BRUSSELS, Sept 6, (KUNA): Several Members of the European Parliament have stressed that the human rights situation in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council is improving and they criticised the Amnesty International for generalising the situation and ignoring the progress made in the human rights domain in the Gulf region.
The criticisms followed the presentation of a report on the human rights situation in the Gulf states by David Nichols, senior executive officer of the Amnesty International, during a session organised by the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula on Monday evening. Nichols said that here is “is not a lot of good news in terms of the human rights picture in the region” and claimed that the crackdown on human rights defenders had increased in the region. Michele Alliot-Marie, chair of the Delegation, in her comments said “the message that has come out from this debate is the idea that Amnesty has somewhat a one-sided approach. It doesn’t say real improvements are being made. This is something that needs attention.”
“In some Gulf countries there has been progress concerning legislation (on human rights). We need a genuine dialogue and we should not imagine that we have all the solutions and that our solutions are the best,” said Alliot-Marie, a former French defence, interior and foreign minister.
On her part, Ramona Manescu, MEP from Romania said “we are working with the region since many years and there are evidence of progress.” “It is constantly progressing we can see. Generalising in such a way I don’t think is constructive,” she said. “It is much better for us to discuss and cooperate with the authorities instead of always criticising and having resolutions in the European Parliament against them.
I think it is not very constructive to do this,” said the young Romanian MEP. Afzal Khan, British MEP, who has visited the Gulf region several times recently said “one thing that has struck me in opposite to what you are saying, is the pace of progress made in the whole Gulf Cooperation Council.” “These countries provide to their people the services that we in the EU don’t have. I want to see more dialogue and exchange of information of the situation with these countries,” he added. The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.