Joint motion for a resolution - RC-B8-0085/2016Joint motion for a resolution

JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Estonian and UK seamen under detention in India

20.1.2016 - (2016/2522(RSP))

pursuant to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of the Rules of Procedure
replacing the motions by the following groups:
EFDD (B8‑0085/2016)
PPE (B8‑0090/2016)
ALDE (B8‑0093/2016)
ECR (B8‑0096/2016)
S&D (B8‑0099/2016)

Cristian Dan Preda, Lara Comi, Tunne Kelam, Elmar Brok, Davor Ivo Stier, Andrej Plenković, Patricija Šulin, Jarosław Wałęsa, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Eduard Kukan, Brian Hayes, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Thomas Mann, Csaba Sógor, Claude Rolin, Andrey Kovatchev, Eva Paunova, Milan Zver, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Pavel Svoboda, Ivan Štefanec, Michaela Šojdrová, Tomáš Zdechovský, Sven Schulze, Jaromír Štětina, Andrey Novakov, Lefteris Christoforou, József Nagy, Dubravka Šuica, Marijana Petir, Anna Záborská, Roberta Metsola, Joachim Zeller, Lorenzo Cesa, David McAllister, Stanislav Polčák, Ivana Maletić, László Tőkés, Elisabetta Gardini, Romana Tomc, Inese Vaidere on behalf of the PPE Group
Nikos Androulakis, Zigmantas Balčytis, Hugues Bayet, Brando Benifei, Goffredo Maria Bettini, José Blanco López, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Simona Bonafè, Biljana Borzan, Victor Boştinaru, Nicola Caputo, Andrea Cozzolino, Andi Cristea, Miriam Dalli, Nicola Danti, Isabella De Monte, Monika Flašíková Beňová, Knut Fleckenstein, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Enrico Gasbarra, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Michela Giuffrida, Sylvie Guillaume, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Afzal Khan, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Kashetu Kyenge, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Andrejs Mamikins, Costas Mavrides, Marlene Mizzi, Sorin Moisă, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Demetris Papadakis, Pina Picierno, Tonino Picula, Miroslav Poche, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Siôn Simon, Monika Smolková, Tibor Szanyi, Marc Tarabella, Patrizia Toia, Julie Ward, Josef Weidenholzer on behalf of the S&D Group
Geoffrey Van Orden, Monica Macovei, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Karol Karski, Ruža Tomašić, Angel Dzhambazki, Jana Žitňanská, Branislav Škripek on behalf of the ECR Group
Urmas Paet, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Petras Auštrevičius, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Marielle de Sarnez, Pavel Telička, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ivo Vajgl, Paavo Väyrynen, Dita Charanzová, Nedzhmi Ali, Martina Dlabajová, José Inácio Faria, Fredrick Federley, Nathalie Griesbeck, Marian Harkin, Filiz Hyusmenova, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Kaja Kallas, Louis Michel, Javier Nart, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Frédérique Ries, Robert Rochefort, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Hilde Vautmans, Valentinas Mazuronis, Marietje Schaake, Jasenko Selimovic on behalf of the ALDE Group
Ignazio Corrao, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Rolandas Paksas on behalf of the EFDD Group

Procedure : 2016/2522(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :

European Parliament resolution on Estonian and UK seamen under detention in India


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and in particular Articles 9, 10 and 14 thereof,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),

–  having regard to Rule 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 12 October 2013 the 35-strong crew (including 14 Estonians and 6 Britons, as well as Indians and Ukrainians) of the US-based, Sierra Leone-flagged and privately owned ship the MV Seaman Guard Ohio were arrested in Tamil Nadu state (India) and charged with illegally possessing weapons in Indian waters;

B.  whereas the crew were apparently on an anti-piracy mission, carried out no aggressive acts against Indian citizens, and have consistently denied any wrongdoing;

C.  whereas the charges were quashed soon after, but the Indian authorities appealed and the Supreme Court ordered the trial to proceed; whereas the men have been unable to leave India or work during this period;

D.  whereas extensive and regular engagement at the highest levels has taken place between the Indian authorities and their British and Estonian counterparts, including at ministerial and prime ministerial level; whereas this has included requesting the early return of the 14 Estonians and six Britons among the crew, drawing attention to their families’ financial hardship and mental anguish;

E.  whereas on 12 January 2016 each of the 35 sailors and guards was handed a maximum sentence of five years’ ‘rigorous imprisonment’ and fined INR 3 000 (EUR 40); whereas the men are now in Palayamkottai prison in Tamil Nadu; whereas they are considering an appeal against the sentences within the prescribed 90 days;

F.  whereas this turn of events has evoked surprise and consternation in many quarters;

1.  Respects India’s sovereignty over its territory and jurisdiction and recognises the integrity of the Indian legal system;

2.  Shares India’s well-founded concern and sensitivity, based on recent experience, in relation to terrorism;

3.  Is aware that the personnel involved were reportedly engaged in anti-piracy duties and that on-board protection teams have proved to be the single most effective anti-piracy measure and deserve the support of the international community, including India;

4.  Calls on the Indian authorities to ensure that the case of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio crew is dealt with on a basis of full respect for the human and legal rights of the defendants, in line with the obligations enshrined in the various human rights charters, treaties and conventions that India has signed up to;

5.  Urges the Indian authorities to act sympathetically in this case, to resolve the legal proceedings as swiftly as possible, and to release all personnel concerned pending conclusion of the judicial processes, in order to minimise the adverse effects on those involved and their families;

6.  Recommends that India consider signing the Montreux Document of 18 September 2008, which, inter alia, defines how international law applies to the activities of private military and security companies (PMSCs);

7.  Underlines the long-standing excellent relations existing between the EU and its Member States and India; urges India and the European countries concerned to ensure that this incident does not have a negative effect on wider relations; emphasises the importance of a close economic, political and strategic relationship between India and the EU Member States as well as the EU;

8.  Calls on the EU and India to increase cooperation in matters of maritime security and counter-piracy, including through the development of international doctrine and standard operating procedures, in order to fully exploit the potential offered by India’s role in the region; strongly believes, moreover, that this will contribute to preventing similar contentious cases from occurring in the future;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Government and Parliament of India.