Nacions Unides renuncia al Referèndum d’Autodeterminació pel Sàhara Occidental

Ho hem sabut aquesta setmana, i en el ple de la setmana vinent, a Estrasburg, tenim previst fer diverses accions per denunciar aquest fet:

On W. Sahara, UN Drops “Referendum for Self-Determination”

From April 6 Report http://www.innercitypress.com/unws1ladsous041112.html

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 11 — In what is becoming an annual ritual of craven ineptitude, the UN Secretariat of Ban Ki-moon and Frenchman Herve Ladsous have again crudely watered down their report on Western Sahara.

Inner City Press is today putting online the versions of April 6, 2012, which had a discussion of the referendum on self-determination for which the UN mission MINURSO was set up, and the changed version of April 11, which drops the reference, and more.

The April 6 version said that MINURSO was

“intended to operate for three critical purposes: 1) as an instrument of stability in the event that the political stalemate continues; 2) as a mechanism to implement a referendum on self-determination in the event that the talks led by my Personal Envoy are successful; and 3) to provide independent information on conditions in the Territory to the Secretariat, the Security Council, and the international community.”

The revised April 11 version changes 2) to

“as a mechanism to support implementation of successive Security Council resolutions related to the mandate of MINURSO (the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara).”

Compare April 6 version, here, especially from Paragraph 114, with April 11 changed version, here.

 This happened last year, though it took an actual leak to Inner City Press to expose it. This year, the UN did it openly, after having circulated the April 6 version.

  While most attribute the changes to pressure from Morocco, which this year unlike last is a member of the Security Council, active not only on Western Sahara and often positively, Inner City Press would put more of the blame, or shame, on the Secretariat of Ban Ki-moon and Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

  Already Ladsous has been written to with this complaint:

“Dear Mr. Ladsous. I am concerned by the fact that the UNSG report whose copy has been already sent to the UNSC members and the parties (Morocco news agency MAP has already published several parts of the report) still not available on the UN web site. I learned that once again Morocco is trying to force changes on some specific paragraphs contained in the ‘recommendations and observations.’ This attempt is showing nothing more nothing less than is not only MINRSDO on the ground which is submitted to ‘unacceptable established practices’ imposed by Morocco but also the UN headquarters.”

  But Ladsous and Ban Ki-moon who appointed him appear to be more and more shameless. How will they explain these changes? How will envoy Christopher Ross respond? His briefing is scheduled for April 17. And what’s called the Group of Friends on Western Sahara are, without AU input, negotiating a draft resolution, on which we’ll have more. Watch this site.

Foto: Hervé Ladsous

I Bahrein? (sobre la detenció d’Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, i altres activistes)

Malgrat que l’anomenada Primavera àrab fa temps apareix i desapareix de les nostres vides (informativament parlant) en funció de si tenen lloc fets greus i filmables, la realitat és que dia a dia succeixen coses que ens obliguen a estar extremament vigilants. Un dels països que cal seguir amb més atenció és Bahrein. De fet, entre les moltes coses que estem fent, vull destacar avui el requeriment que he fet a la Comissió Europea en relació a l’empresonament d’Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, i d’altres activistes.

Pregunta de Raül Romeva i Rueda a la Comisión Europea, sobre la detención en Bahrein de Abdulhadi Al Khawaja

El Sr. Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, ex Director de MENA en “Front Line” el ex presidente del Centro de Bahréin para los Derechos Humanos (BCHR) fue detenido de forma arbitraria el 9 de Abril de 2011 por policías enmascarados y posteriormente torturado. El 22 de junio de 2011, el Sr. Al Khawaja fue condenado a cadena perpetua por “organizar y dirigir una organización terrorista”, “intento de derrocar al Gobierno por la fuerza y por “colaboración con una organización terrorista trabajando para un país extranjero”, junto con otros 20 activistas políticos y de derechos humanos por el Tribunal de Seguridad Nacional de Bahréin. De acuerdo con su familia y sus abogados, su vida podría estar en peligro ya que pronto cumplirá 60 días de huelga de hambre en denuncia de su detención arbitraria. El Observatorio para la Protección de los defensores de Derechos Humanos y la Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos denuncian que la detención y acusación pretende sancionar sus actividades en Derechos Humanos y que las autoridades no permiten a estas organizaciones visitar al detenido.

Considerando que el derecho a un juicio justo es un derecho fundamental y un principio general de los Tratados de la UE, que a ésta le corresponde respetar y defender. Teniendo en cuenta la Declaración de Defensores de Derechos Humanos (1988) adoptada por la ONU donde se afirma que “todo el mundo posee el derecho de forma individual o en asociación de promover y proteger los Derechos Humanos y libertades fundamentales a nivel nacional y internacional”. Visto que las Líneas de Actuación de la EU sobre Tortura declaran que la tortura es una de violaciones de los derechos humanos más detestables y que su prevención y erradicación es uno de los principales objetivos de la Unión Europea, preguntamos a la Comisión;

¿Que acciones va a tomar para que las autoridades de Bahréin garanticen la integridad física y psicológica del Sr. Al Khawaja, así como de todos los defensores de los derechos humanos en Bahréin? ¿ Va a pedir la liberación inmediata visto su delicado estado de salud y la inconsistencia de las acusaciones que se presentan contra él? Va a encargar una investigación sobre la acusaciones de tortura?

Font foto: Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, segons Carlos Latuff.

Palestine, the raids of the Israeli forces on Palestinian TV stations

My yesterday’s speech on the Israeli raids against two palestinian TV Stations  (EP, 15.3.12)

And the resolution that we defended, as Greens/EFA:

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure on Palestine, the raids of the Israeli forces on Palestinian TV stations, by Margrete Auken, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Keith Taylor, Malika Benarab-Attou, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Ana Miranda, Rui Tavares, Judith Sargentini, Barbara Lochbihler, Jill Evans on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

 

B7 0160/2012

European Parliament resolution on Palestine, the raids of the Israeli forces on Palestinian TV stations

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions,

– having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the High Representative Catherine Ashton on the closure of two Palestinian television stations of 3 March 2012,

– having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

– having regard to existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and to the Oslo Accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements) of 1993,

– having regard to Article 122 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

A. whereas, on 29 February 2012, Israel Defence Forces soldiers accompanying officials of the Israeli Ministry of Communication raided two Palestinian television stations, Wattan TV and Al-Quds University-affiliated Al-Quds Educational TV, and confiscated transmitters, computers, broadcasting equipment, cassettes, and administrative and financial documents; whereas several employees of Wattan TV were held for hours during this operation,

B. whereas the Israeli Ministry of Communication said following the raids that both television stations had been repeatedly warned that they used frequencies which violated agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, interfered with Israeli communication systems, and disturbed flight communications at Ben-Gurion International Airport in particular,

C. whereas the Palestinian Authority replied that Israeli accusations concerning the interruption of flight communications were false, that it had received no warnings from Israeli authorities, and that the two television stations were guilty of no violations of agreements between Israel and the PA, while it also underlined that the Israeli raids had breached these agreements, which require such issues to be resolved through consultation,

D. whereas Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the Israeli raid on the two Palestinian television stations as a blatant attack against the freedom of information which recalls Israeli practices in the beginning of the second intifada when occupation forces had raided and sabotaged many Palestinian media institutions, including Wattan TV, and said that the Palestinian response should entail immediate rebroadcast and continuation of work in both institutions,

E. whereas the European Union has worked with both Wattan TV and Al Quds Educational TV, which have been broadcasting for many years,

F. whereas intimidation of Palestinian media by Israeli authorities continues; whereas, on 20 November 2011, the Israeli Ministry of Communication ordered the closure of All for Peace, a radio station based in East Jerusalem and broadcasting from Ramallah in the West Bank; whereas Reporters Without Borders said that this radio station had been broadcasting programmes encouraging peace initiatives and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians,

G. whereas the Oslo Agreement established an Israeli-Palestinian Joint Technical Committee to address any issues arising in the telecommunications field,

H. whereas Israeli raids on the two Palestinian television stations took place in Area A in the occupied Palestinian Territory, which is under Palestinian civilian and security administration and control,

1. Condemns the raid by Israeli Defence Forces soldiers and officials of the Israeli Ministry of Communication on Palestinian television stations Wattan TV and Al-Quds Educational TV and the confiscation of transmitters, computers, broadcasting equipment, cassettes, and administrative and financial documents on 29 February 2012;

2. Expresses its deep concern about the continuous intimidation of Palestinian media by Israeli authorities;

3. Supports the efforts of Palestinian authorities and the two television stations to restore all broadcasting equipment and continue interrupted broadcasting as soon as possible;

4. Calls on Israeli authorities to return all confiscated equipments and documents to the two television stations with no delay;

5. Calls on the Israeli authorities to fully respect the provisions of existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority when dealing with Palestinian media; stresses that the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Technical Committee, established by the Oslo Accords, is the adequate mechanism to resolve any disputes in the telecommunications field;

6. Stresses again that continuous raids by the Israel Defense Forces in Area A, which is under Palestinian civilian and military administration and control, in the occupied Palestinian Territory undermine the authority and credibility of Palestinian authorities and security forces in the population, puts in jeopardy the internationally recognised success of Palestinian state-building efforts, and considerably hinder efforts aimed achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians;

7. Calls on the Vice President/High Representative, the Council, and the Commission to put the issue of Israeli intimidation of Palestinian media on the agenda of EU-Israel dialogue and to take this into consideration in EU-Israel bilateral relations; reminds again, in this context, of the EU’s obligation to ensure consistency between the different areas of its external action and between these and its other policies, as mentioned in Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union;

8. 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, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Middle East Quartet Envoy, the Knesset and the Government of Israel, the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Romeva speaks out on the situation in Egypt

My yesterday speech on the situation in Egypt, in the European Parliament (Strasbourg, 16.02.12)

El text de la resolució que vàrem presentar, i defensar a les negociacions, els Verds/ALE és el següent: (segueix)

European Parliament resolution on Egypt: recent developments by Franziska Katharina Brantner, Hélène Flautre, Frieda Brepoels, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Margrete Auken, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Rui Tavares, Judith Sargentini, Barbara Lochbihler on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

B7?0085/2012

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt in particular of 17 February 2011 on the situation in Egypt, of 27 October 2011 on the situation in Egypt and Syria, in particular of Christian communities, and of 17 November 2011 on Egypt, in particular the case of blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah,

– having regard to its annual reports on the situation of human rights in the world, and in particular to its resolution of 16 December 2010 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2009,

– having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and to Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which Egypt is party,

– having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Egypt, and in particular those on the violence the days before the parliamentarian elections, on 26 November 2011, on the continued crackdown on civil society in Egypt on 1 February 2012, on EU response on the football tragedy in Egypt on 2 February 2012, and her statement on 23 of January 2012 regarding the transferring power to civilian rule as quickly as possible,

– having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of 10 October 2011, having regard to the European Council Conclusions on Egypt on 23 October 2011,

– having regard to the Joint Communication on ‘A new response to a changing neighbourhood’ of the European Commission and the HR/VP to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions of 25 May 2011,

– having regard to the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

– having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas a committee to review civil institutions and NGOs aimed at tightening legal control on foreign funding of civil society organizations was announced in October 2011 and consequently a request was issued to the Central Bank to monitor all bank transitions of NGOs; whereas, at the same time, the state security prosecutor accused organisations that have illegally received funding from foreign sources of “grand treason” and “conspiracy” against Egypt through foreign agendas aimed at harming Egyptian national security; whereas the defamatory campaign against these organisations launched by the state-owned press served to de-legitimise and stigmatise them in the eyes of the public as actors acting against the interest of Egypt;

B.  whereas on 29 December 2012 Egypt’s public prosecution officers, with back-up from security forces, have launched raids on 17 national and international human rights and pro-democracy organisations based in Cairo, including the Arab Centre for Independence of Justice and Legal Professions (ACIJP), the Budgetary and Human Rights Observatory, the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute and Freedom House; whereas during the raids security forces confined staff to their offices, forbid them to make phone calls and seized laptops and other documents that prove these NGOs receive foreign funds without informing authorities;

C.  whereas twenty-seven human rights organizations describe these raids as an unprecedented campaign against political activists and rights entities after authorities had checked the bank accounts of the accused NGOs and Sameh Abou Zeid, the Minister of Justice-appointed judge presiding over this investigation, said evidence proves that several foreign and local NGOs have indeed received such unauthorized funds;

D.  whereas on 5 February 2012 Egyptian investigators filed criminal charges against 44 international and national civil society workers, including 19 Americans, 14 Egyptians, 5 Serbs, 2 Germans, 2 Lebanese, 1 Jordan and 1 Palestinian; whereas all of them face a travel ban preventing them from leaving Egypt; whereas the law being used to pursue these workers is one of the era of former President Mubarak, which the government had said it intended to repeal;

E.  whereas according to US Congress continued restriction of the activities and harassment of international and Egyptian staff will be looked at with great concern, particularly in light of Egypt’s annual U.S. military assistance of $1.3 billion;

F.  whereas the clashes between supporters of two rival teams, the local Al-Masry and Cairo based al-Alhy in Port Said stadium on 1 February 2012 revealed the death of at least 79 people and more than 200 injured under the indifference and lack of action of the security forces; whereas clashes demanding an end to military rule has amplified through out Cairo and other major cities in Egypt during several days, causing more victims; whereas security forces continue to use fire tear gas, birdshot and rubber bullets at protesters at close range causing deaths and serious injuries;

G.  whereas the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has failed to conduct an investigation into the reports of sexual assault of female protestors, including the so-called ‘virginity checks’ and death threats against female protestors; whereas civilians arrested under the emergency law continue being tried before emergency courts and military tribunals, which fall short of the minimum international standards of fair trial and the right to defence;

H.  whereas according to international and national organisations, there is no improvement in human rights protection in Egypt throughout the past 10 months of military rule whereby the SCAF has been accused of using life ammunition against peaceful civilians, of conducting activities hostile to fundamental freedoms, of

I.  whereas the European Union has several times called on an end of the violence in Egypt and stressed the necessity of transferring power to civilian rule as quickly as possible as accepted by popular referendum in March 2011;

J.  whereas no international institutions, including the EU, had been invited to observe the elections, except for a few local NGOs that received the authorisation on the eve of the elections day; whereas the international community pointed out some shortcomings and some observers reported problems outside the polling stations, but nevertheless the elections were internationally accepted as having taken place in a democratic way; whereas the SCAF eliminated the quota of 64 seats assigned to women in the People’s Assembly and limiting the gender issue to a requirement for the political parties to nominate at least one female candidate in their lists which resulted in only 1% of the members of the People’s Assembly being women;

1.  Expresses once again its solidarity with the Egyptian people in this critical and difficult period; Expresses its deep concern that the democratic transition to which the SCAF said it was committed to, has led to no democratic reform and an increasing crackdown on political dissent, freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly and freedom of association; calls on the SCAF to respect the demands of the January 25 revolution namely to respect Egyptians’ aspirations to freedom, dignity and justice.

2.  Strongly condemns the ongoing crackdown on international and national human rights and pro-democracy organisations in Egypt and views it as a way to silence voices critical of ongoing human rights violations; considers that these attacks constitute a severe violation of the right to freedom of association, as provided in Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

3.  Urges the SCAF and the Egyptian government to immediately put an end to all forms of harassment or intimidation to which civil society organisations are subjected, whether direct or indirect, and especially to drop all criminal charges and stop the current media campaign against NGOs; urges the HR/VP to be vocal on the necessity for Egyptian authorities to adopt a new association law based on international human rights standards and in close consultation with NGOs and human rights and pro-democracy groups;

4.  Recalls on the Egyptian authorities the importance of giving civil society organisations the opportunity to play their role in building a sustainable democracy and calls on the Egyptian authorities to facilitate and allow in this regard foreign organisations, including political foundations, to continue their work on the ground without arbitrary restrictions;

5.  Calls for an independent, transparent and thorough investigation into the events of the Port Said stadium clashes that took place on 1 February 2012 as well as into the reports of sexual assault of female protestors, including the so-called ‘virginity tests’ and death threats against female protestors, which should be conducted by an independent and impartial judiciary, in order to hold all those responsible to account;

6.  Underlines the fundamental importance of civil society in any democratic society as well as the freedom of expression and media plurality and calls in this regard on the Egyptian authorities and the Egyptian People’s Assembly to fully associate and consult with civil society organisations in the law making process to improve the legitimacy and the efficiency of the law;

7.  Calls for further clarification about the constitutional process, its timeline and its democratic principles; calls on the Egyptian authorities to make sure that any constitutional provision is inclusive and leaves no possibility for discrimination of anyone in Egyptian society or puts any institution above the representatives of the People, including the right for the Members of the People’s Assembly to amend, adopt and reject the entirety of the national budget, including the budget of the ministry of defence;

8.  Stresses the importance of holding free, fair and transparent elections and encourages the EU and its Member States to continue supporting and assisting the Egyptian authorities, political parties and civil society in the efforts aimed at achieving this goal; calls on the SCAF to allow independent observers to witness and monitor the upcoming presidential elections;

9.  Points out that the widespread use of military and emergency courts contribute to increasing concerns regarding Egyptian authorities and represents a clear obstacle to the democratic aspirations of Egyptians; calls for the full lifting of the Emergency Law in accordance with the first demands of the January 25 revolution and with announcements made by the SCAF and the government before elections were held, including the lifting of the emergency law for suspects of acts of thuggery; urges the Egyptian authorities to end the referring of civilians to emergency and military courts and to guarantee them a just and fair trial in civil courts;

10.  Calls on the HR/VP, the EEAS and the Commission to guarantee that the respect for and the promotion of human rights and fundamental rights, including the independence of the judiciary and of the media, the lifting of the emergency law, the reinforcement of the role of the civil society and of women and the reform of security forces including the former state security apparatus, will be seen as priorities within the renewed ENP EU-Egypt Action Plan for 2012-2016 and condition further EU funding to Egypt;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Alaa Abdel Fattah, o la revolució pendent a Egipte

Diversos mitjans es fan ressò aquests dies del calvari que està vivint el blocaire egipci Alaa Abdel Fattah.

«Mai vaig pensar que aquesta experiència es repetiria cinc anys després. Després de la revolució que va enderrocar el tirà, torno a la presó? ». Així comença la carta que, amb el títol ‘Retorn a les presons de Mubarak’, va enviar el popular blocaire al diari Al-Shoruk.

L’internauta va ser detingut el 30 d’octubre acusat d’«instigar als manifestants coptes a que ataquessin als soldats» el 9 d’octubre, un data fatídica en la història recent egípcia en què van morir 27 persones, la major part d’elles cristians atropellats o tirotejats per l’Exèrcit.

Abdel Fattah, que havia criticat fortament a les Forces Armades per la seva responsabilitat en la matança, va rebutjar ser interrogat per un tribunal militar i compleix una ordre de presó preventiva de 15 dies.

El seu cas ha enfurismat i mobilitzat els activistes del país, que han organitzat marxes en el seu suport. La seva mare, l’acadèmica Laila Sueif, va iniciar la setmana passada una vaga de fam per exigir que la junta militar retiri els càrrecs contra el seu fill i acabi amb els judicis militars, pels que més de 12.000 civils han passat ja des de la caiguda de Mubàrak.

El tema ha arribat també al parlament Europeu on alguns diputats i diputades estem impulsant una resolució a partir dels següents punts:

 

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Egypt, notably the case of blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah, By Franziska Brantner, Frieda Brepoels, Hélène Flautre, Judith Sargentini, Raul Romeva i Rueda,…

A.         whereas on 30 October prominent Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah appeared before the military prosecutor in response to an official summons and was questioned about his involvement in the protests at Maspero; whereas Alaa Abdel Fattah refused to answer questions because of his opposition to civilians being tried before military courts and because the military itself was party to the violence which occurred during the Maspero protests while leading the investigation into the deaths of protesters;

B.         whereas on 2 November the Egyptian Shorouk newspaper and British Guardian newspaper published a letter written by Alaa Abdel Fattah at Bab el-Khalq jail with the title “After Egypt’s revolution, I never expected to be back in Mubarak’s jail”; whereas Abdel Fatah spoke about his 2006 imprisonment experience and the injustice of military trials;

C.         whereas on 3 November the military prosecutor charged Alaa Abdel Fatah with theft of a military weapon, the destruction of military property, incitement to the assault of military officers, illegally demonstrating as well as use of force against members of the armed forces and ordered his detention for 15 days which was renewed on 13 November for 15 days pending further investigation;

D.         whereas Egyptian human rights NGOs confirmed Alaa Abdel Fattah’s statements that he was not even present at the place of the Maspero protests, as he went to the Coptic Hospital on October 9 to see the victims of the attacks;

E.         whereas at least 28 other civilians are believed to have been detained and charged in connection with the demonstrations;

F.         whereas imprisoned blogger and prisoner of conscience Maikel Nabil Sanad, currently into his third month of a hunger strike, continues to refuse cooperation with the military tribunal as he did not recognize military’s authorities to try civilians ; whereas the military appeal court decided to annul his sentence of three years of imprisonment and ordered a re-trial on 11 October 2011; whereas, at the second hearing of this procedure which took place on 1 November 2011, his trial has been postponed to the 13th of November and further postponed at this date until the 27th of November;

G.         whereas human rights organizations have reported that, since the crackdown, more than 12 000 civilians have been tried before military courts which deprive defendants of fair trial and deny them the right to appeal; whereas the great majority of Egyptian human rights NGOs, lawyers associations and political figures from all political groups have insisted civilians must be tried in civilian courts to ensure due process;

H.         whereas according to international human rights organisations, the National Council for Human Rights, Egypt’s Government-appointed human rights commission, said members of the military were responsible for killing demonstrators; whereas Egypt’s military authorities must allow an independent investigation into the killings of the 9 October Maspero events if they are serious about bringing those responsible to justice;

I.          whereas social media have played an important role in Arab Spring events including in Egypt; whereas Alaa Abdel Fatah’s detention is only the latest example of the systematic targeting, harassment and intimidation against bloggers, journalists, political activists and human rights defenders in Egypt;

 

1.         Expresses once again its solidarity with the Egyptian people in this critical and difficult period of democratic transition in the country and reaffirms its support to their legitimate democratic aspirations; calls on the Egyptian authorities to ensure full respect of all fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and of internet, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association;

2.         Strongly regrets that Egypt’s treatment of bloggers, human rights defenders and political activists seems to have changed little since the stepping down of the former president; urges the Egyptian authorities to put an end to the unjust and appalling persecution of Alaa Abdel Fattah and Maikel Nabil Sanad and calls for their immediate and unconditional release as well as of all other persons unduly imprisoned for having peacefully expressed their views in Egypt;

3.         Stresses the importance of civil society in any democratic society as well as of freedom of expression and media plurality;

4.         Points out that the widespread use of military courts contribute to increasing concerns regarding Egyptian authorities and represents an obstacle to the democratic transition of Egypt; calls for the lifting of the Emergency Law in accordance with the first demands of the January 25 revolution and with announcements made by the SCAF and the government before elections are held; urges the Egyptian authorities to end the referring of civilians to military courts and to guarantee them a just and fair trial;

5.         Stresses again the importance that an independent, thorough and transparent, investigations into the events of Maspero be conducted by an independent civil judiciary, in order to hold all those responsible to account;

6.         Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt;

Palestina a Nacions Unides

Un dels temes protagonistes d’aquesta setmana al Parlament Europeu, reunit en sessió plenària a Estrasburg, és evidentment la petició del President Abbas que es reconegui l’estat de Palestina i la seva incorporació a l’Assemblea General de Nacions Unides.

Els diferents grups hem presentat la nostra proposta de resolució. En la que hem consensuat el Grup Verds/ALE, on aquest tema és susceptible sovint d’apassionats debats, hem acordat, entre d’altres punts, els següents: 

(…) F. Whereas on 23 September 2011 President Abbas submitted Palestinian application for UN full membership at the UN General Assembly; whereas the 15-member UN Security Council, whose approval is needed for UN membership and full recognition of statehood, should begin discussion on 26 September to take up this application; (…)

1. Reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution, based on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as capital of both states, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security; supports therefore the application submitted by President Abbas to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 23 September 2011;

2. Calls on the EU and EU Member States to make all efforts so as to reach a common position in line with previous statements in support of the recognition of the State of Palestine on 1967 borders, including as regards Jerusalem, and its admission as full member in the UN;

3. Acknowledges and welcomes the success of state-building efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, which have been strongly encouraged and supported by the EU and endorsed by various international actors, and considers this a solid and reliable basis of Palestine readiness for sovereign statehood;

4. Calls for the immediate resumption of direct and serious peace talks, based on the internationally recognised parameters, including the 1967 borders, and a timetable agreed by both parties, as only a negotiated agreement between the two sides can bring lasting peace and security to Israelis and Palestinians; reminds that settlements are illegal under international law and are an obstacle to peace and calls therefore for a complete stop of settlement activities; stresses that no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted;

5. Stresses that just as Israel should recognize a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, the new state should adopt the recognition of 1993 by the PLO of the state of Israel based on the 1967 borders and ensure its legitimate security concerns;

6. Takes note of the statement of 23 September 2011 of the Middle East Quartet which reiterates its urgent appeal to the parties to overcome the current obstacles and resume direct bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations with the objective to reach an agreement within a timeline but not longer than the end of 2012; considers in this regard that the endorsement by all parties of its obligations under the Road Map and in particular, a complete stop of settlement activities by Israel is an indispensable step towards resuming effective and credible peace negotiations;

 

Foto: El president de l’Autoritat Palestina, Mahmoud Abbas, al costat del Secretari de l’ONU, Ban Ki-moon. Font: Jessica Rinaldi (REUTERS)

 

Perquè proposo que PE no doni consentiment a renovació Acord Lliure Comerç UE-Marroc per a productes agricoles i pesquers

Aquest matí he presentat a la Comissió de Pesca (PECH) del Parlament Europeu la meva proposta d’Opinió (en tant que ponent nomenat per la mateixa Comissió) a l’informe que està fent la Comissió de Comerç Internacional (liderat per José Bové) en relació a l’acord de Lliure Canvi entre Marroc i la UE per als productes agricules i pesquers.

A continuació argumento perquè penso que la Comissió de Pesca hauria de suggerir que el Parlament Europeu no donés el seu consentiment a aquest acord (que no és l’acord de epsca,d el qual en parlaré en un apunt posterior, i sobre el qual també hi ha interessants novetats a comentar):
 

PROYECTO DE OPINIÓN de la Comisión de Pesca para la Comisión de Comercio Internacional

sobre la propuesta de Decisión del Consejo relativa a la celebración del Acuerdo en forma de Canje de Notas entre la Unión Europea y el Reino de Marruecos sobre medidas recíprocas de liberalización del comercio de productos agrícolas, productos agrícolas transformados, pescado y productos de la pesca, sustitución de los Protocolos nos 1, 2 y 3 y los anexos de estos Protocolos, y modificación del Acuerdo Euromediterráneo por el que se crea una Asociación entre las Comunidades Europeas y sus Estados miembros, por una parte, y el Reino de Marruecos, por otra

(15975/2010 – C7?0432/2010 – 2010/0248(NLE)

Ponente de opinión: Raül Romeva i Rueda

BREVE JUSTIFICACIÓN

De conformidad con las actuales disposiciones del Acuerdo de Asociación con Marruecos, se han eliminado los aranceles para algunos, pero no para todos, los pescados y productos de la pesca. La actual propuesta eliminaría los aranceles para todo el pescado y todos los productos de la pesca.

El Acuerdo propuesto permitirá a Marruecos liberalizar inmediatamente el 45 % (en valor) de las importaciones de la UE, mientras que —por parte de la Comunidad— las importaciones procedentes de Marruecos se liberalizarán en un 55 %.

Han surgido una serie de preocupaciones acerca de este acuerdo:

Especial preocupación existe ante la capacidad de la UE para controlar y hacer cumplir los plazos y las cuotas arancelarias, a menudo ignorados por los socios marroquíes, según han denunciado diferentes asociaciones profesionales en 2009 y 2010. En resumen, el resultado objetivo que se observa es el desequilibrio en cuanto a las reducciones arancelarias acordadas entre las dos partes.

Las normas estrictas de la UE sobre protección del medio ambiente, las condiciones de los trabajadores, la protección sindical, la legislación antidumping y de seguridad alimentaria no encuentran reciprocidad en los productos importados de Marruecos a la UE. Los productos marroquíes importados a la UE deben cumplir las mismas normas que los productos producidos en la UE. El artículo 8 cubre las normas sanitarias pero no se incluyen normas medioambientales ni sociales. El no respeto de dichas normas, permitiendo la importación de productos que cumplen normas menos estrictas que las que se aplican a los productores de la UE, puede llevar al dumping.

Muchas poblaciones de peces en aguas marroquíes están agotadas, según la propia evaluación del COM.  El mercado de la UE no debe estar abierto a pescado procedente de poblaciones agotadas, ya que ello sólo alentaría un agotamiento mayor. No debe fomentarse la entrada de dichos productos, ni exacerbar la situación, por la eliminación de los aranceles.

El Acuerdo propuesto no prevé la resolución de las cuestiones relativas a las indicaciones geográficas (IG), lo que se pospone hasta futuras negociaciones que se han de iniciar después de la entrada en vigor del Acuerdo. Una identificación clara y fiable del origen geográfico de los productos es esencial para que los consumidores puedan saber lo que eligen.

Sin duda el aspecto más controvertido del Acuerdo propuesto es la inclusión del Sahara Occidental. Cuando el Parlamento preguntó a la Comisión si se iba a incluir el Sahara Occidental en el ámbito de aplicación del acuerdo, la Comisión respondió que:

«En la medida en que las exportaciones de productos del Sahara Occidental se benefician de hecho de preferencias comerciales…»

El Servicio Jurídico del PE declara:

«No obstante, todas las actividades económicas del Sahara Occidental deben tomarse de acuerdo con los deseos e intereses de la población de esos territorios y deben beneficiar el desarrollo socioeconómico de esos territorios.»

Además, el Servicio Jurídico señala que carece de información sobre: 

  • «si el Acuerdo propuesto se aplicará a los territorios del Sahara Occidental y cómo»,
  • «cómo beneficiará en realidad a la población local»,
  • «si la mayor liberalización de estos productos es conforme con los deseos e intereses de la población del Sahara Occidental.»

Dado que la Comisión no parece dispuesta a preguntar si el Acuerdo es conforme con los deseos de la población del Sahara Occidental, me tomé la libertad de preguntar al Polisario su opinión. Su respuesta fue:

«El Acuerdo propuesto entre la Unión Europea y el Reino de Marruecos sobre medidas recíprocas de liberalización del comercio de productos agrícolas, productos agrícolas transformados, pescado y productos de la pesca consiste en enmiendas al Acuerdo de Asociación existente UE-Marruecos y sus Protocolos. Estos Acuerdos y sus Protocolos, incluyendo el Canje de Notas en cuestión, reafirman en diversos lugares que se aplican a productos originarios de Marruecos (1).

«Con arreglo al Derecho Internacional, un Acuerdo que se aplica a “productos originarios de Marruecos” no puede aplicarse a productos originarios del Sahara Occidental por la simple razón de que el Sahara Occidental no es parte de Marruecos Como hace notar el Servicio Jurídico del Parlamento Europeo, “el territorio del Sahara Occidental no puede considerarse con arreglo al Derecho Internacional que forme parte del territorio del Reino de Marruecos” (2). Al contrario, el Sahara Occidental es un Territorio no autónomo en el sentido de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas y ningún país del mundo reconoce la soberanía marroquí en el Sahara Occidental. (En situaciones similares, los Gobiernos de los Estados Unidos y de Noruega han indicado que el Tratado de Libre Comercio EE.UU.-Marruecos (3) y el Tratado de Libre Comercio Marruecos-AELC (4) respectivamente no se aplican a productos originarios del Sahara Occidental.

Si la Unión Europea desea liberalizar el comercio de productos originarios del Sahara Occidental, debe hacerlo mediante consulta directa con el pueblo del Sahara Occidental, preferiblemente a través de su representación política reconocida internacionalmente, el Frente POLISARIO (5). Cualquier intento de hacerlo de otra forma supondría una violación de la soberanía permanente del pueblo del Sahara Occidental sobre sus recursos naturales y la Unión Europea estaría infringiendo la exigencia del apartado 1 del artículo 21 del Tratado de la Unión Europea  de que «la acción de la Unión en la escena internacional se basará en el respeto de la Carta de las naciones Unidas y del Derecho internacional».

También cree que el Parlamento debe estar en condiciones —según lo previsto por el Tratado de Lisboa —de hacer una mayor contribución a la Comisión, fomentando la sinergia, la cooperación, la solución común de problemas y el intercambio de buenas prácticas en todo el proceso legislativo.

Así, el Acuerdo podría reequilibrarse, adaptándolo a la reforma del sistema de precios de entrada, la reducción de las diferencias en los ámbitos sanitario, fitosanitario y medioambiental, y con la inclusión de las debidas cláusulas sociales y antidumping.
 

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La Comisión de Pesca pide a la Comisión de Comercio Internacional, competente para el fondo, que proponga al Parlamento la denegación del dictamen conforme.

Notas: 

1. Véase, por ejemplo, el título y el artículo 2 del nuevo Protocolo 1 relativo a los regímenes aplicables a la importación en la Unión Europea de productos agrícolas, productos agrícolas transformados, pescado y productos de la pesca originarios del Reino de Marruecos, disponible en:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0485:FIN:ES:PDF.

2. Servicio Jurídico del Parlamento Europeo, Documento SJ/0699/10, apartado 19.

3. Mediante carta de 20 de julio de 2004, el Representante de Comercio de los EE.UU. Robert Zoellick clarificó que el Tratado de Libre Comercio EE.UU.-Marruecos no incluye el Sahara Occidental ya que los Estados Unidos  no reconocen la soberanía marroquí sobre el Sahara Occidental y que, por consiguiente, «los Estados Unidos tratan de manera diferente las importaciones del Sahara Occidental y de Marruecos.»  Véase: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2004-07-22/html/CREC-2004-07-22-pt2-PgH6615-4.htm

4. En un discurso ante el Parlamento noruego del 11 de mayo de 2010, el Ministro noruego de asuntos Exteriores Jonas Store confirmó que el Acuerdo de Libre Comercio Marruecos-AELC no se aplica a productos originarios de Sahara Occidental. Véase: http://www.fishelsewhere.eu/index.php?cat=198&art=1130

5. De forma similar, la UE concluyó un acuerdo de libre comercio con la OLP para cubrir los productos originarios de los territorios ocupados de Gaza y Cisjordania, confirmado por los certificados de origen emitidos por las autoridades palestinas. Véase: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/97&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

Font foto: Lavieeco.com

L’acord de lliure comerç UE-Marroc no compta amb l’aval del PE

En una votació que ha tingut lloc encara no fa una hora, el Comitè d’Agricultura del Parlament Europeu ha decidit per àmplia majoria manifestar-se en contra de la ratificació dels tractats de lliure comerç en productes agrícoles i pesquers entre la Unió Europea i el Regne del Marroc (24 vots a favor del rebuig, per només 14 en contra).

Els acords negociats per la Comissió Europea i les autoritats marroquines suposen continuar amb la lògica d’una agricultura liberal, globalitzada i especialitzada que afavoreix els interessos de grans grups a costa dels agricultors.

Molts inversors europeus, anticipant-se a aquesta obertura, ja han traslladat la seva producció al Marroc.Tenen l’esperança que podran exportar fruites i verdures a preus inferiors als costos de producció dels productors europeus. A Espanya, la crisi de confiança causada pel bacteri E. Coli ha ennuvolat els productors de curt i mitjà termini. L’arribada de milers de tones addicionals de tomàquets, melons, maduixes o cítrics pot conduir a més fallides.

Aquest acord, a més, tindrà unes conseqüències ben negatives en l’agricultura familiar marroquina,  que haurá de fer front a una afluència massiva d’aliments bàsics com és la carn o els cereals. L’afluència de les importacions d’aliments processats, lliures d’impostos (excepte la pasta), hipotecarà la creació d’una indústria local d’aliments.

Després de la votació, José Bové, ponent d’aquest informe per a la Comissió INTA i vicepresident de la Comissió AGRI, i Raül Romeva i Rueda, ponent responsable per la seva banda per a aquest assumpte a la Comissió de Pesca i Afers Marins (PECH) i Vicepresident de Verds/ALE, han expressat el següent:

“Aquest acord es va negociar en la major de les opacitats per part dels serveis de la Comissió Europea i el Regne del Marroc. El considerem totalment desequilibrat, i lamentem que bàsicament serveixi als interessos de les grans empreses de l’agroindústria, deixant de banda als petits productors, ja siguin marroquís o europeus.

El vot del Comitè d’Agricultura del Parlament Europeu és un senyal important per a les Comissions de Comerç Internacional (INTA) i de PEsca i Afers marins (PECH) del Parlament Europeu, les quals hauran de votar en poques setmanes.

Així mateix, és un primer pas cap a la reobertura d’unes negociacions més justes que tinguin en compte els interessos socioeconòmics de la majoria. Els acords comercials han de ser instruments per a corregir les desigualtats, i no per servir els interessos dels més privilegiats.

Cal invertir temps i recursos a construir un espai de comerç basat en l’equitat entre les dues ribes mediterrànies. Només d’aquesta manera podrem contribuir a enfortir el desenvolupament democràtic essencial per a la creació d’una zona d’estabilitat i cooperació “.

Foto: tomàquets marroquís. Font: Le Soir (du Marroc)

‘Flotilla’ de la Llibertat, segona part / Freedom Flotilla II

Aquesta setmana han vingut a Estrasburg una delegació de la Freedom Flotilla Two (entre els quals Manuel Tapial), per reunir-se amb diversos Membres del Parlament Europeu i explicar-nos els seus plans.

Es tracta, segur que ho recordeu, de la Flota que ara fa un any va intentar dur ajut humanitari a Gaza, emparada per les Resolucions de Nacions Unides i trencant el bloqueig d’Israel. Va ser brutalment assaltada per soldats israelians provocant prop d’una desena de morts i desenes de ferits.

Les imatges de l’assalt són esgarrifoses. Les justificacions de les autoritats israelianes nefastes i sense cap fonament. La condemna internacional va contribuir a posar algunes coses al seu lloc, però no tantes com hauríem volgut. Encara recordo esparverat la intervenció de l’embaixador israelià davant la Comissió d’Afers Exteriors del Parlament Europeu, on no va convèncer ni tan sols els tradicionals aliats del règim israelià.

Els integrants de la Flotilla tenen previst tornar-ho a provar aquest mes de juny, i ens demanen tot el suport i visibilitat possible.

Encara avui, nombrosos governs europeus, entre ells l’espanyol, intenten dissuadir els representants espanyols que volen participar en aquesta segona edició de la Flotilla que ho facin.

L’Alta Representant, Ashton, va manifestar ahir durant la seva intervenció al Ple que no creia que aquesta fos una iniciativa positiva. Discrepo. No només és positiva, sinó que és a més altament necessària, i per això la recolzo. És més, estem treballant en una petició conjunta de diferents MEPs per instar la Comissió i el Consell que, contràriament al que han fet fins ara, manifestin públicament el seu suport a la iniciativa.

Confio que no haguem de lamentar, aquest cop, episodis com els que es poden veure en les imatges (veure video adjunt) que van donar la volta al món, ara fa un any.

Foto: Escoltant la intervenció de vangelis Pissias, un dels portaveus.  Font: Oliver Hansen