COPENHAGEN, 15 June 2012 – With former political leaders and human rights defenders imprisoned in several countries, a committee of parliamentarians from 55 nations is now considering a resolution that would demand all political prisoners be released and call for countries leading the OSCE to “set the standard” on human rights.
Ireland is currently leading the 56-country Organization. Ukraine takes the helm of the OSCE in January 2013 followed by Switzerland and Serbia in 2014 and 2015.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions resolution calls for countries serving as OSCE Chair-in-Office to set the standard for “exemplary observance” of their human rights commitments, including respecting the independence of the judiciary.
“As long as political whims dictate who is punished and how, then a country is not in line with their OSCE commitments, and we expect more from countries who aspire to lead this Organization,” said Coskun Coruz (The Netherlands), rapporteur of the human rights committee and author of the resolution. Coruz visited Ukraine earlier this year but was barred from meeting with former Ukrainian prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, who remains in prison.
The Parliamentary Assembly’s human rights committee will consider the resolution at the Monaco Annual Session beginning 5 July.
“Leading one of the world’s foremost human rights organizations means accepting a certain level of responsibility,” said Matteo Mecacci (Italy), committee chairman. “We don’t put special conditions on the governments who chair the OSCE, we just expect them to live up to the human rights commitments to which all our countries freely agreed.”
The resolution is being considered for inclusion in the Assembly’s Monaco Declaration, which helps shape OSCE and national policy. Parliamentarians from across 55 countries will vote on the resolution and declaration in Monaco.
The committee’s draft resolution also:
urges countries to ensure their detention centers conform with United Nations standards,
calls for countries to uphold their commitments to independence of the judiciary
calls on the OSCE to re-open field missions in Belarus and Georgia, and
expresses concern regarding the abuse of the INTERPOL Red Notice system by states whose judicial system do not meet international standards.
Meetings of the Monaco Annual Session, including committee debates and votes, are open to the press. The session runs 5-9 July 2012. For more information on the Annual Session, click here.
This is a press release issued by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. The views expressed in this press release do not necessarily reflect those of the OSCE Chairmanship, nor of all OSCE participating States.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 320 parliamentarians from 55 countries spanning, Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international cooperation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.
Director of Communications, OSCE PA
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