling of protests, and we expect credible and swift investigations of the events.

We are encouraged by the prompt statements from Iraq’s highest authorities, who have reaffirmed their commitment to guaranteeing freedom of expression and security for all Iraqi citizens as well as the freedom of the press. The Iraqi people’s demands cannot be met with repression. Their requests must be listened to and addressed in earnest.

The protests seem to have initiated spontaneously, driven by young people asking for access to basic services, better opportunities and an end to corruption. Their aspirations and grievances are legitimate and should not be underestimated. In fact, young people across the Middle East are taking to the streets with the same demands.

At the same time, the challenges that Iraq is facing are unique. The country is finally coming out of a long conflict. It needs reconciliation and reconstruction; but it also needs to deliver on its people’s aspirations to a better life and better opportunities for all. These expectations need to be fulfilled if Iraq is to be stabilised in the long term.

Credible and effective structural economic reforms cannot be postponed. Corruption needs to be tackled effectively. This is crucial to building the country’s resilience with effective State institutions and strong democracy. The current government of Iraq has put forward an ambitious reform agenda, which must now be implemented as a matter of urgency. The High Representative was in Baghdad over the summer and already then she offered to support the government’s reform agenda and to focus on providing services to the population.

In these years, we have always been on the side of the Iraqi people, and their work to rebuild and reconcile the country. In early 2018, we co-hosted in Kuwait an international conference for the reconstruction of Iraq, and we are now delivering on the pledges made at the conference. EUR 300 million has been mobilised in the last two years to support reforms and promote sustainable job creation, particularly for the youngest generation – the one that has been at the forefront of the recent protests.

In these years we have demined the country’s hospitals and universities, so that the people of Iraq could finally have a normal life. We have worked with the Iraqi Government to support national reconciliation and we have established a civilian advisory mission to assist with security sector reform. This is also to make security forces more compliant with basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We cannot forget that Iraq has made significant progress in the past two years. After the territorial defeat of Daesh, the 2018 elections were followed by a peaceful transfer of power. Meanwhile, relations between the central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government have also improved.

We Europeans have always said that we want to help the people of Iraq win peace. This is what the people of Iraq are asking right now, so we will continue to be at their side and to accompany Iraq on its path towards a stronger more inclusive and more just democracy.


  Georgios Kyrtsos, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, we have a crisis between Iran and Saudi Arabia, unrest in Lebanon, an invasion in Syria and other developments that underline the importance of a stable Iraq in a complex and volatile region. Iraq’s economy is recovering from 20 years of armed conflict that include the years of presence of the so-called Islamic State in its territory. The potential of the country is huge. Iraq is already the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) second biggest producer with the production of 4.6 million barrels a day. Economists predict 3.6% growth in 2019 and 4% in 2020.

We should therefore ask the government of Iraq to use the economic potential of the country to address the grievances of the population that led to the recent social unrest. The government lost control of the situation and the security forces. We should exert our influence in favour of the implementation of the 13-point reform programme announced by the government and in favour of an independent investigation into who is responsible for the death of more than 100 protesting citizens.


  Kati Piri, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, this month, tens of thousands took to the streets across the Shia majority regions of Iraq. Protests were clearly spontaneous and protesters were unarmed. In no way did they pose a security threat, and yet the crackdown by the authorities was brutal and deadly. At least 110 were killed, thousands were injured and thrown in prison, and paramilitary snipers shot dead dozens from the rooftops in Baghdad.

Colleagues, let me be very clear: these actions are blatant and unacceptable human rights violations and must be condemned in the strongest terms. The protesters’ concerns are legitimate and urgent. Similar protests have been ongoing for months. A quarter of the young people are unemployed; basic public services are absent; corruption is endemic. Concerns about Iran are growing, and the actions taken by the government are of the deepest concern and simply do not deliver. These protests are not over. Nothing has been resolved; rather the contrary.

25 October is the government deadline to bring to justice those responsible for shooting civilians. On this very day, people again will go to the streets. We cannot allow their legitimate demands to again be met with violence. Iraq needs structural, social and economic reforms and revision of its patronage networks. This takes political courage. The EU and its parliaments stand by all Iraqi people, and we are ready to assist the authorities if they want to invest genuinely, decisively and inclusively in the country’s social and economic reforms. We are ready to demonstrate that the EU is a fair and trustworthy partner in the region.


  Abir Al-Sahlani, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, I will be speaking in Swedish, but let me first greet the Iraqi people in Arabic.

(The speaker says a few words of greeting in Arabic)

– 109 personer dog inom loppet av fyra dagar och över 3 500 är skadade, skjutna antingen i huvudet eller i bröstet. Med andra ord, vem som än höll i vapnen sköt för att döda; döda oskyldiga, civila, som bar på den irakiska flaggan och krävde sina medborgerliga rättigheter. Rätten att få slut på korruptionen, att få lika möjligheter till arbete, utbildning, ett liv i värdighet, en framtid. (Ord på arabiska) skrek demonstranterna, ”Vi vill ha ett hemland”.

Tyvärr räckte inte den utredning som tillsattes av statsministern. Den berörde inte de grundläggande problem som finns i landet, som till exempel en icke fungerande vallag, de omtvistade paragraferna i konstitutionen, ett avslut på korruptionen. Utredningen pekade inte på en enda minister som bar ansvaret för detta våld som mötte de demonstranter som var ute på gatorna, eller på dem som inte tillhörde den officiella säkerhetsapparaten i Irak och som sköt, vandaliserade andra partiers högkvarter, som gick in i mediekanalers hus och slog sönder dem som skulle rapportera om det som hände. Irak har betalat ett högt pris för sin frihet. Först var det Saddam. Sedan kom den amerikanska invasionen. Sedan kom al-Qaida och sist nu var det ISIS. Det är ett krig som bekämpades av det irakiska folket och alla dess minoriteter och dess armé, också å våra vägnar här i Europa.

Irak måste göra upp om de fundamentala problem som jag pratade om tidigare. Här kan och måste vi och EU leda och göra skillnad. Jag är besviken på att vi i kväll inte har en resolution, men jag hoppas att vi står redo att bevaka demonstrationerna som äger rum om mindre än 48 timmar och agera politiskt. Det irakiska folket förtjänar ett liv i värdighet. Det irakiska folket förtjänar vår respekt och tacksamhet.


  Hannah Neumann, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Es ist das gute Recht der Menschen im Irak, auf die Straße zu gehen und zu protestieren. Trotzdem wurden mehr als hundert von ihnen durch Schüsse getötet, mehr als viertausend verletzt, Journalisten wurden daran gehindert, die Proteste zu filmen, das Internet wurde blockiert. Die Berichte von Menschenrechtsorganisationen sind sehr klar: Es waren auch irakische Sicherheitskräfte, die auf die unbewaffneten Demonstranten gefeuert haben. Die irakische Regierung hat zwar eine Untersuchung der Vorfälle angekündigt, Antworten aber blieb sie schuldig. Stattdessen werden immer mehr Aktivisten bedroht oder verschwinden in Haft, und neue Proteste sind für diesen Freitag angekündigt.

Was mich als Mitglied dieses Parlaments beunruhigt: Seit zwei Jahren haben wir eine beratende Mission der EU im Innenministerium des Irak. Sie ist zuständig für die Reform des Sicherheitssektors. Im vergangenen Jahr haben wir die Mission noch mal von 50 auf 95 Personen aufgestockt. Diese Mission berät gerade genau diejenigen, die maßgeblich für die exzessive und tödliche Gewalt in den letzten Wochen verantwortlich sind.

Daher meine Frage an Sie, Frau Tuppurainen: Welche Konsequenzen wird die EU-Mission im Irak aus diesem Desaster ziehen? Wie kann eine unparteiische Untersuchung der Vorfälle garantiert werden? Und vor allem: Wie wollen Sie sicherstellen, dass es am kommenden Freitag nicht wieder zu Menschenrechtsverletzungen durch das von der EU beratene Ministerium und seine Behörden kommt? Es ist Zeit, dass wir endlich auch im Plenum über unsere Missionen im Ausland diskutieren.


  Thierry Mariani, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, l’Iraq est un pays blessé, blessé par les haines sectaires, mais surtout par l’opération américaine de 2003. Un pays blessé par les exactions du prétendu État islamique, qui a ravagé la plaine de Ninive, les provinces d’Al-Anbar ou de Salah ad-Din. Un pays qui est ravagé par de nombreuses violations de sa souveraineté par les États-Unis et par la Turquie. 5 200 soldats américains sont stationnés en Iraq. Le millier d’hommes retiré par Donald Trump de la Syrie les a rejoints.

Au sommet de Bruxelles, en juin 2018, l’OTAN s’engageait à effectuer des missions dites de consolidation du pouvoir iraquien. Les manifestations qui ont secoué le pays, au mois d’octobre, alors même que le pays accueille, en cette période, le pèlerinage d’Arbaïn, qui réunit près de 20 millions de chiites, sont bien sûr condamnables.

Ce gouvernement iraquien est pris en étau entre ses alliances régionales, les responsables religieux qui demandent au gouvernement d’accéder aux revendications des manifestants, et la préservation des différentes composantes de la société iraquienne.

Nous avons raison de parler de cette répression des manifestations dans le pays, que nous condamnons, mais nous sommes intervenus en 2003 sans penser au lendemain, sans penser à cette jeunesse privée d’avenir, parce qu’on a détruit son pays.

Seize ans après l’intervention occidentale, l’Occident est un pays détruit, et nous en portons une grande part de responsabilité.


  Anna Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, there has been a period of hope in Iraq after the crushing of ISIS, despite difficulties and now massive demonstrations against corruption, unemployment and poor public services. The reaction of the Iraqi Government was probably excessive, causing many casualties, with a trace of provocation as well: allegedly, an Iran—backed militia with snipers was deployed from the rooftops, causing more and more casualties, with young people killed and over 6 000 wounded.

We have to engage heavily in support of the Government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul—Mahdi, but we also have to request that all actions necessary be taken to curb the possibility of further violations.


  Clare Daly, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, this time last year we were in Iraq. Three weeks ago, the young man who brought us around was shot. His friend, aged 19, just engaged, was killed in the protests. Do you know what upset them the most, and our friends back in Ireland who are Iraqi friends? It was the fact that nobody in the world seemed to care.

Over a hundred people dead, thousands injured; it didn’t even merit a headline. When you compare it to the coverage on Hong Kong – we’ve got so used to the decimation of that country. Young people looking for simple things – electricity, water, jobs – they can’t get them. Why? Because it’s a legacy of the US illegal invasion; the privatisation of Iraqi assets; the theft of their natural resources exacerbated by corruption. It’s an appalling indictment.

I find it very interesting that the present government, whilst predominantly pro-US, is being pragmatic, is being a little bit open to Syria, a little bit friendly to Iraq. I want an investigation into who was responsible for the shooting, because I don’t think it’s clear, and I do think that agents provocateurs are operating in that region.


  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, le proteste che hanno scosso l'Iraq non hanno linee etniche o settarie, hanno coinvolto giovani sunniti, sciiti e giovani curdi. Denunciando la corruzione, la disoccupazione cronica e i servizi pubblici scadenti, le proteste si sono intensificate fino a chiedere una revisione completa del sistema politico.

La risposta delle autorità è stata ingiustificata, terribile e brutale: 149 civili sono morti a causa dell'uso indiscriminato della forza da parte delle autorità stesse. Questo venerdì, le manifestazioni dovrebbero riprendere.

Colleghi, è fondamentale lanciare un appello al governo iracheno affinché il rispetto delle libertà fondamentali del suo popolo sia pienamente garantito. Non solo in Iraq si protesta contro sistemi politici che lavorano per pochi e non per i molti: Cile, Libano, Egitto, Bolivia, Sudan sono alcuni esempi di quella che si può ormai definire una tendenza globale e non è l'unico paese in cui a dette proteste sono seguite misure antidemocratiche come lo shutdown di Internet, la repressione dei media e le violenze da parte delle pubbliche autorità.

Una globalizzazione senza regole e una diseguaglianza sociale in continuo amento hanno esacerbato le tensioni tra e dentro i paesi. Solo con modelli di crescita basati sull'inclusione sociale e che mettano al centro le persone possiamo dare risposte.


  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D). – Señor presidente, Irak —lo sabemos todos— no es solo la cuna de nuestra civilización, sino que es también, seguramente, uno de los pocos proyectos democráticos de tipo liberal, o intentos de proyectos democráticos, en Oriente Medio. Por eso creo que, como tal proyecto, merece todo el apoyo político, diplomático e incluso financiero de la Unión Europea.

Dicho esto, es evidente que lo que ha sucedido en las últimas semanas es de todo punto inaceptable. Tiene que recibir la condena de la Unión Europea; tenemos que exigir responsabilidades; tenemos que llegar hasta el fondo de esas muertes —más de 150 muertes— causadas por disparos de la policía contra manifestantes desarmados, que se manifestaban reclamando —como no puede ser de otro modo— mejoras sociales y económicas en Irak. Por eso, creo que debemos reafirmar nuestro compromiso con los iraquíes, tanto en su bienestar social, como en la defensa de sus derechos humanos.


  José Ramón Bauzá Díaz (Renew). – Señor presidente, mi intervención va a ser en español dirigiéndome obviamente a la señora Mogherini, como no puede ser de otra forma.

Irak vive desde hace años atrapado en un ciclo constante de violencia sectaria, de descontento y de frustración que la Unión Europea debe ayudar a revertir. Recientemente —y ya se ha hablado a lo largo de esta sesión— miles de jóvenes iraquíes han salido a las calles para protestar contra la corrupción, contra la falta de los servicios más básicos y contra el desempleo —como también se ha comentado—. Demandas legítimas que han sido respondidas con el corte de las conexiones a internet, el acoso a los periodistas y un nivel inusitado de violencia por parte del Gobierno.

Por todo ello, debemos condenar enérgicamente ese uso injustificado de la fuerza, que se ha cobrado hasta la fecha la vida de más de 157 manifestantes y ha dejado a miles de personas heridas. Las víctimas, por lo tanto, deben ser compensadas y las responsabilidades de aquellos involucrados, debidamente depuradas.

Este ciclo de violencia y descontento continuará mientras continúen los problemas principales de la gobernanza en Irak, que todos, además, sabemos cuáles son: la corrupción, el clientelismo y un sistema político que agrava la división más sectaria del país.

Por tanto, ante todo ello, la Unión Europea debe exigir al Gobierno de Irak el cumplimiento de los compromisos internacionales, el fin de la violencia y recordarle su deber de garantizar los derechos de libertad de expresión, de reunión y de prensa de la población iraquí.

Señorías, esa es nuestra obligación y, por tanto, esas deben ser nuestras exigencias.


  Isabella Tovaglieri (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, a Baghdad e in altre città irachene è in corso una brutale repressione degli studenti e dei giovani disoccupati che manifestano da settimane contro corruzione e miseria dilagante.

I giovani sono il 60 % della popolazione e quattro su dieci sono senza lavoro e senza futuro. Le forze speciali sparano a bruciapelo sui manifestanti facendo morti, feriti e compiendo arresti arbitrari. Con la complicità di un ceto politico corrotto, il paese è ridotto allo stremo, in un perenne stato di guerra mascherata dalla necessità di combattere il terrorismo.

Particolarmente grave è poi la situazione della popolazione di fede cristiana e delle donne. In molti territori dell'Iraq, infatti, l'Isis massacra quotidianamente i cristiani e impone alle donne irachene la barbara pratica dell'infibulazione.

L'Europa ha il dovere di intervenire per il rispetto dei diritti umani in Iraq, perché sono in gioco la credibilità dei nostri valori e il rischio di nuove migrazioni di massa di profughi e di disperati nei paesi comunitari.


  Pernando Barrena Arza (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, since the beginning of October, protesters in Iraq demanding a better life, better public services and an end to rampant corruption have been met with a hail of bullets and water cannon by the authoritarian regime. Such lethal force has murdered at least 105 people and wounded over 4 000.

The Iraqi authorities must stop. We in the European Parliament must demand that the Government in Baghdad listen to its people and rein in its security forces. We must also ensure Iraqis’ right to freedom of speech, and that also includes the free use of the internet. The Iraqi Government is obligated under international human rights law to protect the right to free expression and peaceful assembly. The authorities should release all protestors who have not been charged with a recognisable criminal offence.

Lastly, we should also raise our concern about collective punishment measures being deployed by the Iraqi authorities against its own citizens thought to have relatives who joined Daesh. Those measures are illegal and risk starting a new wave of violence in Iraq.


  Pietro Bartolo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, a Baghdad e nelle zone adiacenti si contano ormai a centinaia i morti e a migliaia i feriti nell'ambito della spirale di violenza che attraversa il paese da diverse settimane.

Questi fenomeni di violenza, è bene sottolinearlo, non vengono dal nulla, ma sono frutto di problemi di natura socioeconomica altrettanto grave, che ormai da anni flagellano un paese che da tempo cerca di uscire da una guerra che lo ha messo in ginocchio.

Il malcontento che porta migliaia di giovani studenti e cittadini comuni a riversarsi nelle piazze delle principali città irachene è il frutto di una corruzione ormai dilagante, che ostacola lo sviluppo e impedisce la modernizzazione del paese. Tutto ciò è legato a un tasso di disoccupazione giovanile allarmante e all'aumento del costo della vita e della carenza di servizi essenziali e crea i presupposti perfetti per l'esplosione di un nuovo conflitto sociale.

In questo contesto il diritto a protestare pacificamente deve essere riconosciuto. Il governo iracheno deve garantire la libertà di espressione e, anche in caso di protesta, le forze di sicurezza devono agire nel massimo rispetto della vita e dei diritti umani.

L'Unione europea deve condannare ogni forma di violenza e rimanere vigile sugli sviluppi futuri dell'area. Dobbiamo continuare a lavorare per il raggiungimento della stabilità politica, sociale ed economica del paese e della regione.


Catch-the-eye procedure


  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Domnule președinte, trebuie să recunosc că sunt revoltat și îngrozit. Revoltat și îngrozit, pentru că nu îmi închipuiam că în secolul XXI se poate recurge la astfel de forme barbare de violență. Eu sunt medic, medic de urgență în Iași, la Spitalul Clinic de Urgență „Nicolae Oblu”, și când văd atâta violență declanșată împotriva unor oameni care nu au cu ce să se protejeze, mă gândesc ce minte diabolică poate face acest lucru.

În al doilea rând, sunt tot revoltat și îngrozit, pentru că dreptul de exprimare, un drept fundamental al fiecărui cetățean din această lume, este încălcat cu bună știință în secolul XXI, un secol pe care ni-l dorim altfel. Dar haideți să ne uităm și în stânga, și în dreapta, și înăuntru, și în afara Uniunii Europene – pentru că astfel de situații le văd repetate în mai multe locuri din lume, și poate ne punem toți la o masă, Consiliul Europei, Comisia Europeană, aleșii europeni, să facem o simulare de situație reactivă într-o astfel de circumstanță, în așa fel încât astfel de fapte abominabile să nu se mai întâmple.

Sunt revoltat și îngrozit și vă cer tuturor celor care ați mai rezistat până la această oră în sală să găsim o atitudine comună pentru ca astfel de lucruri să nu se mai întâmple.


  Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL). – Pane předsedající, závěry vyšetřovací komise irácké vlády jsou jasné. Vinu za smrt 157 lidí při nedávných protivládních demonstracích nesou bezpečnostní složky. Brutalita bezpečnostních složek je odsouzeníhodná za všech okolností.

Pokud se z „Pomáhat a chránit“ stane mlátit a zabíjet neozbrojené demonstranty, kteří požadují lepší životní podmínky, je demokracie ohrožena. Je samozřejmě pravdou, že americká armáda přinesla do oblasti asi tolik stability jako mor, ale všichni jsme jistě doufali, že Irák bude již v lepším stavu.

Pokud jsou však reakcí na protesty proti korupci a nezaměstnanosti a špatně fungujícím službám ostré náboje, víme, že Irák není v dobrém stavu a demokracii se vzdaluje. Brutalita bezpečnostních složek musí být odsouzena vždy a všude. Jak v Iráku, tak v Katalánsku, o čem se však většina poslanců bavit nechce, za což se styďte.


  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, (off microphone) incident, thousands of protesters, mostly young people have demonstrated across Iraq against corruption and unemployment, demanding accountable governance and improved public services. They have been met by Iraqi security forces using excessive and lethal force, killing more than 100 and wounding over 4 000. There must be a transparent investigation and proper accountability for these killings and human rights abuses.

The authorities must immediately release all protesters who have not been charged with a legitimate criminal offence. Those arrested and detained solely for exercising their right to participate in demonstrations or criticise the government are not criminals, and the media blackout in the ensuing crackdown against protesters by silencing their voices cannot continue. We remind the Iraqi Government that it is obligated under international law to protect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.


  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, Iraq is a broken country. It’s hardly surprising that people are protesting. It’s hardly surprising that the government is pretty useless. The damage that’s been done to this country – Iraq – have we ever seen anything as bad in the last 30 years? It’s incredible, and sadly the European states are not innocent. Of course, it was all driven by the Americans; of course it was about resources; it was about regime change.

The hardship that this approach has inflicted on a people. Over a million people have been killed in the place, and when someone is killed there now, it’s irrelevant! Look at how many MEPs are here. They were far more interested in bombing the place than they are now in doing anything for the people. What can we do? Actually, I don’t know. It’s so hard for the Western powers to actually help a country without financially abusing it and raping it of its resources.


(End of catch-the-eye procedure)


  Tytti Tuppurainen, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, allow me to say that this exchange of views was very useful and of course very timely. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the honourable Members for their interventions, comments and suggestions. From this debate, I conclude that we all need to continue monitoring closely the developments in Iraq and reflect on the country’s shift from stabilisation to reconstruction, coupled with good governance, human rights and prosperity.

I would also like to say that we should use all opportunities in our bilateral and multilateral contacts to re-emphasise the urgency of meeting the needs and aspirations of the Iraqi people, and of addressing the regional challenges affecting the country.

In the coming months, the first dialogues will take place under the Iraq-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement since it entered into force, and this debate will surely inform its context. Allow me therefore to express my appreciation for your attention and support in maintaining this important file at the top of our agenda.




  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

Viimane päevakajastamine: 28. jaanuar 2020Õigusteave - Privaatsuspoliitika