25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Joint statement by FEMM and DROI Chairs:

Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), and Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Chair of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), stated:

''On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Sunday 25 November), we put the spotlight on sexual harassment, which forms an integral part of gender-based violence and on which we need to cooperate in order to achieve gender equality and full enjoyment of human rights for all women...."

DROI Chair welcomes release of British academic Matthew Hedges from a UAE prison

Relieved about the pardoning of Matthew Hedges after his sentence to life imprisonment, Mr Pier Antonio Panzeri made the following statement:

"I welcome the news that the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pardoned British academic Matthew Hedges and hundreds of other prisoners. I also wish Matthew and his family some much needed rest in order to recover quickly from this ordeal...."

Canada's unprecedented commitments on indigenous rights await vigorous implementation

Eight Members of the Subcommittee on Human Rights visited Canada from 29 October to 2 November.

The Chair of the Subcommittee, Pier Antonio Panzeri, stated: "Our delegation visited Canada to have an exchange on human rights challenges and to learn more about the human rights situation of indigenous peoples (IP), notably in the light of Prime Minister Trudeau's commitment to reset the government's relationship with Canada's indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Metis).

Human Rights Chair deplores Turkish arrest and detention of Osman Kavala

"Today is a sad day. Mr Osman Kavala, a prominent and respected leading figure in Turkey's arts and culture scene has to date been detained in solitary confinement without indictment for 365 days. I am dismayed by the ongoing injustice exacted upon a man of peace, who through Anadolu Kültur, is a bridge-builder between Turks, Armenians and Kurds...."

Statement by DROI Chair ahead of World Day against the Death Penalty

On the occasion of the 16th World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October, Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT), Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, stated:

"I would like to recall the EU's unwavering and united stance against the Death Penalty in all cases and under all circumstances.

DROI Chair urges Saudi authorities to disclose Jamal Kashoggi’s whereabouts

Following the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi, the Chair of the EP Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Pier Antonio Panzeri, stated:

"A journalist, Jamal Kashoggi is a staunch defender of human rights who in the past constantly denounced human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. He disappeared a week ago after having entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Statement in full below.

DROI Chair Pier Antonio Panzeri condemns mass death sentences in Egypt

Following an Egyptian high-instance court's recent decision to uphold the final death sentence rulings against the defendants in the 2013 Kerdasa massacre, the Chair of Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights, Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT), made the following statement:

"I am dismayed by the Kerdasa and Rabaa Dispersal case verdicts. The Egyptian courts continue to hand down death sentences in mass trials that are indefensible both on procedure and on the merits of the cases against defendants.

Only concrete human rights actions can help improve Turkey relations with the EU

A delegation of subcommittee on human rights members visited Turkey (Ankara and Istanbul) on 17-19 September.

In meetings with various parliament and government representatives, members of the European Parliament listened to renewed ambitions to strengthen Turkey's ties with the EU.

Guatemala: MEP Panzeri regrets the end of UN-led Commission against Impunity

Following the decision by the Guatemala's authorities not to renew the mandate of the international UN-led International Commission against Impunity (CICIG), DROI chair Panzeri stated:

"I am deeply disappointed by this decision, which also prevents CICIG Head Ivan Velazquez to enter the country and is a blow in the strengthening process of the Guatemala justice system and the rule of law. In addition, there is serious concerns over the ongoing waves of police intimidations against human rights defenders and dissidents' voices. This worrying trend could trigger a serious human rights crisis in Guatemala in a time of acute difficulties across the region..." Full text below

DROI Chair welcomes end of exit permits for most migrant workers in Qatar

With a view to the new Qatari legislation, the DROI Chair, Pier Antonio Panzeri, made the following statement:

"On 4 September 2018, Qatar adopted new legislation which enables most migrant workers to leave Qatar without an exit permit. Moreover, Qatar passed the region's first Asylum Law, offering real security for political exiles.These reforms are a clear improvement of the situation in Qatar ..."
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