AS (2018) CR 25



(Third part)


Twenty-fifth sitting

Thursday 28 June 2018 at 10.30 a.m.

In this report:

1.       Speeches in English are reported in full.

2.       Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk

3.        The text of the amendments is available at the document centre and on the Assembly’s website.

      Only oral amendments or oral sub-amendments are reproduced in the report of debates.

4.       Speeches in German and Italian are reproduced in full in a separate document.

5.       Corrections should be handed in at Room 1059A not later than 24 hours after the report has been circulated.

The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the report.

(Ms Maury Pasquier, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 10.30 a.m.)

1. Urgent debate: Ukrainian citizens detained as political prisoners by the Russian Federation

      The PRESIDENT* – The first item of business on the agenda is a debate under the urgent procedure on “Ukrainian citizens detained as political prisoners by the Russian Federation”, Document 14591, presented by Mr Emanuelis Zingeris on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

      I remind you that the Assembly decided on Monday that the time for speeches should be limited to three minutes. I also remind you that we need to have finished consideration of the text, including voting, by midday. We will therefore have to interrupt the list of speakers at 11.30 a.m. to hear the reply from the committee and to do the necessary voting.

      I call Mr Zingeris, the rapporteur. You have an overall speaking time of 13 minutes, which you may divide as you see fit between the presentation of your report and your response to the speakers.

      Mr ZINGERIS (Lithuania) – Madam President, I again congratulate you on your election this week.

      This debate is about the incredible violation of just about every possible convention on the humane treatment of prisoners. The report deals only with the Ukrainian prisoners detained by the Russian Federation, notably Oleh Sentsov, Volodymyr Balukh and Pavlo Hryb, who fall under the Assembly definition of political prisoners in Resolution 1900 of 2012. By the way, I was lucky to be here voting for that in 2012 – the definition was adopted by only one vote.

      The case we are discussing today is not a simple one. The reason the Bureau unanimously decided at the beginning of the week to hold this debate is that this is an extreme case with people from territory occupied by the Russian Federation being kidnapped – we are talking only about Crimea, not the Donbass. Those people are resisting the occupation of their territory, and retain political allegiance to their mother country – in this case Ukraine – defending their rights and being outspoken about it. It is extremely worrying that the expression of such opinions, not just in the case we are debating but inside the Russian Federation proper, incurs increasing pressure on people, even in law. To say that Crimea does not belong to the Russian Federation is punishable under Russian law, and that happens to Russian citizens such as the democrats.

      Returning to our case, Oleh Sentsov is in a terrible condition. He has been on hunger strike – 55 days today – as has Volodymyr Balukh. We are now probably the last institution to pass a resolution. The European Parliament and probably dozens of other parliaments have passed their resolutions – such as the Polish Parliament, or my national Parliament yesterday. So parliaments are making resolution after resolution, and the leaders of the civilised world are appealing to Mr Putin to release political prisoners. For their part, Russian democrats and civil society, such as Memorial and other organisations, officially declare that those people are politically targeted persons.

      How do we stop that? The European Parliament has just debated it, coming to the conclusion that we should appeal to the European Union. We have our Council of Europe standards and, in our resolutions, we try to stand up for them. Our resolution mentions a whole set of Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly resolutions about the issue and urging the release of such political and often kidnapped prisoners – the immediate release. We appeal to everyone to support the report, especially given our more or less unanimous support on the migration resolution late yesterday evening. That was a humane approach, and we should do the same today, saying enough is enough.

      It is more than enough to kidnap people who say that Crimea does not belong to the Russian Federation, and torture them in Russian prisons, and more than enough to terrorise people who have contrary opinions about Russian aggression against Ukraine. I appeal to you to be on the side of humane behaviour and the key values of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. I am proud to have been in the Assembly since 1993, as one of its oldest members. I thank the Council of Europe for the common approach over the years. The report is in line with that and with what we have been doing here over the past years.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you very much indeed, Mr Zingeris. You still have seven minutes left to respond to the speakers in the debate. The general debate is now open. I call Mr Schäfer.

      Mr SCHÄFER (Germany, Spokesperson for the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group) – It is important to discuss this matter today, when the public perception of the Russian Federation is very much focused on the World Cup. We run the risk of important topics that we should be dealing with falling under the radar. That is why it is so important for us to address this particular issue. For more than 30 years my city of Bochum has been twinned with Donetsk. We are therefore familiar with the situation in Ukraine and in the region in question.

      What are we talking about today? We are talking about the fact that we are expecting that the Russian Federation commits to what it has undertaken to abide by under the European Convention on Human Rights. We are expecting the Russian Federation to do what is common practice in other countries. We have to take a clear position on this. What are we doing? We are reaching out our arms to the Russian Federation rather than showing it a closed fist.

      A series of governments have taken action and lobbied for political prisoners to be released, especially since the sentencing of Oleh Sentsov and his co-prisoner Oleksandr Kolchenko. It is ever so important for us in the Parliamentary Assembly to take the same action as has been taken by the European Parliament and a plethora of national parliaments, and to state clearly what unites us: the belief that human rights are indivisible. They have nothing to do with nationalities.

      Minimum standards must be applied when people are arrested and sentenced to imprisonment. A whole series of accusations have been made, some of which are absurd or trumped up. Ms Kofler, my government’s human rights commissioner, has been looking into this matter in the past few days, and we should certainly co-operate with the parliaments of our democratic States.

      Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – I thank the rapporteur for setting out clearly what he is asking for and why.

      This debate is appropriate for two reasons. The first is the continuing Russian activity in Crimea. The report contains a list of resolutions that this Assembly has passed against the Russian Federation. It is difficult to forget or forgive the fact that the Russian Federation has not honoured those resolutions. I have no doubt that the resolution we pass today will be just one more to add to that list.

      As the report points out, the Russian Federation has responsibility for protecting the rights of individuals in Crimea. It is clear that it continues not to do so. The report, which contains examples of worsening human rights, reads very sombrely and shows a lack of respect by a Council of Europe member State for international monitors. If the Council of Europe is to fulfil its role as the premier human rights organisation in Europe, it needs its remit to be strongly upheld. At the very least, access should be granted to the 70 political detainees identified in the report.

      The case of Pavlo Hryb deserves special mention, in view of the medical factors involved and the denial of essential healthcare. We have seen pressure from the Council of Europe help in the past. I remind members of our memorable experience with Nadiia Savchenko, whom we greeted with acclaim for what she had suffered.

      The second reason the debate is appropriate is that political prisoners are at the very heart of what the Council of Europe is about. We should not pull back or change our focus simply because a country owes us a lot of money. I for one am not prepared to be blackmailed into staying quiet about this issue simply to allow the Russians to resume their seats in this Assembly.

      Ms LUNDGREN (Sweden, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – Thank you, Mr Zingeris, for bringing this topic forward for debate. We must ensure that the Russian Federation does not succeed in blocking scrutiny or creating a humanitarian black hole. The Russian Federation illegally annexed Crimea after a military occupation and a fake, illegal referendum. There is no doubt that the Russian Federation is responsible for human rights abuses, including ongoing ethnic cleansing. It is specifically targeting Crimean Tatars, as we saw when it closed the Mejlis.

      The report mentions 70 political prisoners. It is good to see the list, but that number would be even greater if we defined political prisoners as people who are imprisoned for purely political reasons. Mr Sentsov, the filmmaker, has long been on our agenda. I remember when he was detained and brought to the Russian Federation; he was not able to have contact with his children even by mail. We now also have Mr Balukh – a farmer who wanted to have a Ukrainian flag on his farm – and a blogger who tried to give us information about what was going on. Those people are all, of course, political prisoners.

      However, lawyers from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union showed me a much bigger picture. They say that there are around 3 400 political prisoners, or 4 700 including people imprisoned in Crimea. Some 33 entities in the Russian Federation are keeping 3 400 people who were transferred to the Russian Federation. The human rights union has the names and the details of them all. We need to be aware that that is going on, and we need to take action. I fully support the report.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – With the full support of my political group, this Assembly decided on Monday to hold an urgent debate about the Ukrainian citizens detained as political prisoners in the Russian Federation. Six years ago, this Assembly defined who should be considered a political prisoner, and it is the Assembly’s clear position that, in our member States, political imprisonment is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

      It is not clear how many Ukrainian citizens are victims of political imprisonment in the Russian Federation, but Mr Oleh Sentsov, a well-known filmmaker and Ukrainian activist, surely meets the criteria for being described as a political prisoner. There are strong indications that his health is in danger due to the conditions under which he is detained and the hunger strike he decided to start. If we do not step up our efforts, things may go horribly wrong and Mr Sentsov’s life may be at stake. Other Ukrainian citizens whose imprisonment seems to be politically motivated include Mr Balukh and Mr Hryb. They, too, are in danger due to the conditions under which they are detained. Other cases of people being imprisoned for political reasons have been reported – some clear and some more vague.

      It seems that that situation is mirrored in Ukraine, where there are Russian citizens detained for political reasons. The best-known case is that of Mr Kirill Vyshinsky, the chief editor of Russian press agency RIA Novosti. There, too, other cases of political imprisonment have been reported.

      Both States therefore are violating the European Convention on Human Rights, and both have begun to realise that that cannot go on. President Putin and President Poroshenko recently agreed to investigate ways to resolve the situation. They instructed their national ombudsmen to investigate the conditions under which political prisoners are living and whether there can be a prisoner swap. Our own Secretary General suggested the involvement of both ombudsmen. This week, Mr Jagland also asked President Putin to consider using his constitutional powers to grant Mr Sentsov a pardon for humanitarian reasons, and the European Court of Human Rights demanded information on Mr Sentsov’s situation from the Russian authorities. Our own Council of Europe ombudsman, Dunja Mijatović, is doing her utmost to help to get all these unduly imprisoned people released and guarantee them better protection while they are in detention.

      It would be helpful if the Assembly encouraged all these actors to continue their efforts to end the scandal of political prisoners in two of our member States. This urgent debate has given us the opportunity to do so, but the draft resolution does not mention the efforts of the Presidents of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, of our Court, of our ombudsman, of the ombudsmen of either country or of our Secretary General. My question to our rapporteur is: did you not notice all this activity, or did you not consider it relevant enough to mention in your resolution? We are part of a larger organisation, the Council of Europe, and we have to work in synergy, as far as possible, in order to be effective. Could the rapporteur explain to the Assembly why the draft resolution does not mention any of that, but simply demands the release of Mr Sentsov? I believe that the draft resolution could have been made more effective.

      Mr LOGVYNSKYI (Ukraine, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – I thank the rapporteur, Mr Zingeris, for this important and timely report.

      Today I have a feeling of déjà vu. Every time we meet in this Assembly, we ask questions about the Russian Federation, the situation in Ukraine and the illegal occupation of Crimea. The Assembly has adopted a lot of resolutions about that, such as Resolution 2063 pledged to implement fully the Minsk agreements and immediately reverse the illegal annexation of Crimea, but nothing has been done.

      The Russian Federation has done none of the things that the Assembly set out in its resolutions. Have any changes been made to the situation regarding unfair trials? Changes have been made, but they are of the wrong sort. The international community may not know about the situation, so I thank the rapporteur, Mr Zingeris, for this great and important report. I have just one question: when will this all end? How can we speak about allowing a country that permits such violations to return to the Assembly? What is the value of a human life? Can one State’s contributions to the Council of Europe be worth more than the life of an innocent human being?

      Colleagues, we are not just voting for a report. You need to realise that by pressing the red button or the green one, you are determining whether people live or die.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you. Does the rapporteur wish to respond at this stage? That is not the case.

      We will therefore proceed to the list of speakers. I call Ms Geraschenko.

      Ms GERASHCHENKO (Ukraine)* – The Kremlin’s detention of political prisoners is a painful subject for me. For three years, I have represented Ukraine in the humanitarian group that works in Minsk. During that time, the monumental efforts of group members have resulted in the release of more than 200 prisoners who were detained in the occupied territories, but only three from the Kremlin. Shortly after his imprisonment, Yuri Soloshenko died in June 2016. Gennady Afanasyev suffered appalling torture in Russian prisons, where he was beaten, hung and electrocuted. For more than four years, dozens of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars have been in Russian prisons. Some Ukrainians who remained in the occupied territories of Donbass and Crimea have also become prisoners of the Kremlin, which decides whether they should be released. Ukrainian prisoners in the Russian Federation are tortured and sexually abused.

      At the moment, four such prisoners are on hunger strike. The Russian authorities lie about the health of Oleh Sentsov. The Ukrainian Parliament’s human rights commissioner is close to the prison in which he is being held, but she is not allowed to see him despite the agreement between the Ukrainian and Russian Presidents. Three months ago, in the context of the work of the Minsk humanitarian group, I suggested that the Russian Federation agree to the exchange of 23 Russian prisoners, who were convicted in Ukraine of terrorism offences and military activity in Donbass, for Ukrainian political prisoners in the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation has not responded to that request.

      Ukraine appealed to Mr Putin to release its political prisoners before the World Cup as a gesture of humanity. The World Cup is in full swing, but Ukrainians are still dying in Russian prisons. We must not let that go by. In the 1980s, the civilised world boycotted the Moscow Olympics as a protest against the war in Afghanistan and the detention of political prisoners. Why have the Russian Federation’s recent actions in Crimea and Donbass not been seen as a reason to boycott this tournament? If we do not secure the release of all who are mentioned in the report, we will be responsible for their life imprisonment and, ultimately, for Oleh Sentsov’s death.

      Ms SOTNYK (Ukraine) – I have never remained silent when someone has tried to humiliate someone else, and I already know for sure that I will never stay silent in future. That is what Oleh Sentsov wrote in one of his novels; he is also a writer. It is symbolic, do you not think? Now he is fighting inhumanity at the front line, as he is imprisoned in terrible conditions. I decided to take his example, because what has happened to him is an example of Putin’s cynicism and inhumanity. Sentsov is undergoing a prolonged and public execution, and I believe that he is purely an object of Putin’s personal revenge. One of the last things he said before his verdict was: “This sentence of 20 years, I’m not scared. I know that the era of the bloody dwarf’s rule will end before then.” I believe that those words were the reason why he received his 20-year prison term.

      Oleh’s hunger strike has lasted for 44 days. The only condition for its cessation is the release of all the Kremlin’s Ukrainian prisoners. Because Putin does not care about the opinion of his citizens, that will not be achieved without strong international pressure. That is the only way to save Sentsov and the other prisoners. I therefore urge all members of the Parliamentary Assembly to talk about this issue in their parliaments and with their authorities.

      My personal life has changed in the last few days. While we have been talking about these prisoners, I have read several of Sentsov’s books to understand more closely what is happening in his heart. I have learned something from him: not to give up and not to be changed. Sometimes, when you look back, you find that your principles are all that matter in this life.

(Mr Amon, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Ms Maury Pasquier.)

      The PRESIDENT – The next speaker on the list is Mr Thórarinsson, but he is not here, so I call Ms Ionova.

      Ms IONOVA (Ukraine) – Dear colleagues, for over four years the Russian Federation has, as an aggressor State, been committing crimes against the citizens of Ukraine on a daily basis, resorting to torture and psychological pressure on illegally detained and convicted Ukrainian citizens on the territory of the Russian Federation, in Crimea and in temporarily occupied territories. On 12 June 2018, at a press conference organised by the reputable NGO Crimea SOS in Kiev, Ibrahimjon Mirpochayev described details of his detention in Crimea in 2017. After he was arrested in his home village, the young man was taken to an unknown facility near Symferopol. There he was constantly beaten and forced to admit that he travelled to Syria and fought for ISIS. He said: “After I said that I had not left Crimea, they beat me for several hours. They put a bag on my head and strangled me several times. Then they took off my jeans and pants, put me on the floor with my hands and feet wrapped with tape and inserted some device into my body from behind. I was struck by an electrical current. This was repeated six or seven times.” Ibrahim was threatened that such procedures would be used on members of his family. He had to sign a confession. After he was released, he decided to take his family and escape from Crimea. After his arrival in Kiev, he had the courage to speak out.

      Crimea SOS has documented over 180 cases of inhuman and degrading treatment, including 55 cases of torture. The security service of Ukraine has documented over 1,000 cases of torture in the occupied territories, including Crimea and Donbass. Many of these tortures were performed in the Russian Federation by its federal security service staff, as the victims were often transported from and then back to the occupied territories. For some reason, Secretary General Jagland said in his speech the day before yesterday that there were hostages and prisoners on both sides. I underline that we should use the correct terminology: the Ukrainian Army is not on Russian territory but Russian military forces are in Syria, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. I ask all of you to use the correct terminology.

      That is why the Russian Federation needs the Council of Europe to make its regime look legitimate in the eyes of its own citizens and of the international community. That is why, when Russian aggression in Ukraine is not stopping, when Crimea is occupied and when hundreds of Ukrainian citizens are illegally detained by the Russian authorities and exposed to ill treatment and torture, any discussion about restoring the credentials of the Russian delegation to the Council of Europe is wicked. Together we have to save these people. We must remember that human life is of the highest value in our Assembly and in the whole European continent.

      Mr MASIULIS (Lithuania)* - Colleagues, I should like to point out that Ukrainians and Ukrainian prisoners are defended by all of us in Europe, as are Polish prisoners.

      What is the Russian Federation now? It is a corrupt country. There is political corruption everywhere in the Russian Federation, and we have a lot of information about this. There are political prisoners. It is an aggressive regime that has disputes with neighbouring countries and has occupied parts of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. We have seen the same sorts of games being played as in the Soviet period. The regime is trying to intervene in the electoral process in certain countries – even in the United States, not just its neighbours. It is getting involved in wars and setting up troll farms in its home country and throughout the world. It is a regime that is poisoning communications. This is what the Russian Federation is.

      Sometimes in the Council of Europe we want to avoid these issues, but we have to continually increase our pressure on the Russian Federation. I think any other view or approach is wrong. We have to look at the differences between the Russian Federation and the Soviet regime at the time of Brezhnev, and we need to understand very clearly what we are dealing with.

      Mr KANDELAKI (Georgia) – Oleh Sentsov’s only crime was that he did not recognise himself as a Russian citizen. He did not agree with the forceful imposition of Russian citizenship upon residents of Crimea, the internationally recognised territory of Ukraine. This tragic case of one person resisting brutal occupation is, unfortunately, not the only tragedy that has been caused by the behaviour of the Russian Federation on the territories of its neighbours.

      There are some members of this Assembly who say that people like me and other colleagues are obsessed with the Russian Federation and that we look at this question through a geopolitical lens. I say to those colleagues: you are mistaken. It is not about geopolitics; it is about the core mandate of the Council of Europe, which is to be a guardian of human rights. It is about large-scale gross human rights violations, such as this one, committed by the Russian Federation, a member State, on the territories of other member States. The question for us is whether that is okay – whether, despite these abuses, the Russian Federation should be granted an exemption from its obligations and the requirements that are clearly defined in the resolutions, including of course the resolution that took away Russian voting rights.

      Many members of this Assembly, and most importantly the Secretary General of this Organisation, are saying that despite the abuses we will grant an exemption to the Russian Federation and allow it to come back. Such an exemption will tear this Organisation apart and compromise its very concept. We are not against dialogue with the Russian Federation, but the institutional set-up of the Council of Europe and the philosophy behind it does not permit the granting of such an exemption. In other organisations, such as the OSCE, such dialogue is possible and welcome, due to their institutional set-up.

      The Secretary General also said that the moment the Russian constitutional court overturns a judgment by the European Court of Human Rights, the Russian Federation should leave the Council of Europe. I do not know who he consulted on this matter, but the Russian Federation’s constitutional court has already done that in at least one case. Mr Kox said that we should thank Mr Jagland for raising Mr Sentsov’s case. Yes, we should – thank you, Mr Jagland – but we cannot thank him for vigorously lobbying for and pursuing the cause of granting the Russian Federation an exemption from the rules of this Organisation despite the unbelievable human rights abuses.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Mr Kox on a point of order.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – Thank you. I kindly ask Mr Kandelaki not to call our Secretary General, who was elected by this Assembly, a lobbyist for one of the member States. That is improper, and he should not do it. Mr Kandelaki should not misuse his right to exercise free speech here and I kindly ask him whether he will take back his remark that our Secretary General is a lobbyist for one of the member States, as that is not correct.

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Kandelaki, do you wish to respond?

      Mr KANDELAKI (Georgia) – Mr Kox, you come from a country with a very long parliamentary tradition and you are well aware of freedom of speech on the parliamentary floor. I certainly keep my words; I do not take them back.

      The PRESIDENT – Yes, but may I remind you all to use your words in full respect of all others?

      Mr Ghiletchi is not here, so I call Mr Klich.

      Mr KLICH (Poland) – I hope that in this Chamber nobody has any doubts about what happened four years ago when the Russian Federation annexed illegally – I say that once again: illegally – part of the territory of its independent neighbour, Ukraine. And I hope that we no longer have any doubts concerning what happens next. The military intervention by the Russian Federation has not only undermined the international order that emerged in Europe after the end of the Cold War, but blown up the co-operative model of security that has been absolutely crucial for stabilising the Euro-Atlantic zone over the past 27 years. The Russian Federation has been responsible for reducing the role of the Council of Europe over recent years – not the main pillar of the co-operative model, but one of its dimensions.

      Now we observe the next phase of this intervention by the Russian Federation in the affairs of an independent State, in their capturing of the citizens of Ukraine. We should be aware that there are 64 political prisoners – I say that again: political prisoners – in the jails and gulags of the Russian Federation. That is 64 Ukrainian citizens, of whom Mr Oleh Sentsov is one of the most well-known. Mr Sentsov has made the personal decision to go on hunger strike, not only because of his own fate but for the freedom of the other Ukrainian political prisoners in Russian jails and camps. That is why we should strongly, and without any doubts, demand the release of Mr Sentsov and the other Ukrainian citizens who have been arrested, detained and sentenced by the authoritarian regime of President Putin and his comrades. That is why the Polish Parliament has voted for and adopted a resolution concerning the immediate release of Mr Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners, and we present that resolution here in the Chamber to show that Poles are with Mr Sentsov and all the Ukrainians who are fighting to maintain their country’s independence and sovereignty.

      Mr SOBOLEV (Ukraine) – I thank Mr Zingeris and everybody who supports this excellent report.

      There are many historical parallels here. Some 82 years ago, somebody in a weak position in the League of Nations cried out, “What are you doing allowing a Nazi government to organise the Olympic Games in Berlin?”, but we all supported it. Some 82 years later, on the bones of thousands of people, somebody is now, again, celebrating in a sports facility. That parallel is horrible, because only two years afterwards was the annexation of Austria, then Czechoslovakia – Sudetenland – the division of Poland and then the Second World War.

      Here is another figure: 76 years ago, hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars were deported from Crimea. You can only imagine the genetic code of those people, people who remember everything. Several hundreds of them were killed on trains during their long journeys to Siberia, Kazakhstan and other areas. We are discussing here not only the cases of Sentsov and others; we are discussing what to do to stop new fascism in Europe and in the world. We are not only discussing the Tatars in Crimea. You can only imagine what you would have seen in the KGB buildings in Luhansk and Donetsk where Russian authorities ran death factories. These are cases not for the European Court of Human Rights but for The Hague, and the main point we need to make in this report and all other reports is that concentration camps – Nazi or Stalinist – should never again appear on this earth.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – I thank the Assembly for holding this debate while the lives of some 70 Ukrainian prisoners in the Russian Federation are under threat. The latest news from the Ukrainian Parliament’s Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denysova is that she still has no access to Labytnangi prison, where Mr Sentsov is being held. At the same time, her Russian counterpart, Ms Moskalkova, passed by my Ukrainian colleague and entered the prison, but there was no reaction to Ukrainian demands to be allowed in. Mr Sentsov is on the 46th day of a hunger strike, and we are concerned about his life. The situation is the same for Mr Balukh, who has been on a hunger strike for months and has lost half his weight. I do not want to repeat what has already been said, so I will just call on Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, to visit Ukrainian political prisoners in the Russian Federation.

      Ukrainian citizens – Crimean Tatars – have been moved from Crimea to the Russian Federation against their will and have been forced to become Russian citizens, and we have the long list of Ukrainian prisoners in Russian prisons. It is like what happened to medieval serfs, and such practices should be stopped. I thank Secretary General Jagland for his petition to pardon Sentsov, but why only Sentsov? I remind the Assembly that Sentsov went on hunger strike for the release all Ukrainian prisoners, not just him, and I predict that he would refuse to be released alone. I call on the Secretary General to seek the release of all Ukrainian prisoners.

      I want to comment on what Mr Jagland said two days ago and what Mr Kox just said about there being political prisoners on both sides. Ukraine has no Russian political prisoners. The Russian Federation’s only policy is aggression, illegal military manoeuvres, terrorism and the killing of Ukrainians. They are pure criminals. Do not confuse that with Crimean Tatars fighting for their identity and rights. However, we are ready to exchange Russian criminals for Ukrainian political prisoners to save their lives, and I hope that that will happen soon. We need to save the lives of these strong people, because not many people like them – people who are ready to die for human rights – are left in the world today. The world is currently enjoying a World Cup based on blood, torture, the demolition of human rights and aggression against neighbouring States. We should stand strong on human rights and not react to Russian financial blackmail, which would have consequences for the Council of Europe’s values. This debate shows that we are still heading on the right track.

      Ms SCHOU (Norway) – I thank the rapporteur for the report. At a time when most of us are enjoying the World Cup in the Russian Federation, we should remember that some people are imprisoned without a fair trial or proper conditions in the same country. I hope that our appeal for their fair treatment and the granting of basic human rights will be heard at least as loudly as the cheers of the football supporters.

      Reports show that there have been numerous violations of international human rights in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, and the situation for NGOs, activists, the media and civil society is becoming increasingly difficult. The detention of filmmaker and writer Oleh Sentsov is just one example of how individuals expressing themselves through art and media can suffer grave consequences. Many international human rights organisations have reported that Mr Sentsov’s trial had serious shortcomings, and I was shocked to read that he does not have access to basic medical assistance. The Norwegian authorities are following the case very closely, and I commend Secretary General Jagland for recently asking president Putin to pardon Mr Sentsov on humanitarian grounds

      We owe it to the victims to raise our voices. We cannot under any circumstances accept someone being wrongfully detained and convicted, especially when it is due to their political beliefs and expressions. Torture, and inhumane or degrading treatment and punishment, are unacceptable under any circumstances. It is crucial that the Russian Federation allows the health and living conditions of all detainees to be monitored. It must also grant international human rights monitoring bodies full access to all areas of conflict and territories under its effective control. In all areas of conflict, the International Criminal Court should be allowed to carry out a thorough investigation to document any breaches of international law. The conflict following the Russian annexation of Crimea and interference in Eastern Ukraine has left millions in need of humanitarian assistance and thousands dead and injured. All member States need to step up their political co-operation to put an end to the conflict and the unacceptable suffering of the civilian population.

      Mr UNHURIAN (Ukraine) – I thank Mr Zingeris for his report.

      What does it mean to be a prisoner of the Kremlin? I want to share a story about one such prisoner. Not so long ago, a famous Ukrainian scientist with PhD in philosophy and religious studies, Professor Igor Kozlovsky, was released from separatist captivity in Eastern Ukraine. Professor Kozlovsky could not leave the occupied territory in the beginning and had to stay in occupied Donetsk because he was looking after his disabled son, who had been bedridden for many years. While staying in occupied territory, Professor Kozlovsky organised public prayers for the end of the war and did not hide his pro-Ukrainian stance, which is why, a few months later, he was arrested by the so-called authorities of the DPR terrorist organisation and thrown into prison. Professor Kozlovsky spent more than two years in a damp cellar – just think about that. He was beaten, underfed, kept in complete darkness, mocked, and sentenced several times to be shot by Russian roulette. Only the joint efforts of the Ukrainian authorities, the Council of Europe and our European and American partners led to Professor Kozlovsky’s recent release.

      We now have another challenge. We must unite our efforts so that Ukrainian citizens, journalists and human rights activists, such as Sentsov, Kolchenko, Balukh, Suschenko, Aseev, Glondar, Pantyushenko and many others, are also released. I call on Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe and our Assembly to raise our voices and secure the release of those prisoners.

      Mr YEMETS (Ukraine) – I thank Mr Zingeris for his important report. More than four years have passed since the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine – first Crimea and later the eastern Donbass region. The Russian Federation used a wide variety of illegal and outright inhuman methods to get Ukraine under its control. One such method was the kidnapping and illegal detention of Ukrainian citizens, in order to acquire political leverage and intimidate anyone who dared to oppose the Russian Federation.

      Approximately 70 Ukrainian citizens are now detained as political hostages in Russian jails. It is hard to tell the exact number because the Russian side often delays or refuses to provide information. Any Ukrainian citizen who visits the Russian Federation or occupied Crimea is under the constant threat of being accused of terrorism or other crimes, and thrown in jail. In some cases, all anyone has to do is publicly disagree with the Russian occupation of Crimea, and they get two years in jail. In other cases, they do not need to do anything; the Federal Security Service will falsify the whole case. The main evidence is usually testimonies that were acquired under torture or from “secret informants” – usually FSB agents. Courts ignore evidence provided by the defence and allegations of the use of torture. Detainees often have trouble getting legal aid or access to advice. During their stay in places of detention, prisoners are subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. Continuous torture is a common practice, as well as humiliation and compulsory psychiatric treatment. It is almost impossible to transfer medicines there, or to provide people with access to Ukrainian doctors, and as a result their health constantly deteriorates. Everything is aimed at breaking the will of the person, to force them to co-operate with the FSB.

      One of the best examples of Russian methods is the case of Oleh Sentsov. He is detained in Crimea since May 2014 and accused of creating and operating a terrorist group. The main evidence was the testimony of two other people, one of whom later stated that he was tortured. The Russian Federation even went as far as declaring Oleh Sentsov a Russian citizen without his consent. He was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment under a strict regime, and transferred from Crimea to the city of Labytnangi, hundreds of kilometres deep into Russian territory. However, that was not enough to break him, and in May 2018 Oleh Sentsov began a hunger strike, demanding the release of Ukrainian political prisoners in the Russian Federation. The Russian authorities refused to allow Ukrainian doctors, or even the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, access to Sentsov to confirm his health condition, and instead they provided contradictory information. I urge the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to help save the life of Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian citizens who are illegally detained in the Russian Federation and who have become hostages of the Kremlin’s imperialistic ambitions.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Yemets.

      That concludes the list of speakers. I call Mr Zingeris, rapporteur, to reply. You have seven and a half minutes.

      Mr ZINGERIS (Lithuania) – Dear colleagues, in his kind remarks Mr Tiny Kox said that we should think more broadly and include other issues in our report, and I am extremely thankful for his words. We should mention all the resolutions at the beginning – there is a catalogue of resolutions that have not been fulfilled by the Russian Federation, although I cannot imagine how many there are. Mr Kox asked us to include everything, so I will now slightly change my remarks and call on my footnotes and memories from this Chamber.

      In 1996 the Russian Federation joined our distinguished Parliamentary Assembly – we are voting on the obligations of the Russian Federation. I remember that I tabled some amendments, together with Professor Landsbergis, and I also remember those obligations because most of them were not fulfilled. For example, one obligation was for the Russian Federation to compensate people who had been deported from the occupied territories of the Baltic States, but 20 years later that obligation has not been fulfilled. We are still waiting for the Russian Federation to fulfil its obligation to those deported people and to the families of those who were killed in Siberia.

      In fact, the Russian Federation seems to continue with its obligations to the former Soviet Union – it seems as if we are in the Soviet era again. All its international obligations are being breached, so this report must also cover other areas. We will have future discussions about whether Russian parliamentarians will partially return to participate in this Assembly, but they do not reply to our letters. For example, we sent a letter to the Russian Federation from three rapporteurs – Mr Omtzigt, me, and another rapporteur – asking for some material from the Russian side. That letter from our distinguished Parliamentary Assembly was not even answered. We are not talking about three martyrs for territorial freedom taking over the Russians in Crimea; we are talking about 65 people who have been detained.

      The most important observation from today is that the Ukrainian ombudsperson was not allowed to see those Ukrainian citizens who are now in the Arctic Circle and suffering mistreatment. The idea to ask Dunja Mijatović, the chairperson of the Ukrainian delegation, was brilliant, and we should take account of that. We will be counting on her to listen to our debates. Our recommendation was based on wisdom collected not only from the Secretariat and David Milner, whom I would particularly like to thank, but also from your side. The amendments and the discussion were broad enough to mention all those people who were brave enough to raise their voices against the occupation of Crimea, especially the Crimean Tatars and the distinguished members of their parliament, who were under pressure. We did not make the resolution broad enough to cover the suffering of all those people who have not yet broken down, and who even in prison continue their fight for international law, human rights and the territorial integrity of their country.

      We know that we have allies. In the Russian Federation our allies are Russian democrats, who are officially stating that those Ukrainian citizens are political prisoners – I am talking about the Memorial organisation. The campaign #letmypeoplego has a list of political prisoners – there are about 65 of them – and we are asking the Russian Federation to release them. The European Parliament has just published a list of political prisoners. We are probably the last body in a whole line of political entities to appeal to the Russian Government immediately to release those political prisoners with Ukrainian citizenship, and to stop imposing Russian passports and Russian citizenship on the occupied territories. Those people are not Russian citizens, and such methods that were used before and during the Second World War should be stopped because they remind us of terrible things that happened before this Organisation was established.

      From my point of view, I think we will continue the discussion about Russians being here together with us. This is the first item on which we must remind them to do their duty and meet the standards of human rights and international law. Mr Oleh Sentsov and the other political prisoners we have mentioned must be freed and reunited with their families.

      The PRESIDENT – Does the chairperson of the committee, Ms Ævarsdóttir, wish to speak? You have two minutes.

      Ms ÆVARSDÓTTIR (Iceland) – The situation of Ukrainian citizens who have been detained on politically motivated or otherwise fabricated charges by the de facto authorities in Crimea is of increasing gravity. The fact that we are now holding an urgent debate demonstrates that this Assembly has been perhaps uncharacteristically slow in reacting to cases such as Mr Sentsov, who has become a figurehead in recent months.

      Very recently, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Jagland, has taken up the case with the Russian Federation’s President Putin. This week, Mr Jagland called for Mr Sentsov to be pardoned, so far to no avail. We must underline that Mr Sentsov and others are not forgotten by the members of European parliaments when they meet in Strasbourg, and that we continue to expect the Russian Federation to abide by the Council of Europe’s standards.

      The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights is presenting a draft resolution that would add our voice to this important campaign. I hope that the Assembly supports it.

      The PRESIDENT – The debate is closed.

      The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has presented a draft resolution to which five amendments have been tabled.

      Each amendment will be taken individually in the order in which they appear in the Organisation of Debates and the Compendium issued yesterday. I remind you that speeches on amendments are limited to 30 seconds.

      We come to Amendment 5, which is, In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6, insert the following paragraph: “The Assembly commits to further observe the human rights situation in occupied Crimea, and continue to follow the situation of Ukrainian citizens detained as political prisoners by the Russian Federation. Further, the Assembly commits to follow the implementation of the decisions of the ECHR and ECJ on the violation of human rights of the people detained in Crimea and detained in the Russian Federation.”

      I call Mr Logvynskyi to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr LOGVYNSKYI (Ukraine) – This is a very important amendment about the situation in Crimea. We call on the Assembly to follow up and monitor the situation in the occupied territory and the implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

      The PRESIDENT – We come to the oral sub-amendment to Amendment 5, which was tabled by Ms Sotnyk, which is, in Amendment 5, to delete the words “and ECJ”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I call Ms Sotnyk to support her oral sub-amendment.

      Ms SOTNYK (Ukraine) – Amendment 5 asks the Assembly to observe matters. Because the ECJ is not one of the Assembly’s bodies, it would be hard to implement that part of the resolution. That is why I propose to remove the ECJ from the text of the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Mr LOGVYNSKYI (Ukraine) – I agree.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Ms ÆVARSDÓTTIR (Iceland) – It was accepted unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Ms ÆVARSDÓTTIR (Iceland) – It was approved unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 5, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 1, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 7.1, after the words: “or otherwise fabricated charges”, insert the following words: “and make every effort to expedite the release of Ukrainian hostages detained in the occupied territories of Donbass”.

      I call Mr Ariev to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – I remind the Assembly that it voted for the resolution that states that Donbass is under the occupation of the Russian Federation. Ukrainians are being held as hostages in the occupied territories of Donbass. I propose to mention in the draft resolution that those people should be released. I call again on the Russian Federation to renew the negotiations and to make every effort to release all the people held in Donbass, in Crimea and in Russian prisons.

      The PRESIDENT – We come to Oral Sub-Amendment 1 to Amendment 1, which was tabled by Mr Cilevičs, which is, in Amendment 1, to replace the word “hostages” with the word “citizens”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I call Mr Cilevičs to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr CILEVIČS (Latvia) – The word “hostages” has a clear legal meaning, and not all Ukrainian citizens who are illegally detained by the Russian forces in Donbass legally qualify as hostages. I believe that we should include all people who are illegally detained there by the Russian forces.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – It is very good advice to ensure that journalists and others who are kept by the Russian-led terrorists in Donbass are included. I thank Mr Cilevičs for the oral sub-amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Ms ÆVARSDÓTTIR (Iceland) – It was approved unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Oral Sub-Amendment 1 is adopted.

      We come to Oral Sub-Amendment 2 to Amendment 1, which was tabled by Mr Logvynskyi, which is, in Amendment 1, to replace the words “occupied territories of Donbass” with the words “territory of Donbass under the effective control of the Russian Federation”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I call Mr Logvynskyi to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr LOGVYNSKYI (Ukraine) – We are speaking here about the responsibility of the countries and we must have the right evaluation. I also think that this would be the correct legal term that is used in the Convention and by the European Court of Human Rights.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – I think we could use the right wording in the way that is suggested. It does not change the sense of Amendment 1. We must call on the Russian Federation to do something, as well as making every effort in this Assembly to compel the Russian Federation to meet our requirements. We should not accept the Russian delegation here without seeing any measurable steps.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Ms ÆVARSDÓTTIR (Iceland) – It was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Oral Sub-Amendment 2 is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee on the amendment, as amended?

      Ms ÆVARSDÓTTIR (Iceland) – It was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 1, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 1, as amended, is adopted.

      I understand that Mr Logvynskyi wishes to withdraw Amendment 2. Does anyone else wish to move it? That is not the case.

      Amendment 2 is withdrawn.

      I call Mr Logvynskyi to support Amendment 3.

      Mr LOGVYNSKYI (Ukraine) – We are speaking in this amendment about the ban on the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. The ban on the Mejlis means a ban on the whole of the indigenous people of Crimea, because the Mejlis is a self-government organisation and all Crimean Tatar people are members of the Mejlis. Now they are under pressure because of the decision by the so-called Russian forces’ court that it is now an extremist organisation. That is why we ask you to support this amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Ms ÆVARSDÓTTIR (Iceland) – The amendment was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 3 is adopted.

      I call Mr Logvynskyi to support Amendment 4.

      Mr LOGVYNSKYI (Ukraine) – A lot of lawyers and human rights defenders come to our Assembly for a side event, to show the real situation in Crimea, but unfortunately we have terrible examples when even lawyers and advocates of the Crimean Tatars are stopped or arrested after they visit the Assembly. That is why we call on the Assembly to show full support for the human rights representatives of the Mejlis and lawyers of the Mejlis, who support human rights values in this temporarily occupied territory.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Ms ÆVARSDÓTTIR (Iceland) – The amendment was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 4 is adopted.

      We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft resolution contained in Document 14591, as amended. A simple majority is required.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14591, as amended, is adopted, with 77 votes for, 0 against and 15 abstentions.

      (Ms Maury Pasquier, President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Amon.)

2. Address by Mr Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg

      The PRESIDENT* – We will now hear an address by Mr Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg. After his address, Mr Asselborn will take questions from the floor.

      Minister, welcome to our Chamber. It is a great honour to have you here. As Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, and as a member of the Committee of Ministers, you wish to share with the Assembly your take on the challenges confronting our Organisation. That is very important, because only by working together, with close co-operation between member States and the institutions of our Organisation, can we overcome those challenges.

      Your solid political experience as Minister for Foreign and European Affairs since 2004, and your detailed knowledge of the challenges of European integration, are crucial for us. You have not hesitated to express your support for the principles that unite us as members of the Council of Europe: solidarity; respect for international obligations, human rights and the rule of law; but also dialogue, co-operation and the quest for consensus. It is in this spirit that we look forward to hearing your address. I am certain that members of the Assembly will have many interesting questions for you. You have the floor.

      Mr ASSELBORN (Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg)* – Madam President, Secretary General, Members of Parliament, Excellencies, it is an honour to be with you today, with a new President who embodies the values of the Organisation, particularly equal opportunities and transparency in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly. Your Chamber is a symbol of democracy and the protection of human rights in Europe. Madam President, I think that in your work you will follow the excellent example set by Anne Brasseur, my colleague and friend from Luxembourg.

      Although the Council of Europe will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary, current times do not give us much to celebrate. The international system is going through an unprecedented crisis, which unfortunately the Council of Europe is caught up in. Nearly 70 years ago, Luxembourg signed, alongside nine other European States, the Treaty of London, which led to the creation of the Council of Europe. This Organisation participated in the rebuilding of the European continent on a new basis that was designed to prevent a repetition of the horrors of the Second World War. At the time, everyone said, “Never again.” But today, who would dare to say that the worst is behind us?

      I am not trying to spread doom and gloom, or to suggest that things are worse than they are, as the populists like to do, because the general trend of humanity is nevertheless a positive one. The progress that the Council of Europe has achieved for the daily lives of our citizens is precious: the protection of the rights of women, children, LGBTI people, journalists, prisoners and minorities, and all the applications to the European Court of Human Rights. All that protection has improved markedly.

      In my country, for example, progress on freedom of expression in the media has been particularly significant. On several occasions Luxembourg has lost cases in the Court for infringing Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention, mainly concerning legal proceedings brought against journalists. Those cases have meant that Luxembourg now protects its journalists better and has improved the environment in which they work. Although there is still work to do, in 2017 Reporters Without Borders ranked Luxembourg 15th out of 180 countries with regard to freedom of the press.

      Despite the spectacular successes of the Council of Europe, a trend toward unilateralism is apparent in far too many member States, along with a tendency to trample on human rights and the rule of law. Countries where authoritarian populism has spread do not hesitate to label journalists, progressive politicians or NGOs as enemies of the people. Some countries call minorities and vulnerable groups different and undesirable, or they describe migrants and refugees as a threat to their very existence.

      Today, as a European, I should mention the new law adopted on 20 June by the Hungarian Parliament targeting civil society organisations – the so-called “Stop Soros” law. It was particularly cynical, in my view, because the vote happened on World Refugee Day. The Hungarian authorities decided to ignore the Venice Commission’s opinion on the Bill, which is surprising, given that its other opinions were held up as gospel. The law criminalises those who help undocumented migrants, without including any kind of humanitarian exemption clause. It disproportionately restricts freedom of association and freedom of expression, which are laid down in Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The budgetary law adopted on 19 June lays down a 25% tax on NGOs that are suspected of helping migrants. I can only agree with Amnesty International’s view that criminalising the essential and legitimate work of human rights defenders is a brazen attack on people fleeing persecution and those who do the admirable work of seeking to help them.

      Luxembourg will continue to reject this racist, authoritarian and populist vision of the world, and we will do everything we can to uphold human rights and the rule of law. We continue to believe that everyone has the same rights, regardless of their origin, skin colour, ethnic identity, religion, sexual preference or sexual identity, material situation or political convictions. We know where that leads, when human dignity is no longer considered essential. Europe cannot become a fortress that turns its back on humanity. The spirit of the Geneva Conventions is that every State shoulders its responsibility to ensure that anyone under international protection has the right to asylum. Difficult times are, more than ever, when we all need to show political commitment to fundamental freedoms and values, human rights and the rule of law, because they are also in our interests.

      To make my point, it is sometimes not enough to beat about the bush and to be too diplomatic or polite. Sometimes it is right to come out and say what we think, and we have to be able to talk frankly about the problems in the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe is in crisis, and it is a crisis that I would characterise as multi-dimensional. The budgetary ramifications are a symptom of a change in political mind-set of some States. That can be seen in a series of firsts, of refusals: refusal to pay, refusal to execute the judgments of the Court, refusal to recognise the authority of the Court, refusal to resign when accused of corruption, refusal to co-operate with the monitoring bodies, and so on.

      The crisis can be explained by the very values of the Council of Europe being called into question in some member States, some of which are even members of the European Union. National reform in those countries is moving them further and further from the principle of the rule of law – in Hungary or Poland, for example, reform of the judicial system challenges the very independence of justice and the judiciary, and the principle of the separation of powers. That movement away from the Council goes hand in hand with the worrying rise of populist movements throughout Europe, demonstrated in recent presidential and general elections in various member States. As nations turn in on themselves, there is more and more of a problem, because politicians in those countries are motivated to ignore the opinions and recommendations of the bodies of the Council – the Venice Commission in particular, the Secretary General or even the human rights ombudsperson. Politicians might refuse to work with them, challenging their very legitimacy.

      The commitment of the Council of Europe to Turkey has a long and rich history. The Court in Strasbourg has made 9 800 judgments involving Turkey, most of them on torture, freedom of expression, banning of political parties and fair trials. Such engagement on the part of the Council of Europe and Turkey’s co-operation with the Council contributed to the transformation of the judicial context in Turkey, allowing the Turkish Constitutional Court to reinforce the upholding of human rights in the country.

      That was before the attempted coup d’état. Now more than 100 journalists are in prison, 50 000 have been arrested and more than 100 000 in the public sector have lost their job. At the prompting of the Secretary General, a national commission was set up to review the situation of all persons affected by the decrees passed during the state of emergency, which has now been in place for almost two years. I hope that such co-operation with the Council of Europe will contribute to ensuring that the activities of the now newly elected Turkish authorities will be compatible with the obligations on them as a State Party to the European Convention on Human Rights and, in particular, will comply with the principles of the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. The Court in Strasbourg is the ultimate arbiter of whether the Turkish Constitutional Court continues to protect the individual rights of all Turkish citizens effectively.

      That brings me to another subject I care a lot about, which is the trend to question the authority of the Court, the jewel in the crown of our system. There has even been explicit refusal to implement the judgments of the Court. The Committee of Ministers is for the first time faced with a State – Azerbaijan – that refuses to execute a judgment of the Court. As a result, the Committee of Ministers has had to launch an infringement procedure under Article 46.4 of the Convention. The Court will have to pronounce soon on the obligation of States to comply with final judgments.

      That is not the only problem. Since 2015, the Russian Federation has declared that its own Constitutional Court can overrule a decision by the Court in Strasbourg if that decision is incompatible with the Russian constitution. That is not a one-off situation, because more and more States favour what might be described as reclaiming sovereignty judicially, and negotiations therefore led to the Copenhagen Declaration, adopted under the Danish presidency – even the principles of the independence and authority of the European Court of Human Rights are no longer considered to be carved in stone. Things cannot go on like that. Compromising and restricting the authority of the Court has nothing to do with the interests of citizens. More than ever, we need an independent, impartial and strong Court. Human rights, which have been embodied in the European Convention on Human Rights since the Second World War, are not negotiable.

      The challenges that the Council of Europe is coming up against are therefore substantial and tangible. Solutions can be found at our level, the political and national level. The political discourse in our own countries about the importance of the Convention and the Court is vital to public opinion, to enhancing public trust and support for our essential values. We must continue to talk about such matters, in particular with people who do not agree with us.

      The culture, and the whole idea and method, of multilateralism – countries coming together to find solutions while upholding international law and in a spirit of mutual respect – are our only benchmark. We as States Parties cannot cherry-pick how we participate in this Organisation. Effective multilateralism has to be more than just a slogan; it is a vital prerequisite to preserving peace on our continent. Ensuring the survival of this institution means respecting effective multilateralism, which involves rights – in particular, the right to participate in the elections to key posts of the Organisation – and collective duties. Paying your subscription, respecting and implementing the judgments of the Court, and co-operating in good faith with the bodies of the Council of Europe are a part of those duties. Effective multilateralism implies that every international organisation should respect its mandate and its Statute.

      I repeat that Luxembourg, like the other members of the European Union, does not recognise the annexation of Crimea. The European Union decided to adopt sanctions against the Russian Federation. Although those sanctions are not an end in themselves, we adopted them because we are not prepared to give ground on questions of principle, particularly changing borders by force. The Assembly’s decision in 2014 derived from the same principle, which I adhere to completely.

      From my point of view, in order to be faithful to the virtues and the core business of this Organisation, it would be preferable to err on the side of dialogue rather than exclusion, as is the case in the Committee of Ministers. Our Organisation is about the protection and promotion of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. It is not up to our Organisation to pronounce on questions of a military or security nature, which are more the core business of the OSCE and the United Nations Security Council. If we want real progress to be made on the ground, we must have a dialogue with the main parties concerned. Voting is an essential tool to allow member States to express themselves in your Assembly.

      The system that we managed to set up – that we had to set up – amid the terrible pain of 70 years ago is part of our European DNA. Rather than continuing to reform it and tinker around the edges, we need to consolidate it. We must do that in the context of political and geopolitical developments that have tended to stress what divides us rather than what brings us together – our universal values – and to jeopardise our common European wealth. Luxembourg will continue to work along those lines. Together, we will manage to achieve that. Let us work together as an international community to uphold international law, so that what is right prevails over might. [Applause.]

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Minister.

      I now give the floor to the speakers on behalf of the political groups. We begin with Mr Vejkey.

      Mr VEJKEY (Hungary, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – Minister, in the past decades the Council of Europe has established a comprehensive set of regulations concerning the protection of national minorities. Despite the fact that more than 55 million people in European Union countries identify themselves as a member of a national minority, no framework exists to protect and promote their rights. There is a European Union citizens’ initiative to correct that shortcoming. How can the standard setting instruments of the Council of Europe be used to further the rights of national minorities in the European Union?

      Mr ASSELBORN* – As a European who very much believes in Europe and its values, I believe that we have to respect the will of the majority but that we must also respect minorities. It is by respecting minorities that we can show we are genuinely democratic. The Council of Europe should be a forum where the interests and issues affecting minorities can be debated in a constructive way. All I can say in response to your question is that if we are not able to debate the rights of minorities and find solutions to their problems in this Chamber, I do not know where we can do that. I think the majority of members of the Council of Europe approve of that approach.

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria, Spokesperson for the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group)* – Thank you very much, minister. We have not heard such a speech in the Chamber for quite some time. You spoke clearly against populism and defended the values this Organisation champions. The populism you are trying to combat is becoming ever more widespread in Europe. The Visegrád States – Bavaria, Austria and Italy – are trying to combat your approach. We are trying to deal with waves of refugees. How will we do that? How can we show solidarity and mutual aid, and how can we fight off populism and ensure that human rights are properly defended and respected?

      Mr ASSELBORN* – That is a very important question. Populism was of course around before the migration crisis started. In the 1960s and 1970s many countries experienced migration. The whole phenomenon was amplified greatly between 2014 and 2016. My answer is very clear: we need to create the conditions for a proper Europe-wide integration and migration policy.

      The European Council is currently meeting. In the current situation, we need to better protect our external borders – that concerns Frontex, of course – but we cannot simply assume that that will be enough to solve the migration crisis. We need to show responsibility and solidarity. Those are the two key words. We need to respect that in all the countries of the European Union. I do not think any country in the Schengen area can say, “Well, we don’t want this to apply to us. We’re a homogeneous country and we don’t want to take in any people who are being persecuted and claiming protection under the Geneva Convention.” We cannot do that. I have been following this since the relocation agreement in 2015.

      You mentioned the Visegrád countries. They are against showing solidarity and taking people in. We need to ensure that Europe fully applies human rights and dignity. I hope that that describes most countries in Europe, but we will also have countries and governments that see Europe as a fortress that should be strengthened. I hope that we will not have borders so strong that no one fleeing persecution can cross them. We need to ensure that the Geneva Convention is properly applied. Of course we cannot achieve that overnight, but we need to be faithful to the European spirit, which led to the creation of the European Union, otherwise we will be banging our heads against a brick wall and making a very serious error indeed.

      Lord BLENCATHRA (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – Minister, Luxembourg is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. Greece is one of the poorest, but it still manages to spend the minimum NATO requirement of 2% of its GDP on defence, as do Estonia, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Your country pays the lowest proportion of any country in Europe – a derisory 0.4%. Even Hungary, which you condemned, spends 1%. What do you say to all those critics who accuse Luxembourg of gross hypocrisy and cynical opportunism for hiding behind the defence shield of poorer countries? They ask why they should pay to defend you when you will not spend enough to defend yourselves.

      Mr ASSELBORN* – That accusation is somewhat simplistic. Luxembourg is not known as a military force, but we have increased our military budget to 0.4% of GDP and we have always co-operated in NATO in proportion to our capacity to help. We were in Afghanistan and we were in Kosovo for 15 years. We have a presence in some African countries, particularly Mali and Niger. We have done all we can towards the European defence policy and in NATO.

      Luxembourg takes pride in the fact that it is one of the only countries in the world to spend 1% of GDP on official development aid. According to President Trump, we should all increase military spending to 2% of GDP to make the world a safer place. That is mad, in my view. My country has a 1,000-strong army; we do not have the wherewithal to procure advanced military equipment. For the last 30 years, therefore, we have focused our efforts on co-operation and preventing war, and we will continue along those lines. That does not mean that we will reduce our co-operation with NATO on the things that we are working on, such as satellite programmes.

      Ms MEHL (Norway, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – One of the topics at the European Union summit that is starting today in Brussels is the proposal to establish a eurozone crisis fund as a safeguard in the event of an economic crisis among European Union countries. What is your view on the prospect of reaching an agreement on such a fund, and what sort of contribution might Luxembourg make to it?

      Mr ASSELBORN* – I did not fully understand the question, but I believe that you referred to the creation of a European monetary fund. Negotiations on the stabilisation of the euro are under way, especially between Germany and France. It would be great if we could reach a consensus, but all eurozone countries need to be on board. If I understand correctly, at this stage the umbrella system will be extended and bolstered. The European monetary fund would enable us to do almost exactly the same things as the International Monetary Fund does. We would establish a fund through which countries facing difficult times would benefit from assistance on condition that they implemented reforms. Alongside that, there is an investment fund. There is some disagreement between France and Germany about that, but it could serve to make more appropriate investments.

      Mr NICOLINI (San Marino, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – I represent Movimento RETE, a political movement that fights widespread corruption in San Marino. Recently, a parliamentarian received a Luxembourg court summons for claiming a significant amount of money on the basis of a speech she made during a parliamentary session in which she condemned certain deals of a rich businessman. With the intervention of the court, the same businessman succeeded in prosecuting her. We consider that to be a scandal. Parliamentarians’ freedom of speech is in danger if foreign courts prosecute us for anything that we say in our national Parliament, but that is just part of the problem. We need to defend smaller countries from the real threat coming from rich and powerful people who want to buy our nation. Minister, could you give your opinion on the potential threat to smaller states?

      Mr ASSELBORN* – In Luxembourg, we have traditionally been 100% in favour of freedom of expression. We have always respected the independence of the judiciary. That is all I can say.

      Ms GAMBARO (Italy, Spokesperson for the Free Democrats Group)* – Minister, you referred to the crisis that the Council of Europe is experiencing, particularly in respect of its values. You have also referred to a major crisis affecting the European Union and its values. How do you think the European Union will be able to emerge from this crisis? You represent one of the founding countries of the European Union.

      Mr ASSELBORN* – I think many European citizens and others outside the European Union are asking the same question. The European Union was established after the Second World War, above all to avoid war. It was constructed on the basis of human rights and the rule of law, and there was a prevailing hope that we could create a European space and defend Europe and its values. I campaigned in the Security Council at the end of the 2000s. One day, we would like all continents – be they Africa, America or others – to be at the same level as the European Union when it comes to human rights and respect for fundamental humanitarian laws.

      Unfortunately, from 2010 onwards, and above all after the actions of Mr Orbán in Hungary, the trend has been slowly but surely reversed. Today, as I said in my speech, we face developments that would have been difficult to predict 10 years ago. We are also here to defend the independence of the judiciary in Poland, a country that was a reference point for enlargement to the east. Two days ago, the General Affairs Council discussed the rule of law in Poland. We are on the very margins of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which can lead to the withdrawal of a European country’s voting rights. Other countries – Romania, for instance, and perhaps other countries – fear that the same thing may apply. I do not want to start meddling, however. If the values of a State based on the rule of law are no longer respected in a country of the European Union, then that could happen throughout Europe. All its citizens – 530 million of them, I think – have the right to the privilege of living on the basis of values agreed on within the European Union and on the basis of international conventions.

      Lastly, to become a member of the European Union you have to respect the Copenhagen criteria, and everything that I have said is defined under those criteria. When certain countries came into the European Union they respected those values, and I have referred to them, but today we see that they no longer respect them. So we have to beware. We cannot wear the cloak of indifference here. It is an obligation on all generations to transfer this peace project to the generations that will succeed us.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Minister. As well as speakers from political groups, we have four people on our speakers list. If you agree, I shall take two questions and then you can reply to them, then I shall take the last two questions for you to reply to. I call Ms Gurmai.

      Ms GURMAI (Hungary) – Minister, you emphasised multiple times that currently the key task of foreign policy is to strengthen multiculturalism, enforce fundamental rights and resolve the problems of migration. How will the European Union and the Council of Europe repair and evaluate co-operation in this field? How can they be more efficient? I know it is a great challenge, but how can they make use of the multilateral institutions in a more efficient way?

      Mr SABELLA (Palestine, Partner for Democracy) – Mr Asselborn, I thank you and Luxembourg for your consistent position on Palestinian rights. You have called on European nations to recognise the State of Palestine. What should the Council of Europe and its member States do to implement your recommendation? Secondly, on the question of UNRWA, the United Nations aid agency for Palestinian refugees, what will happen after the United States Trump administration’s decision to cut funds to that organisation?

      Mr ASSELBORN* – I shall start by answering the second question. We had a meeting in Rome, where a number of countries, though not all, were fully aware of the issues surrounding UNRWA funding relating to Palestinian refugees. If these cuts continue, what is going to happen is that 250,000 children in Gaza will no longer be able to go to school. Serious concerns have been expressed about this and about healthcare, which we are worried will not be possible. Significant cuts have been imposed by Trump’s government, and the countries that met in Rome pledged to bring forward the payments for this year with a view to coming up with solutions. A number of countries have recognised the situation. I have been to Gaza on four occasions and have seen with my own eyes how 2 million people live in a country whose surface area is one seventh the size of Luxembourg – as you know, Luxembourg is not a large country; quite the opposite – in conditions with no prospects. The only hope that these people have is that their children will receive a proper education and proper healthcare, but all that may well disappear. We certainly hope that the international community will take the necessary action to remedy this problem.

      On your first question, Mr Sabella, perhaps you interpreted my comments in a slightly overly positive light. My feeling is that the recognition of Palestine is something that should be part of a move started by a country that is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in New York. France, for instance, could take the lead. Of course such recognition would go completely against some decisions that have been taken. The decisions that have been taken by the American administration are the wrong ones – that is, the decision to transfer the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and its attitude that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel only. We should not overlook the fact that, in all the Security Council resolutions and declarations made by the European Union and the Council of Europe, we have always worked on the assumption that Jerusalem is the capital of both States. Of course it is the capital of Israel but it is also the capital of Palestine. That recognition is therefore very important indeed.

      What is even more important, though, is to promote dialogue and not hold back from telling the Americans not to carry on in the direction of continuing to openly favour the interests of the Israeli Government. Of course I fully understand that Israelis want to live in security, but at the same time let us not forget that the Palestinian people need to be able to live in dignity and proper conditions. We need to try to put forward the European arguments that we have, although of course they do not only concern Europe. We need to try to convince the United States, and particularly the Trump administration, that it has chosen a path that is not going to help stabilisation in the region.

      With regard to the first question that I was asked relating to multilateralism, what can I say here? My experience of foreign policy in Europe is that the very foundation of the world order following the Second World War was created on the basis of the development of multilateralism. On Mr Trump’s decision on climate change, that is something on which all the countries on the planet had reached an agreement and we cannot undo or destroy that. Here once again we should not simply be fatalistic; a number of states in the United States are defending the Paris Agreement, and this is a good example of multilateralism.

      I shall give you one more example. We worked for 13 years on the agreement with Iran, the aim of which was for Iran not to develop a nuclear weapon. This is why so much effort was devoted to the talks with Iran through the relevant agency in Vienna that is responsible for nuclear energy. That agency has confirmed that Iran has not developed nuclear weapons, and it is the JCPOA that did that, but the Americans have undone all that. Compare that with what the United States is doing with North Korea. All I can say is: good luck with efforts to denuclearise that peninsula. There the Americans are not calling for regime change to occur, whereas in Iran they demand regime change as a first step. Clearly we do not agree with the foreign policy being conducted in the region by Iran. That said, we have always made a clear distinction between the fact that Iran, which we should not forget is much closer to us than the United States, cannot have a nuclear bomb, though those efforts now risk being undone by the Americans, and, on the other hand, the process that has begun in North Korea. I could continue on that topic.

      When it comes to international trade, we wanted to promote an opening up, but barriers are being erected and we seem to be moving towards another trade war. If indeed such a war breaks out, it will not be the richest countries but the poorest and least powerful that will bear the brunt and suffer the most. Multilateralism goes very much against the maxim, “America first”, but just imagine if we found ourselves in a situation in Europe where we were hearing, “France first”, “Germany first” and so on. We are doing the exact opposite of that, pooling our efforts and forces to develop multilateralism, and I have no doubt that in both the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly we need to continue along those lines. The image that the American President is communicating is certainly not one we would want to communicate in the European continent.

      Ms GÜNAY (Turkey) – PKK is on the European Union’s list of terrorist organisations, but in Luxembourg it is tolerated and allowed to organise meetings and demonstrations that, without exception, involve PKK propaganda via the display of banners and symbols and posters of Öcalan. A number of European Union countries, including Germany, are imposing legal sanctions to enforce a ban on PKK symbols. Why do you not also apply measures against PKK propaganda? This is not just a national terrorist organisation based in Turkey, it is internationally designed and financed. In Luxembourg, what are your plans for fighting this terrorist organisation, which is a threat to all countries?

      Mr HUSEYNOV (Azerbaijan) – There exists close co-operation and efficient political dialogue between Azerbaijan and Luxembourg. In your letter of congratulation on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of those relations, you noted that there was great potential for raising the relations to higher levels in the future as well as for the further development of co-operation in the mutual interest of the two States. As far as I am aware, you will visit Azerbaijan in the second half of this year. What opportunities are you referring to when you talk about the broad potential for the development of bilateral relations, and what impetus can your upcoming meetings and discussions give to the future progress of those relations?

      Mr ASSELBORN* – On the first question, I do not think you have been very well informed, Madam, because the flags and the external attributes of the PKK are not authorised in Luxembourg. Not all Kurds are terrorists, if I may say so. There was a demonstration by a number of Kurdish people but the flags and other external attributes were not on display. European countries tend to make a distinction between terrorists and those who have fought against ISIS. We are well aware that there are some very brave Kurds, for instance in Raqqa, who lend assistance to the United States-led coalition against ISIS, or Daesh. They helped to liberate the city of Raqqa and I am very grateful to them for their courage. In Syria they have contributed significantly to the fight against Islamic State.

      Moving on to the second question, put by Azerbaijan, I am not here to develop bilateral relations between my country and the individual member States of the Council of Europe, but I can assure you, Sir, that your minister of foreign affairs is a good friend – we have known each other for some 15 years now. If he has an issue to deal with I will assist him, and I am sure he would do the same for me.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Minister. That concludes the question and answer session. I thank you for this exchange of views. You raised a number of issues that are important to the Council of Europe. In fact, you pinpointed so many that it is difficult to sum them all up. However, I would like to point out that you underscored the importance of civil society organisations, you reminded us of our responsibility to uphold the right to asylum as stipulated in the Geneva Convention, and you were very clear that human rights are non-negotiable. You reiterated that dialogue is of the essence and that our forum here should be very aware of that, and your vision of our Organisation’s co-operation will, I am sure, be very helpful as we take things forward.

3. Next public business

      The PRESIDENT* – The Assembly will hold its next public sitting this afternoon at 4.30 p.m. with the agenda that was approved on Monday.

      The sitting is closed.

      (The sitting was closed at 12.55 p.m.)


1.        Urgent debate: Ukrainian citizens detained as political prisoners by the Russian Federation

Speakers: Mr Schäfer, Mr Howell, Ms Lundgren, Mr Kox, Mr Logvynskyi, Ms Gerashchenko, Ms Sotnyk, Ms Ionova, Mr Masiulis, Mr Kandelaki, Mr Klich, Mr Sobolev, Mr Ariev, Ms Schou, Mr Unhurian, Mr Yemets

Draft resolution in Document 14591, as amended, agreed to

2.       Address by Mr Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg

Questions: Mr Vejkey, Mr Schennach, Lord Blencathra, Ms Mehl, Mr Nicolini, Ms Gambaro, Ms Gurmai, Mr Sabella, Ms Günay, Mr Huseynov

3.        Next public business

Appendix / Annexe

Representatives or Substitutes who signed the register of attendance in accordance with Rule 12.2 of the Rules of Procedure. The names of members substituted follow (in brackets) the names of participating members.

Liste des représentants ou suppléants ayant signé le registre de présence, conformément à l’article 12.2 du Règlement. Le nom des personnes remplacées suit celui des Membres remplaçant, entre parenthèses.

ÅBERG, Boriana [Ms]

ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Thorhildur Sunna [Ms]

AMON, Werner [Mr]

APOSTOL, Ion [Mr] (GHIMPU, Mihai [Mr])

ARIEV, Volodymyr [Mr]

BADIA, José [M.]

BAKUN, Wojciech [Mr]

BALÁŽ, Radovan [Mr] (PAŠKA, Jaroslav [M.])

BARDELL, Hannah [Ms]

BAYR, Petra [Ms] (ESSL, Franz Leonhard [Mr])


BİLGEHAN, Gülsün [Mme]

BLANCHART, Philippe [M.]

BLENCATHRA, David [Lord] (DONALDSON, Jeffrey [Sir])

BLONDIN, Maryvonne [Mme]

BRUIJN-WEZEMAN, Reina de [Ms] (MAEIJER, Vicky [Ms])


CILEVIČS, Boriss [Mr] (BĒRZINŠ, Andris [M.])

CORSINI, Paolo [Mr]

COURSON, Yolaine de [Mme] (SORRE, Bertrand [M.])


D’AMBROSIO, Vanessa [Ms]

DAMYANOVA, Milena [Mme]

DE TEMMERMAN, Jennifer [Mme]

DIVINA, Sergio [Mr]

DONCHEV, Andon [Mr] (HRISTOV, Plamen [Mr])

EBERLE-STRUB, Susanne [Ms]

EIDE, Petter [Mr] (WOLD, Morten [Mr])

EVANS, Nigel [Mr]

FOULKES, George [Lord] (PRESCOTT, John [Mr])

FOURNIER, Bernard [M.]

FRESKO-ROLFO, Béatrice [Mme]

GALE, Roger [Sir]

GAMBARO, Adele [Ms]

GATTOLIN, André [M.] (CAZEAU, Bernard [M.])

GAVAN, Paul [Mr]


GERMANN, Hannes [Mr] (HEER, Alfred [Mr])

GHILETCHI, Valeriu [Mr]

GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]

GOGA, Pavol [M.] (KRESÁK, Peter [Mr])

GRECH, Etienne [Mr] (CUTAJAR, Rosianne [Ms])

GRIN, Jean-Pierre [M.] (FIALA, Doris [Mme])


GÜNAY, Emine Nur [Ms]


GURMAI, Zita [Mme]

HAIDER, Roman [Mr]

HAJDUKOVIĆ, Domagoj [Mr]

HAJIYEV, Sabir [Mr]

HASANOV, Elshad [Mr] (GAFAROVA, Sahiba [Ms])

HEINRICH, Gabriela [Ms]

HOWELL, John [Mr]

HUSEYNOV, Rafael [Mr]

IONOVA, Mariia [Ms] (BEREZA, Boryslav [Mr])

JENIŠTA, Luděk [Mr]

JONES, Susan Elan [Ms]

JORDANA, Carles [Mr] (NAUDI ZAMORA, Víctor [M.])

JØRGENSEN, Jan E. [Mr] (HENRIKSEN, Martin [Mr])

KALMARI, Anne [Ms]

KANDELAKI, Giorgi [Mr] (BAKRADZE, David [Mr])

KARLSSON, Niklas [Mr]

KILIÇ, Akif Çağatay [Mr]

KLEINBERGA, Nellija [Ms] (LAIZĀNE, Inese [Ms])


KLICH, Bogdan [Mr]

KOBZA, Jiři [Mr] (BENEŠIK, Ondřej [Mr])

KOPŘIVA, František [Mr]

KOVÁCS, Elvira [Ms]

KOX, Tiny [Mr]



LOGVYNSKYI, Georgii [Mr]

LOPUSHANSKYI, Andrii [Mr] (DZHEMILIEV, Mustafa [Mr])

LUNDGREN, Kerstin [Ms] (SVENSSON, Michael [Mr])

MAELEN, Dirk Van der [Mr] (LACROIX, Christophe [M.])

MAHMOOD, Shabana [Ms] (SMITH, Angela [Ms])

MALLIA, Emanuel [Mr]


MARKOVIĆ, Milica [Mme]

MAROSZ, Ján [Mr]

MASIULIS, Kęstutis [Mr] (BUTKEVIČIUS, Algirdas [Mr])

MASSEY, Doreen [Baroness]

McCARTHY, Kerry [Ms]

MEHL, Emilie Enger [Ms]

MENDES, Ana Catarina [Mme]

MULLEN, Rónán [Mr] (HOPKINS, Maura [Ms])

MÜLLER, Thomas [Mr]

MUNYAMA, Killion [Mr] (TRUSKOLASKI, Krzysztof [Mr])

MURRAY, Ian [Mr]

NENUTIL, Miroslav [Mr]

NICOLETTI, Michele [Mr]

NISSINEN, Johan [Mr]


OEHME, Ulrich [Mr] (BERNHARD, Marc [Mr])

OHLSSON, Carina [Ms]

O’REILLY, Joseph [Mr]

OVERBEEK, Henk [Mr] (STIENEN, Petra [Ms])

PELKONEN, Jaana Maarit [Ms]

POLETTI, Bérengère [Mme] (ABAD, Damien [M.])

POLIAČIK, Martin [Mr] (KAŠČÁKOVÁ, Renáta [Ms])

PUPPATO, Laura [Ms] (BERTUZZI, Maria Teresa [Ms])

REICHARDT, André [M.] (GROSDIDIER, François [M.])

REISS, Frédéric [M.] (DURANTON, Nicole [Mme])

RIBERAYGUA, Patrícia [Mme]


SANDBÆK, Ulla [Ms] (KRARUP, Marie [Ms])

SCHÄFER, Axel [Mr]

SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]

SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Elisabeth [Mme] (LOMBARDI, Filippo [M.])

SCHOU, Ingjerd [Ms]

SCHWABE, Frank [Mr]

SEKULIĆ, Predrag [Mr]

SOBOLEV, Serhiy [Mr]

SOTNYK, Olena [Ms]

STELLINI, David [Mr]

STIER, Davor Ivo [Mr]

SUTTER, Petra De [Ms] (VERCAMER, Stefaan [M.])

THIÉRY, Damien [M.]

THÓRARINSSON, Birgir [Mr] (ÓLASON, Bergþór [Mr])

TORNARE, Manuel [M.] (FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.])

TOUHIG, Don [Lord] (WILSON, Phil [Mr])

TROY, Robert [Mr] (COWEN, Barry [Mr])

UNHURIAN, Pavlo [Mr] (BILOVOL, Oleksandr [Mr])

VALENTA, Jiři [Mr] (NĚMCOVÁ, Miroslava [Ms])

VALLINI, André [M.] (LAMBERT, Jérôme [M.])

VEJKEY, Imre [Mr]

VEN, Mart van de [Mr]

VITANOV, Petar [Mr] (JABLIANOV, Valeri [Mr])

VOGT, Ute [Ms] (BARNETT, Doris [Ms])

WENAWESER, Christoph [Mr]

YAŞAR, Serap [Mme]

YEMETS, Leonid [Mr]

ZOHRABYAN, Naira [Mme]

Also signed the register / Ont également signé le registre

Representatives or Substitutes not authorised to vote / Représentants ou suppléants non autorisés à voter

ATSHEMYAN, Karine [Ms]


BOCCONE-PAGES, Brigitte [Mme]

CANNEY, Seán [Mr]

CORREIA, Telmo [M.]



MARUKYAN, Edmon [Mr]

MASŁOWSKI, Maciej [Mr]

MELKUMYAN, Mikayel [M.]

NICOLINI, Marco [Mr]

RUSSELL, Simon [Lord]

SHEPPARD, Tommy [Mr]

SMITH, Angela [Ms]

Observers / Observateurs


Partners for democracy / Partenaires pour la démocratie

ALQAISI, Nassar [Mr]


AMRAOUI, Allal [M.]

LABLAK, Aicha [Mme]

SABELLA, Bernard [Mr]

Representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community (In accordance to Resolution 1376 (2004) of

the Parliamentary Assembly)/ Représentants de la communauté chypriote turque

(Conformément à la Résolution 1376 (2004) de l’Assemblée parlementaire)

CANDAN Armağan

SANER Hamza Ersan