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BRUSSELS, Feb 17: The European Parliament (EP) meeting in Strasbourg Thursday adopted three resolutions on human rights in the Philippines, Iran and Burkina Faso. The Parliament strongly condemned the thousands of extrajudicial killings and other serious human rights’ violations related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines. It also condemned all intimidation and violence against those seeking to expose allegations of such abuses in the country, such as human rights’ activists, journalists and critics. While urging the Filipino authorities to thoroughly investigate any extrajudicial killings and similar violations, it also called on them to respect the right to freedom of expression, and to ensure that journalists can do their work without fear. The text was adopted by 627 votes in favour, 26 against and 31 abstentions.
The Parliament also called on the Iranian government to introduce an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty and to commute all death sentences. The text notes that since Ebrahim Raisi took office as President of Iran in August 2021, there has been a significant rise in the number of executions, including of women. It also pointed out that the death penalty in Iran is disproportionally applied to ethnic, religious and other minorities, notably the Baluch, Kurds, Arabs and Baha’is. The resolution highlights that Iran has the world’s highest number of executions per capita.
According to the United Nations, between January 1 and December 1, 2021 at least 275 people were executed in Iran, including at least two child offenders and 10 women. It also states that 85 juvenile offenders were on death row in Iran in January 2022.
The text was adopted by 617 votes in favour, eight against and 59 abstentions. Further, the Parliament condemned the coup perpetrated on January 24 of this year by the armed forces against the democratically elected Government of Burkina Faso. It stressed that an urgent return to constitutional order is imperative, including an immediate return to civilian government.
In addition, it called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, detained during the coup, and all other government officials. The resolution takes note that Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, currently the de-facto head of state, has publicly declared a return to normal constitutional life as soon as possible and that Burkina Faso will continue to respect international commitments. The resolution was adopted by 627 votes in favour, 10 against and 47 abstentions (KUNA)