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C 110 E/24 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.

2003

Through the Commission’s Delegation in Damascus, the Commission also participates in the Union
observation of trials. We regret that recently Union observers have on some occasions been excluded from
the trial against Mr Al-Turk. While the Commission welcomes the opportunity to observe trials in Syria, it
also realises that the mere presence of observers at trials must not become a substitute for the fairness of
court procedures. The Commission, therefore, through its Delegation in Syria, will continue together with
Member States Embassies, to follow as closely as possible the trial against Mr Al-Turk.

The Commission will also continue to raise its concerns, regarding both the general human rights situation
and individual cases, with the Syrian authorities and will call upon Syria to respect freedom of expression
and of association in line with the Barcelona Declaration (of 27 and 28 November 1995).

Regarding the negotiations of an Association Agreement, the Commission continues to believe that a
dialogue on human rights will be more effective in the framework of a contractual relationship such as
foreseen in the Association Agreements within the Barcelona Process. The Agreement, which includes
provisions on free trade, cooperation and political dialogue along with the vital clause on human rights
and democratisation, will constitute an important instrument for opening and democratisation of Syrian
society.

(2003/C 110 E/023) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1796/02


by Eurig Wyn (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(24 June 2002)

Subject: The safety of Moluccan Christians

The recent massacre of Christians in the village of Soya, Ambon, Indonesia has distressed and appalled
many members of my constituency.

On 26 April 2002, Jafar Umar Thalib, leader of the Laskar Jihad publicly rejected the Malino peace
agreement (which was meant to end the fighting between Muslims and Christians in the Moluccas) and
said that the Muslims would destroy all Christians in Ambon. The evidence indicates that the Laskar Jihad
carried out the massacre.

What is the Commission’s stance regarding this issue?

Does the Commission believe that the Laskar Jihad and any other non-local fighters should be expelled
from the Moluccas, Sulawesi and West Papua?

Does the Commission believe that Jafar Umar Thalib should be prosecuted?

Does the Commission agree that the 3000 or more Moluccan Christians forced to convert to Islam in
Halmehera, Bacan, Buru and the Seram islands by Muslim militants should be evacuated to a place of
safety?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(15 July 2002)

The Commission’s Delegation in Jakarta, together with the diplomatic missions of the Member States,
closely follows human rights developments throughout Indonesia and participates in all Union démarches
to draw attention to concerns regarding human rights issues in Indonesia. The Commission shares the
stated position of the Union, firmly supporting Indonesia’s territorial integrity, while encouraging the
Government to make urgent efforts to address and resolve peacefully Indonesia’s internal conflicts, whether
separatist or sectarian in character. Like the majority of the international community, the Commission
considers that these internal conflicts are primarily the responsibility of Indonesia, and should be addressed
first and foremost by the Indonesian Government, and by civil society organisations, the religious
communities and other institutions in peaceful dialogue, within the rule of law, and respecting human
rights without favour to any particular group.
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/25

Ongoing violence in the Moluccas as well as in the provinces of Aceh, Sulawesi and Papua gives rise for
continuing concern. The Government of Indonesia led by President Megawati is, the Commission believes,
making a real effort to balance the internal tensions and to encourage the settlement of disputes peacefully
with respect for human rights. Their brokering of the recent Malino peace accords between the Christian
and Moslem communities in the Moluccas and the rival groups in Sulawesi are examples.

The Commission is appreciative of the efforts of the Government of Indonesia to co-operate with the
international alliance against terrorism. It has noted that the leader of the Laskar Jihad movement, Mr. Jafar
Umar Thalib, has been arrested in the Moluccas and is now held in custody in Jakarta. It encourages the
Government of Indonesia to apply thoroughly the due processes of law as appropriate in this and other
cases.

The Commission is providing humanitarian assistance for the victims of disputes, as well as financial
assistance to help resolve disputes and to improve the human rights situation in Indonesia. The Moluccas
have been a particular focus of Commission actions in this regard. Already since 1999 the Commission
has provided EUR 4 600 000 in emergency aid to assist the victims, both Christian and Moslem, of the
violence in the Moluccas  particularly Internally Displaced Persons. For the future, Indonesia is a focus
country for the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights 2002-2004. Already, in 2000 and
2001, four actions for a total value of EUR 1 862 880 have been funded under this Initiative through non-
governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. And an
indicative amount of EUR 2 500 000 is programmed for further European Initiative for Democracy and
Human Rights (EIDHR) actions to be financed during 2002.

(2003/C 110 E/024) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1827/02


by Luis Berenguer Fuster (PSE) to the Commission

(27 June 2002)

Subject: State aid procedure initiated for ‘Terra Mítica’ pursuant to Article 88(2)

The autonomous government of Valencia has authorised the regional ministry of finance to endorse a new
loan of EUR 145 million for the Alicante Theme Park Company, which brings the total sum of loans given
to the company to ESP 556 million, the majority of which has been earmarked for ‘Terra Mítica’, and the
remainder for the ‘Ciudad de la Luz’ project, both of which are linked to a certain extent.

There are also reports that ‘Terra Mítica’ has not been paying the interest on the loans granted to the
Theme Park Company, which had been endorsed by the Valencia government.

Is the Commission aware of these facts? If so, are they likely to have repercussions on the state aid
procedure for ‘Terra Mítica’?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(12 August 2002)

The Commission was not aware of the information referred to by the Honourable Member.

It would point out that the guarantee allegedly granted by the Generalitat Valenciana to Sociedad Parque
Temático de Alicante for a new loan of EUR 145 million that it is reported as having contracted cannot in
itself constitute state aid since Sociedad Parque Temático de Alicante is not engaged in any commercial
activity. By contrast, any additional financial assistance that Sociedad Parque Temático de Alicante may
have been in a position to grant to Terra Mítica on the back of its guaranteed loan might contain elements
of aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) of the Treaty. The Commission will therefore contact the
Spanish authorities in order to check this information and, if it turns out to be well founded, will ask them
whether additional financial assistance has been provided to Terra Mitica by Sociedad Parque Temático de
Alicante.