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EU Lawmakers Condemn Seselj, Pakistan's Blasphemy Law, IS

Serbian nationalist Vojislav Seselj's rhetoric "has reopened the victims' psychological wounds" from the war and the atrocities of the early 1990s.

STRASBOURG, France -- A European Parliament resolution backed by all the main political groups has slammed the recent activities of accused Serbian war criminal Vojislav Seselj.

The text, passed on November 27, condemns "Seselj's warmongering, incitement to hatred and encouragement of territorial claims and his attempts to derail Serbia from its European path" and adds that his rhetoric "has reopened the victims' psychological wounds" from the war and the atrocities of the early 1990s.

The resolution also calls on the International Crime Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to "take measures to reexamine the existence of requirements for provisional release under new circumstances."

The UN war crimes court released Seselj earlier this month on grounds of ill-health before reaching a verdict in his trial.

Since his return, Seselj, who suffers from cancer, has vowed revenge against ex-allies now in power, praised the 2003 assassination of reformist Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, and said he still believes in the Greater Serbia ideology that fuelled war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Kosovo.

Pakistan 'Must Respect Rights'

Also, the European Parliament slammed a decision by a Pakistani court last month to confirm the death sentence for a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy four years ago.

The Lahore High Court last month dismissed Asia Bibi's appeal. Bibi, a mother of five, was found guilty in 2010 of making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad.

Her lawyer has vowed to appeal in the Supreme Court.

The parliament's resolution, passed with an overwhelming majority, calls on the Pakistani Supreme Court "to start its proceedings on the case swiftly and without delay and to uphold the rule of law and full respect for human rights in its ruling."

EU lawmakers also expressed concern that Pakistan's blasphemy laws are open to misuse and can affect all faiths in the country, and urged Islamabad to review the current application of the laws.

Islamic State Crimes

And finally, the European Parliament condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the systematic human rights violations committed by the Islamic State (IS) group and other associated terrorist groups.

The November 27 resolution, supported by all the main political groups in the parliament, highlighted the numerous violations by IS such as abduction, rape, and forced marriages, specifically targeting women.

The parliament also called on the Iraqi government to ratify the Rome Statute -- the document under which the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been established -- in order to allow the ICC to prosecute the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by IS.

The text also calls on "all regional actors to do everything within their power to stop all activities by official or private bodies aimed at propagating and spreading extreme Islamist ideologies in words and acts."

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