EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MAY DOWNGRADE HUMAN RIGHTS SAFEGUARDS IN CRUCIAL VOTE TOMORROW

09/10/2002
Report

Three human rights organisations have combined to send a last-minute appeal to the European Parliament not to remove language calling for specific and concrete measures to address the serious human rights situation in Algeria when it votes to give its assent to the EU-Algeria Association Agreement tomorrow.

Amnesty International, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) are alarmed that amendments tabled by French MEP Philippe Morillon, on behalf of the biggest group in the Parliament, the PPE-DE, (European People’s Party and European Democrats) would remove a call to the Council and the Commission to put concrete human rights monitoring mechanisms in place.

In addition, the amendment would remove calls for unrestricted access to Algeria for United Nations human rights rapporteurs and human rights NGOs.

The three human rights organisations had earlier welcomed the EP Foreign Affairs Committee’s draft resolution calling on the Council and the Commission to specify concrete mechanisms to evaluate the human rights situation in Algeria, in the context of the human rights clause (Article 2) in the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement with Algeria.

Grave human rights abuses continue to be committed with impunity in Algeria. If the European Parliament removes calls for better human rights monitoring in the context of the EU-Algeria agreement, it effectively invites Algeria to regard its human rights commitments under Article 2 as a dead letter.

The human rights organisations call on MEPs to reject these amendments or risk serious damage to the Parliament’s credibility in the area of human rights.

For further information:

- Dick Oosting, Amnesty International EU Office
Tel: 322-5021499
- Marc Schade-Poulsen, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network
Tel: 45-32698910
- Driss El-Yazami, FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
Tel: 331-43552518

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