European Parliament Condemns Human Rights Violations in Syria

The European Parliament has condemned the continuation of human rights violations in Syria and has criticized the European Council of Ministers for failing to report on the issue.

In a resolution, the Parliament, the legislative body of the European Union, reiterated that it had provided financial aid to Syria on the condition that the issue of human rights be raised at high-level talks between the European Union and Syria.

The Parliament also said it tied the aid to the drafting of an annual report about the situation of human rights in Syria.

“The council has delivered no report on the situation of human rights in Syria,” the European Parliament deplored in its resolution, adopted at a recent session.

In a move aimed at supporting Syrian participation in the Mideast peace process, the European Union had decided in November to relaunch its political and economic cooperation dialogue with Syria. For the first time in a decade, the E.U.-Syria Cooperation Council had convened in Brussels.

Earlier, the European Parliament had cleared the way for a financial aid package to Syria, which had been refused three times to protest human rights violations in Syria.

In the recent resolution, the European Parliament said that “human rights violations continue to be denounced, notably by Amnesty International in April 1995.”

European Parliament officials were upset that six months after the meeting of the cooperation council, the Council of Ministers had not yet seen a report on the situation of human rights in Syria.

The Parliament said it would like a report done “as soon as possible.” Officials are concerned about evidence of “disappearances, tortures in the prisons, imprisonments without trials and other offenses to human fundamental rights,” despite reports saying that progress has been accomplished, according to the resolution.

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