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You are invited to an off-the-record background briefing on the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (EU INTCEN), at the EEAS building, Rond-Point Schuman 9, on Thursday 5 February at 14h30.

Due to limited space, please confirm if you will be able to attend to Alceo.SMERILLI@ec.europa.eu

Accreditation for this briefing will be given on a first-come, first served basis. For accredited press only.

Today's decision of a Court in Egypt to sentence 183 defendants to death following a mass trial is in violation of Egypt's international human rights obligations. 
 
We call on the Egyptian judicial authorities to ensure that due legal process is followed, in line with international standards.
 
The EU opposes capital punishment under all circumstances and considers it cruel and inhuman, failing to act as a deterrent and representing a denial of human dignity and integrity.

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The release of Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, detained for 400 days is a positive step taken by the Egyptian authorities.

His colleagues, Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohammed however, remain in custody and we call for their release.

Freedom of expression is an essential element of a democratic society. Journalists must be able to work in a safe working environment.

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A meeting with NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg and the Quartet, participation in the CELAC Summit, and chairing an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on Ukraine, were amongst the items on Federica Mogherini's agenda last week.

Following the beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan.

The EU remains fully committed to fight Da'esh and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq and to stand by the people of all countries who have been most exposed to terrorism.

We will use all means at our disposal to contribute to regional and international efforts undertaken to tackling this threat to human lives and to global security. We will do all that we can to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.

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We have been informed by the Foreign Ministry in Skopje about details regarding the accusations against four people, including Zoran Zaev, Zoran Verusevski and his wife. Charges reportedly concern espionage and violent threats aimed at Government officials with the goal of undermining the constitutional order.

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Yesterday's terrorist attacks in the Northern Sinai region of Egypt have resulted in the death of over 29 people, the wounding of many and the destruction of state infrastructure.

These continued attacks undermine Egypt's stability and economic development. The fight against terrorism will remain EU's priority and, together with our partners, we need to jointly tackle this common threat.  

We wish to express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Egypt.

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The execution by the US State of Texas, on 29 January 2015, of Robert Charles Ladd, in spite of the evidence that he was affected by an intellectual disability, is contrary to international human rights law. 

The death penalty is cruel, inhuman and irreversible, and does not serve any deterrent purpose. The European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment under all circumstances and aims at its universal abolition, seeking a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step.

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In the wake of the recent attacks on Mariupol and a surge of violence in Ukraine, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini called an emergency meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Council. The meeting brought together Foreign Ministers from all EU states. Ministers agreed to support all diplomatic efforts, extend existing sanctions against individuals and entities and add new ones. They also called for all appropriate steps to be taken to implement the Minsk agreement.

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We had a very fruitful meeting of the Council, that, as you know, I decided to convene after the attacks on Mariupol, on the request of some Member States, in agreement with President Tusk, with President Juncker – to not only assess the situation on the ground that is extremely worrying and negative, but also to decide on our reaction to that. And on the further steps to be taken at the European Union level.

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