Tag Archives: European Parliament

Iran: 60 European MPs Call on President Rouhani to Work For Nasrin Sotoudeh’s Release

August 22, 2018

On August 22, 2018, 60 members of the European Parliament (MEP) called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to “do all within your power to ensure” the “unconditional release” of human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. A 2012 recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Sotoudeh has been detained since June 13, 2018. Having formerly served three years in prison for peacefully defending her clients in the Iranian judicial system, Sotoudeh is currently facing many more years behind prison under several national security charges. Following is the letter sent by MEP Marietje Schaake to President Rouhani.

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Brussel, 22 August 2018

Honourable President Rouhani,

We write to express our deep concern about the continued detention of Sakharov laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh. She was arrested in June of this year to serve a five-year prison sentence for previously unreleased charges, apparently solely because of her human rights work.

Last week it was revealed that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing new charges, reportedly including charges of espionage, which is an extremely worrying development. Her case signifies that the Iranian judiciary continues to criminalise legitimate human rights activism.

We urge you to call on the judiciary to respect due process and disclose information about the charges that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing, and we call on you to do all within your power to ensure her unconditional release.

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2018/08/60-eu-parliamentarians-call-on-president-rouhani-to-work-for-nasrin-sotoudehs-release/

https://women.ncr-iran.org/iran-women-news/5430-nasrin-sotoudeh-s-open-letter-on-her-refusal-to-attend-court

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2018/08/intelligence-agents-raid-nasrin-sotoudehs-home-taking-hair-pins-as-evidence/

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2018/08/fourth-human-rights-lawyer-slapped-with-national-security-charges-in-iran/

https://observatoryihr.org/news_item/lawyer-nasrin-sotoudeh-faces-new-charges-rights-defenders-iran-under-threat/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasrin_Sotoudeh

https://www.radiofarda.com/a/eu-mp-nasrin-setodeh/29448002.html (FARSI)

https://liberationpolular.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/%CE%B1%CE%BB%CE%BB%CE%B7%CE%BB%CE%B5%CE%B3%CE%B3%CF%8D%CE%B7-%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B9%CF%82-%CE%B9%CF%81%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%AD%CF%82-%CF%80%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%B9%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AD%CF%82-%CE%BA%CF%81%CE%B1/ (GREEK)

https://kjarninn.is/frettir/2018-08-22-mannrettindalogfraedingur-handtekinn/ (ICELANDISH)

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Iran/European Parliament: 39 MEPs protest detention of rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

June 28, 2018

https://marietjeschaake.eu/en/nasrin-sotoudeh-in-iran

https://www.change.org/p/ayatollah-sayed-ali-khamenei-immediate-release-nasrin-sotoudeh (PETITION – PLEASE SIGN!)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasrin_Sotoudeh

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasrin_Sotoudeh (FRANCAIS)

Vietnam/EU/EP: No Free Trade With UNFree Regimes | Letter

June 10, 2018

90 NGOs including LRWC call on the EU to reject the proposed free trade agreement until Viet Nam releases all political prisoner, including Nguyen Van Dai, and ensures rights to expression and association.


June 6, 2018
To:

  • The Council of the European Union
  • The Members of the European Parliament

We, the undersigned organizations, urge European Union member countries to reject the pending free trade agreement with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

After the European Parliament’s emergency resolution on Vietnam last December, it would be a disgrace if European countries were to ratify free trade with a country that is one of the world’s worst enemies of freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of association. Over the last year, the Vietnamese authorities have arbitrarily detained scores of peaceful activists and bloggers. Just in April 2018, the Vietnamese authorities conducted five political trials and sentenced ten courageous human rights defenders and bloggers to harsh prison sentences of up to 15 years in prison for peacefully exercising rights to freedom of expression and association. In prison, torture and mistreatment are routinely used to extract confessions and force detainees to plead guilty. It is not unusual for prison officials to deny detained activists appropriate medical treatment.

The European External Action Service condemned the 5 April 2018 conviction and sentencing of Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thu Ha, Pham Van Troi, Nguyen Trung Ton, Nguyen Bac Truyen and Truong Minh Duc, stating these individuals “have peacefully advocated the promotion and protection of human rights as guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Their sentences are in direct breach of these international obligations, which Vietnam has itself signed up to, and which the European Union expects full respect for.”

https://www.lrwc.org/vietnam-no-free-trade-with-unfree-regimes-letter/

http://www.dw.com/en/vietnam-expels-dissident-lawyer-to-germany/a-44121266

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/case-history-nguyen-van-dai

https://thediplomat.com/2018/06/repression-rising-in-vietnam/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguy%E1%BB%85n_V%C4%83n_%C4%90%C3%A0i

https://www.voatiengviet.com/a/nguyen-van-dai-thu-ha-minh-khanh-duc/4433825.html (VIETNAMESE)

https://verbaende.com/news.php/Akkreditierungshinweis-fuer-Medienvertreter-Uebergabe-des-Menschenrechtspreises-des-DRB-an-Nguyen-Van-Dai-in-Berlin?m=122558 (DEUTSCH)

Turkey/EP: EP rapporteur Piri calls Turkey to release jailed pro-Kurdish HDP candidate Demirtaş

June 4, 2018

The European Parliament’s (EP) Turkey rapporteur Kati Piri has called for the release of jailed pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş ahead of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, online news outlet T24 reported.

According to the report, Piri took to Facebook on Monday, highlighting that Demirtaş, who has been in pre-trial detention for 19 months and faces a string of terror-related charges, is campaigning from his prison cell.

“Other candidates, such as Muharrem İnce (CHP) and Meral Akşener (İYİ), have called for his release. Only then can there be a fair campaign. That seems to me to be a demand that all democrats must support,” Piri said, echoing the calls made by Turkey’s opposition figures for the release of Demirtaş during his presidential campaign.

EU-Commissioner for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn last month said that Turkey’s upcoming elections would not be fair under the ongoing state of emergency rule that was implemented following the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, pointing to the chokehold over freedom of expression in Turkey.

https://stockholmcf.org/ep-rapporteur-piri-calls-turkey-to-release-jailed-pro-kurdish-hdp-candidate-demirtas/

http://bianet.org/english/world/197841-ep-rapporteur-kati-piri-demirtas-should-be-released-for-fair-election

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F

https://www.bbc.com/turkce/haberler-dunya-44354398 (TURKCE)

https://info.arte.tv/fr/selahattin-demirtas-en-campagne-contre-erdogan-depuis-sa-prison (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F (FRANCAIS)

Turkey/EU/European Parliament: EP member Sommer: High time for EU to act over shocking developments in Turkey

March 9, 2018

Dr. Renate Sommer, a member of the European Parliament (MEP), has called on the European Union to put more pressure on Turkey’s autocratic regime under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and stated that “If the EU keeps feeding carrots without ever using the stick, it will lose its credibility and betray its own values. It is high time to act for the EU!”

Sommer, who has been a German Christian Democrat MEP since 1999 and a member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, wrote an article for the Brussels-based online news outlet Vocal Europe on Friday and said: “The state of the rule of law, democracy and human rights in Turkey is shocking. Since the failed coup, the Turkish government misuses the steadily prolonged state of emergency to silence critics from all fields. Members of the opposition, journalists, human rights activists, academics and others are arrested on ridiculous grounds.”

“Those who counted on the balancing power of the Turkish Justice system were deeply disappointed,” Sommer said and added that “Lower courts ignored the rulings by the Turkish constitutional court to release the journalists Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay. The decision to release human rights activist Taner Kılıc was withdrawn only several hours after the ruling became public. Those examples show that Turkey is not governed by the rule of law but by the rule of despotism.”

Renate Sommer’s article continues as follows: 

“Unbelievably many critics lost their jobs. Especially entrepreneurs who were members of the Gülen Movement were expropriated, their companies closed or nationalized, and sold by the state.

Interestingly, and this is not well known outside Turley, this expropriation began even before the coup attempt. Meanwhile one third of all lawyers and judges, one tenth of the police force, 110.000 officials and teachers and 5000 academics were simply laid-off. All of those people are left with nothing. From one minute to the other, they lost their pension rights, have no financial support at all and cannot find a new job. The atmosphere in the Turkish population is poisoned by a network of informants on alleged Gulen members and on critics against the government or the president. There is an overall climate of fear.

As member of the Joint-Parliamentary Committee and Standing EPP Rapporteur on Turkey, I have been criticizing the developments in Turkey for many years. The events after the coup, however, made things much worse. 

https://stockholmcf.org/ep-member-sommer-high-time-for-eu-to-act-over-shocking-developments-in-turkey/

https://ahvalnews.com/torture/international-lawyers-demand-un-action-torture-turkey

https://turkeypurge.com/outspoken-lawyer-banned-taking-gulen-linked-cases

https://ahvalnews.com/press-freedoms/chilling-turkish-trial-slammed-press-groups

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/37th-session-human-rights-council-item-2-annual-report-and-oral-update-high

China/European Parliament: Human rights: Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Tibet

January 19, 2018

 

  • DRC must hold presidential and legislative elections in 2018
  • Nigerian authorities must increase their efforts to stop ethnic and religious violence
  • Chinese government must release detained human rights activists

MEPs call for elections in Democratic Republic of Congo, condemn violence in Nigeria and urge China to release human rights activists.

China must release human rights activists

The Chinese government must release blogger Wu Gan, pro-democracy activist Lee Ming-che, Tibetan language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk, Tibetan monk Choekyi, and all those who are being detained for their human rights work, say MEPs. Pending their release, they add, they must not subjected to torture or ill-treatment and must have access to family and lawyers of their choice.

MEPs call for an investigation into allegations that interrogators have used torture to force the confession of human rights lawyer Xie Yang, who was convicted on 26 December 2017 but exempted from criminal penalties after pleading guilty to subversion charges.

https://www.cnbcafrica.com/apo/2018/01/19/human-rights-democratic-republic-of-congo-nigeria-and-tibet/

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-parliaments-42668452

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201801190006.aspx

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2018/01/20/2003686086

http://chinachristiandaily.com/2018-01-20/society/chinese-human-rights-lawyer-disbarred_6644.html

http://unpo.org/article/20578

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/case-history-xie-yang

https://africanmanager.com/le-parlement-europeen-epingle-la-rdc-le-nigeria-et-la-chine/ (FRANCAIS)

Turkey/Europe: EP’s Pittella calls on Turkey to release all political prisoners immediately

May 13, 2017

EP’s Pittella calls on Turkey to release all political prisoners immediately

President of the European Parliament’s Socialists & Democrats Group Gianni Pittella on Friday said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is closing the door to Europe, calling on him to immediately release all political prisoners.

Paying a two-day visit to Ankara, Pittella attended the trial of pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP) Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, met with the other leading figures in the HDP and spoke with main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Calling 100 cases launched against Demirtaş by Turkish authorities “not acceptable” in his statement following meetings in Ankara, Pittella said: “This repression of political opposition is happening alongside the mass imprisonment of journalists, judges, academics and soldiers, without charges and without any possibility of appeal.”

“We call on President Erdoğan to release Demirtas and all political prisoners immediately,” the S&D Group president said.

Recalling that the Socialists & Democrats have been the strongest supporters of Turkey’s European future and remain perhaps the last ones, Pittella underlined: “We still support this future. However, President Erdogan is making it impossible by turning Turkey into an increasingly authoritarian country. We are clear — Erdoğan is closing the door to Europe. For us democracy and human rights come first. ”

https://turkeypurge.com/eps-pittella-calls-on-turkey-to-release-all-political-prisoners-immediately

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/european-lawmaker-visits-turkey-hunger-strikers-960686635

https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-purge-in-past-15-days-1257-detained-264-jailed-over-coup-charges

http://www.dw.com/tr/avrupal%C4%B1-parlamenterden-g%C3%BClmen-ve-%C3%B6zak%C3%A7aya-destek/a-38822547 (TURKCE)

http://www.corriere.it/esteri/17_maggio_12/missione-turca-socialisti-europei-scandagliare-rischio-regime-d4546432-36e9-11e7-91e3-ae024e503e5d.shtml (ITALIANO)

https://www.tah.de/afpnewssingle.html?&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=442066&cHash=1fa407516077a6809571fe88064bb97a (DEUTSCH)

http://www.elsevier.nl/buitenland/achtergrond/2017/05/socialistische-fractie-houdt-optie-van-turkse-toetreding-open-502721/ (NEDERLANDS)