EU must put human rights at the centre of the EU-GCC relations

22/06/2012
Press release
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Open letter to Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and vice-President of the European Commission

Dear Ms Ashton,

In advance of the 25 June EU-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) call on the European Union to publicly condemn the human rights situation in several Gulf countries and, in particular, threats against the civil society and harassment against human rights defenders and political activists. FIDH and GCHR urge the EU to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned human rights defenders, prisoners of opinion, and anyone sued for exercising their freedom of expression and association, while engaging GCC partners on committing to concrete reforms to create an enabling space for civil society. FIDH and GCHR also demand that the EU and its Member States start a process of reflection on the future of the EU-GCC structure to allow it to be an efficient forum to discuss human rights challenges in the region.
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The full open letter is available here

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EU must put human rights at the centre of the EU-GCC relations
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