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Postopek : 2017/2681(RSP)
Potek postopka na zasedanju
Potek postopka za dokument : B8-0368/2017

Predložena besedila :

B8-0368/2017

Razprave :

PV 18/05/2017 - 9.1
CRE 18/05/2017 - 9.1

Glasovanja :

PV 18/05/2017 - 11.1

Sprejeta besedila :

P8_TA(2017)0218

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 151kWORD 51k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0361/2017
16.5.2017
PE605.467v01-00
 
B8-0368/2017

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure


on Zambia, particularly the case of Hakainde Hichilema (2017/2681(RSP))


Cristian Dan Preda, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Deirdre Clune, Mariya Gabriel, Pavel Svoboda, Tunne Kelam, Milan Zver, Krzysztof Hetman, Dubravka Šuica, Maurice Ponga, Sven Schulze, Stanislav Polčák, Lefteris Christoforou, Marijana Petir, Claude Rolin, Ivan Štefanec, Tomáš Zdechovský, Eva Maydell, Csaba Sógor, Adam Szejnfeld, Patricija Šulin, Sandra Kalniete, Ivana Maletić, Brian Hayes, Luděk Niedermayer, Elisabetta Gardini, Željana Zovko, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Andrey Kovatchev, Jiří Pospíšil, Mairead McGuinness, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Roberta Metsola, Francisco José Millán Mon, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Seán Kelly, Inese Vaidere on behalf of the PPE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Zambia, particularly the case of Hakainde Hichilema (2017/2681(RSP))  
B8‑0368/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to previous resolutions on Zambia,

–  having regard to the statement of 16 April 2017 by the EEAS spokesperson on political tensions in Zambia,

–  having regard to the EU Electoral Observation Mission Report on the 2016 elections in Zambia,

–  having regard to the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights,

 

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

 

–  having regard to the Zambian Constitution,

 

–  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

 

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  

 

–  having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas Zambia has been a long standing example of democracy, with a 25 year record of peaceful transitions; whereas this record was tarnished during the run up to the 2016 elections, which was marred by violent clashes between supporters of the two leading parties, the Patriotic Front and the United Party for National Development (UPND);

B. whereas 11 May 2017 marked one month since the incarceration of the leader of the opposition party UPND Hakainde Hichilema who was arrested by heavily armed police officers during a raid at his house on 11 April;

C. whereas Hichilema was accused of endangering the President’s life by allegedly obstructing the presidential motorcade in Mongu on 9 April, and immediately charged with treason, a non-bailable offence in Zambia, as well as for disobeying the statutory duty, disobedience of lawful orders and use of insulting language; whereas he rejected all these allegations; whereas the maximum sentence for treason is the death penalty;

D. whereas Hichilema’s lawyers called the case baseless and requested the Lusaka Magistrate Court to drop the charges; whereas the Court upheld the charges on the ground that only the High Court was competent for treason cases;

E. whereas Hichilema is currently held at the Chimbokaila prison where access to private media, lawyers, supporters and friends is limited; whereas acts of degrading treatment under detention have been reported;

F. whereas his arrest has caused a wave of protests, violent clashes and increasing political tension in the country, particularly in Choma and Solwezi, where he gathers most political supporters;

G. whereas human rights organisations called on Zambia’s authorities to drop the charges, claiming they were “designed to harass and intimidate Hichilema and deter him from doing his political work”; whereas President Lungu declared on 14 April that he would not interfere in the Hichilema case;

H. whereas this was the second time Hichilema had been arrested since the elections in August 2016, when he refused to recognise President Lungu’s victory and challenged the results accusing the President of electoral fraud;

I. whereas on April 18, Hichilema and other five UPND members received an additional charge of treason for allegedly trying to overthrow the government between October 2016 and April 2017;

J. whereas both the EU and the United States have expressed concern the incarceration of the opposition leader and called for a peaceful dialogue between the government and the UPND to ease the tensions that have grown between the two parties;

K. whereas on 20 April 2017, the Zambian President threatened to impose the state of emergency after a series of arson attacks on shops and police stations attributed to the UNPD; whereas this is likely to exacerbate current tensions and a political solution should be favoured;

L. whereas the Hichelemi case is taking place in a context of increased political tension following the contested elections last year; whereas human rights observers have reported on acts of repression against political activists and opposition parties, excessive use of force to disperse peaceful protests and crackdowns on media and independent journalists;

M. whereas on 27 March 2017, the Zambian government began public consultations on the country’s International Criminal Court membership;

 

1. Expresses concerns at the arrest and incarceration of Hakainde Hichilema and insists on the necessity to ensure fairness, diligence and transparency at all times in the application of the law and all along the justice process, as provided for in the African Charter, and other international and regional human rights instruments;

2. Is deeply concerned at the reports of increasing restrictions on the freedoms of expression and association by the government; insists on the government's responsibility to avoid any deepening of the current political tensions and to respect, protect and promote the civil and political rights of its citizens;

3. Calls on the Zambian authorities to conduct prompt, impartial and thorough investigations into the alleged ill treatment suffered by Hichilema during his detention and to hold those responsible to account;

4. Calls on the EU to make use of all available political means, including through dialogue at the highest level, to ensure that the conditions for the rule of law and democracy, open political space, free institutions and respect for human rights are maintained;

5. Strongly encourages the Zambian government to take into consideration the final recommendations of the EU EOM report on the 2016 elections, and in particular the necessity to remove restrictive limitations of freedom of assembly in the Public Order Act, to guarantee the freedom and independence of the media, and to take all appropriate measures to prevent political violence;

6. Insists on the urgent necessity of a peaceful and constructive dialogue between the Patriotic Front and the UPND in order to restore political trust and stability; points out the responsibility of both parties to refrain from inciting and provoking violence and to set a conducive environment for an open democratic debate; welcomes the engagement and mediation role of international and regional partners in this regard, as well as the Human Rights Commission’s call for a dialogue to tackle political violence;

7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Commission Vice-President / EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Co‑Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the African Union Commission and the Pan-African Parliament, the Zambian Government and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

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