Joint motion for a resolution - RC-B6-0167/2004Joint motion for a resolution



pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure, by
replacing the motions by the following groups: on the human rights situation in Eritrea

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European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in Eritrea

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the ruling against Eritrea by the African Commission on Human Rights in March 2004,

-  having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  deeply concerned by Eritrea's steadily deteriorating human rights situation, and dismayed by the manifest lack of cooperation from the Eritrean authorities, despite repeated appeals by international human rights organisations and NGOs,

B.  whereas on 4 November this year the Eritrean security forces indiscriminately arrested thousands of young people and others suspected of evading military conscription and fearing that the prisoners may risk torture and ill-treatment,

C.  whereas 12 people died in an alleged escape bid on 4 November 2004 in the Adi Abeto military prison,

D.  whereas many young people have fled the country to escape from military service, and many of those forcibly returned to Eritrea from Malta and Libya have been arrested, tortured and sent to a secret prison where most are still detained incommunicado,

E.  strongly deploring the continued imprisonment without charge since September 2001 of the so-called Asmara 11, a group of former ruling-party members of parliament campaigning for democratisation,

F.  having regard to the de facto suppression of the independent press and the arrests of numerous journalists, in the wake of which the association 'Reporters sans frontières' now ranks Eritrea as the third most repressive country in the world towards journalists,

G.  whereas since September 2001 13 independent journalists have been arrested in Asmara, one of them being a Swedish citizen, Davit Issak, who has not been tried for any crime, while the Eritrean authorities have refused to make any comment on his fate,

H.  whereas the constitution adopted in 1997 and guaranteeing civil liberties, including freedom of religion, has never been implemented,

I.  whereas respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, constitutes an essential element of the Cotonou partnership agreement,

1.  Firmly condemns all human rights abuses in Eritrea and calls on the country's authorities to uphold human rights, to respect the international conventions and to cooperate in full with international human rights organisations and NGOs;

2.  Calls on the Eritrean government to abide by the international human rights conventions;

3.  Calls for a thorough and independent investigation of the incident at the Adi Abeto military prison on 4 November, where at least a dozen prisoners were reportedly shot dead; calls for those responsible to be brought to justice;

4.  Calls on the Eritrean authorities to immediately release the 11 former members of parliament, in compliance with the ruling of the African Commission on Human Rights of March 2004;

5.  Calls on the Eritrean authorities to lift the ban on the country's independent press and to immediately release the 13 independent journalists and all others who have been jailed simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression;

6.  Calls on the Eritrean authorities to respect the human rights of all detainees, including the young people arrested on 4 November, and allow them immediate access to their families and lawyers;

7.  Stresses the importance it attaches to fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of association, especially in the political and trade union spheres, and freedom of assembly;

8.  Reiterates its demand for the initiation of an inter-Eritrean political process, bringing together the various party leaders and representatives of civil society with a view to finding a solution to the current crisis and to setting the country on the path to democracy, political pluralism and sustainable development; in this context, confirms its commitment to supporting the development of Eritrea, as well as peace and stability and cooperation in the region;

9.  Calls on the Council and Commission to open the consultation procedure in accordance with Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement in order to stop human rights violations and pave the way for political pluralism;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the ACP-EU Council and Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the European Commission, the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the African Union, and the Government and Parliament of Eritrea.