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C 304/164 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

Answer
(8 June 1998)

The proposal for a regulation on olive oil referred to by the Honorable Member was presented by the
Commission on 20 February 1998 and adopted by the Council on 27 April 1998.

The Council also wishes to inform the Honorable Member that, following the entry into force of the Association
Agreement, the first meeting of the EC/Tunisia Association Council is foreseen to take place during the second
semester of 1998.

(98/C 304/251) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1098/98


by Olivier Dupuis (ARE) to the Council
(31 March 1998)

Subject: The case of Mr Ukshin Hoti

Mr Ukshin Hoti, a lecturer in political science at the University of Pristina (Kosovo), has been in prison since
1994 following a trial in what were, to say the least, dubious circumstances and at the end of which he was found
guilty of ‘having threatened the constitutional order’ and of ‘undermining the territorial integrity of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia’. Mr Hoti had previously been arrested in 1981 for ‘counter-revolutionary crimes’ and
again in 1993. He has already spent eight years of his life in prison for his beliefs, linked to his activism in favour
of a non-violent, negotiated solution to the problem of Kosovo.

What action has the Council taken and what steps does it intend to take to secure Mr Hoti’s release by the Serbian
authorities, and what steps does it intend to take to secure the support of the Kosovar authorities for his release?

Answer
(4 June 1998)

The Council deeply regrets the sentence imposed on Mr Ukshin Hoti and the circumstances of his condemnation.

The Council points out that freedom of expression is a universal fundamental right that every democratic country
has the duty to guarantee, as is the right to a free and fair trial. Respect for human rights and democratic
principles are basic elements of the Union’s regional approach and pillars of the conditionality policy towards the
Federal Republic of Yougoslavia (FRY). It is precisely because of dissatisfaction on the issue of Kosovo and on
the FRY’s record on human rights that the Union withdrew, at the end of 1997, the Autonomous Trade Measures
granted to the FRY on 29 April 1997. A lasting solution to the Kosovo issue and a full respect of human rights
and democratic principles remain in the forefront of EU requests in dealing with the FRY, and a condition for
improving bilateral relations.

Action in favour of the release of Mr Hoti must be seen within the overall EU action in favour of respect of
human rights and democratic standards in the FRY. In this framework, the EU will continue to press the Serb
authorities on all cases similar to that raised by the Honourable Member.

(98/C 304/252) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1155/98


by Concepció Ferrer (PPE) to the Council
(3 April 1998)

Subject: Detainees in Equatorial Guinea

Four Spanish citizens could be sentenced to death by the Equato-Guinean courts if the Public Prosecutor
succeeds with his application, lodged in Malabo yesterday, at the beginning of the political trial of 90 people who
are alleged to be activists for the Bubi minority people and are accused of fomenting the rebellion on the island of
Bioko at the end of January this year with the aim of winning self-determination for the island.