Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-183"

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". Mr President, Sudan’s human rights record remains a cause of extreme concern to the European Commission and the EU, especially in consideration of the insecure and extremely volatile situation still existing in marginalised areas such as Darfur. Almost two years after signing the comprehensive peace agreement, the Sudanese Government is falling far short of many of the human rights commitments made under the CPA and the internal interim national constitution, signed by the President of the Republic in July 2005. Within the international community, European efforts to improve civilian protection in Sudan focus simultaneously on both security and political civilian actions. Since 2005 the Commission has funded approximately 35 projects aimed at promoting human rights and democracy in Sudan with a total budget of about EUR 6 million. With regard to the cases of the two women mentioned in Parliament’s resolution, I can assure the honourable Members of Parliament that the European Union and the Commission are following the case very closely. This case was first raised by the heads of missions meeting in the Netherlands in mid-March and it was followed by the EU Troika on 27 March, composed of representatives from Germany, Greece and the Commission. More recently the EU raised the issue at the last Advisory Council on Human Rights meeting on 16 April. The Court of Appeal ordered that case be returned to the court of origin – the al-Gezira State Court – to be looked into again. Although we remain firmly opposed to the death penalty, the fact that the case has been sent for retrial is at least positive and we hope that the women will be given a fair trial in line with international human rights standards. The last case which we are discussing now is the case of two boys aged 16 years old sentenced to death by hanging. Various Member States and the Commission have raised this issue with the German Embassy and are waiting for the EU Presidency to take the lead on this issue in the days to come. If not, the Commission intends to raise this issue directly in a letter to the Sudanese authorities such as the Minister of Justice and the Advisory Council on Human Rights. The next meeting of EU-Sudan political dialogue with the Advisory Council on Human Rights will be in early June and this could be a good opportunity to raise this case again."@en1

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