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Summary

  1. MEPs debate and approve three human rights motions
  2. One calls for the release of jailed British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
  3. They also call for more EU action over car milometer manipulation
  4. Earlier: Debate on the use of zero-hour contracts in EU

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye

    That's the voting session finished. MEPs will now have the chance to make short speeches to explain how they voted.

    That's where we leave our live coverage of the European Parliament for today.

    The next plenary session will take place in Strasbourg between June 11-14.

  2. MEPs call for legislative action against precarious work

    Voting session

    MEPs pass a non-binding motion calling on the European Commission to take “immediate” action to address precarious employment through EU legislation.

    It also says EU rules on minimum rest periods and maximum working hours “can and must” be applied to workers on zero-hours contracts.

    The motion was drawn up by the petitions committee following a number of petitions on the issue from across the EU.

  3. MEPs condemn 'brutal repression' of protests in Nicaragua

    Voting session

    Riot police in Nicaragua

    MEPs pass a motion condemning the “brutal repression” of student-led protests against the government in Nicaragua initially triggered by social welfare cuts.

    The motion also calls on the demonstrators to “refrain from the use of violence while exercising their rights”.

    The country has been embroiled in political unrest for more than a month, during which around 80 people have died.

    Amnesty International has accused the Nicaraguan government of colluding with paramilitary groups to suppress the demonstrations.

  4. MEPs call for standardised EU penalties for milometer fraud

    Voting session

    Cars parked in a car park

    They also pass an advisory report calling on the European Commission to take action against the manipulation of milometers in used cars.

    Tampering with a milometer, known as ‘car clocking’, can make the mileage appear lower than it actually is.

    A new EU law coming into effect this month will make mileage fraud a punishable offence, and require meter tests to be carried out at regular safety inspections.

    The report recommends standardised EU penalties for fraud and increased sharing of mileage recordings between national authorities.

  5. MEPs pass human rights motions

    Voting session

    First up MEPs pass the three human rights motions they debated this morning which:

    • call for the release of several EU-Iranian nationals held in Iran
    • condemn a crackdown on women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia
    • condemn the death sentence given to a young woman in Sudan
  6. Votes soon

    That's the short debates on this month's human rights motions finished.

    MEPs are now taking their seats for today's voting session, which will begin at 11.00 BST.

  7. MEPs debate death sentence for Sudanese woman

    Debate on human rights motions

    The final motion today condemns the death sentence given to a young woman in Sudan for killing her husband after he allegedly raped her as his male relatives restrained her.

    The judge in Omdurman confirmed the death penalty for Noura Hussein after her husband's family refused to accept financial compensation.

    Ms Hussein, who is now 19, was forced into the marriage at the age of 16 and had tried to run away.

    The motion calls on the courts to lessen her sentence and “fully take into account the fact that Ms Hussein was acting in self-defence”.

  8. Saudi Arabia 'showing its true colours' - Dutch MEP

    Debate on human rights motions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Dutch Liberal MEP Marietje Schaake says the action against rights activists is an example of Saudi Arabia "showing its true colours".

    It should be "wake-up call for those who still needed it", she says, adding that it has "tarnished" the country's 2030 reform agenda.

    UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge says Saudi Arabia's treatment of women is "backward and uncivilised".

    He says however that it would be "folly" to cease trading with the country, arguing that greater liberty will "undoubtedly follow" greater economic ties to the free-market system.

    Bill Etheridge
  9. MEPs debate crackdown on Saudi women's rights activists

    Debate on human rights motions

    A Saudi woman wearing a Niqab gets into a car
    Image caption: A ban on women driving will be lifted on 24 June

    The second motion condemns a crackdown on women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia in the run-up to the lifting of a ban on women driving.

    Human rights groups said at least 11 people, most of them women who had long campaigned for the right to drive, had now been detained.

    Officials have said they are suspected of "suspicious contact with foreign parties" and undermining "stability".

    The motion calls for an end to the “harassment” of rights activists and calls for them to be able to campaign without “unjustified hindrance and fear of reprisal”.

  10. Commissioner: EU 'has never refrained' from raising rights issues

    Debate on human rights motions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Christos Stylianides

    Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides says the EU has "never refrained" from raising human rights issues in its contacts with Iran.

    The European Commission has called for the release of dual EU nationals on humanitarian grounds and for them to get access to medical care if needed, he says.

    However he adds that the responsibility for ensuring consular access for dual nationals "lies with their member states".

  11. Tory MEP: Detentions 'place strain' on EU-Iran relations

    Debate on human rights motions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Charles Tannock

    Conservative MEP Charles Tannock says the detention of dual EU nationals "places a strain" on the bloc's relations with Iran.

    Dual nationals are often denied consular access because Iran does not recognise their second nationality, he says.

    Belgian Liberal MEP Frédérique Ries says the EU's position in implementing the nuclear deal with Iran gives it "leverage" to get the dual nationals released.

  12. MEPs debate motion calling for release of EU-Iranian nationals

    Debate on human rights motions

    The first motion calls for the release of several EU-Iranian nationals held in Iran, including British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

    The motion says a number of dual nationals have been denied due process and consular access, and been subjected to “state-sponsored smear campaigns”.

    Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year jail sentence in Iran after being convicted of spying – charges she and her family deny.

    The draft text calls on the European Commission to set up a task force to support EU nationals facing “manifestly unfair trials” in countries outside the bloc.

  13. MEPs debate human rights motions

    That’s the debate on zero-hours contracts finished.

    Next up are short debates on this month’s three topical human rights motions.

  14. More criticism of zero-hour contracts

    Debate on precarious work

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Irish Fine Gael MEP says companies should have an incentive to "create loyalty" among their workforce by treating them well.

    Zero-hour contracts deny employees "certainty" in their social and family lives, she says, and highlights a recent law in Ireland to restrict their use.

    Slovenian Green MEP Igor Soltes says zero-hour contracts have become a "new type of slavery in the Twenty-first Century".

    Greek Syriza MEP Kostadinka Kuneva says their are people in Greece who have been working on zero-hour contracts for fifteen years.

  15. North-East 'the capital of zero-hour contracts' - Labour MEP

    Debate on precarious work

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Jude Kirton-Darling

    Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling says that despite low unemployment levels, one in ten workers in the North-East of England is in precarious work.

    The region is the UK's "capital of zero-hours contracts", she adds.

    She says the petitions committee heard evidence that zero-hours contracts fall within the remit of the EU's part-time workers directive, and calls for action.

    Estonian Liberal Yana Toom says the shift to more flexible working patterns was "not forseen" in current EU legislation in this area.

    "We need to adapt", she says - and calls for "gaps" in current laws to be closed.

  16. Commissioner: All workers must have 'basic standards'

    Debate on precarious work

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Christos Stylianides

    Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides says the EU Commission wants to make sure economic growth "benefits society fairly".

    He gives an overview of EU action in this area, including previous directives on "non-standard" forms of work and the European platform for declaring undeclared work.

    All workers, including those on zero-hour contracts, must benefit from "basic standards", he says.

  17. Good morning

    Hello and welcome to coverage of this plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

    First this morning MEPs are debating what action the EU should take to tackle precarious work enabled through the “abuse” of fixed-term contracts.

    An oral question tabled by the petitions committee asks the European Commission whether zero-hours contracts are compatible with EU rules on part-time working.

    The committee has received a number of petitions on the issue from all over the EU.