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EU on migrants’ security in Libya, executions in Iran, violence in Burma

STRASBOURG:  The European Parliament expressed grave concerns about the human rights situation of refugees and migrants in Libya and the resurgence of ethnic violence in Burma, in resolutions passed in Strasbourg on Thursday.

Parliament is gravely concerned that Libya is detaining foreign persons, including women and children, in extreme conditions. It urges the democratically-elected Libyan authorities to protect all foreign nationals, regardless of their status, from violence, exploitation, threats, intimidation and abuse. Libya should adopt appropriate legislation and instructions to this end and respect its international obligations, says the resolution.

MEPs also call upon the EU and its members states to act accordingly when negotiating future cooperation or migration control agreements with the new Libyan authorities.

Parliament voices serious concern about the steadily deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, citing the growing number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, the high number of executions, including of juveniles, widespread torture, unfair trials and heavy restrictions on freedom of information, expression, assembly, religion, education and movement. MEPs are also deeply concerned about the death in prison of blogger Sattar Behesthi. and urge the Iranian authorities to conduct a thorough enquiry into the case.

Parliament also urges Iran to release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, including 2012 Sakharov Prize winner Nasrin Sotoudeh and cites concerns that she is being held in conditions detrimental to her health. It calls upon the Iranian authorities to allow both Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi to collect their Sakharov prize in December 2012 in Strasbourg.

Despite steps taken by the Burmese government to restore civil liberties, the recent atrocities in Rakhine State underline the enormous difficulties still to be overcome, says the resolution. MEPs are alarmed by the resurgence of ethnic violence in Rakhine, which has caused many deaths, injuries and mass displacement of local populations. These may jeopardise the country’s transition to democracy and could have wider repercussions across the entire region.

MEPs urge the authorities to step up the political and civil rights reform efforts and call on them to end discriminatory practices against the Rohingya minority.

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