Procedure : 2018/2711(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0248/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0248/2018

Debates :

Votes :

PV 31/05/2018 - 7.8
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0238

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 170kWORD 47k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0244/2018
28.5.2018
PE621.632v01-00
 
B8-0248/2018

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the situation in Nicaragua (2018/2711(RSP))


Elena Valenciano, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Francisco Assis on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Nicaragua (2018/2711(RSP))  
B8‑0248/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Nicaragua, in particular those of 18 December 2008(1), 26 November 2009(2) and 16 February 2017(3) on the situation of human rights and democracy in Nicaragua – the case of Francisca Ramírez,

–  having regard to the statement of the Spokesperson of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on behalf of the EU on the establishment of a national dialogue in Nicaragua of 15 May 2018,

–  having regard to the press release of 22 April 2018 of the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States condemning the violence in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the statement of 23 April 2018 attributable to the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General on recent developments in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the Joint Statement by Civil Society Organisations over violent repression of the demonstrations in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the reports by the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights (CENIDH) of 4 and 17 May 2018,

–  having regard to the communiques issued by the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, and in particular the latest, of 23 May 2018,

–  having regard to the preliminary observations report of 21 May 2018 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR),

–  having regard to the 2012 Association Agreement between the European Union and the countries of Central America, which entered into force in August 2013, including its human rights clauses,

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders of June 2004, and revised in 2008,

–  having regard to the American Convention on Human Rights of 1969,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948;

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, according to the IACHR, 76 people have been killed, 868 injured, five of whom seriously, and 438 detained during recent protests in Nicaragua which started on 18 April after the government of President Daniel Ortega introduced changes to the country’s social security system, increasing contributions from employees and employers and reducing benefits for pensioners; whereas the reform proposal was withdrawn on 23 April;

B.  whereas on 20 April 2018, 600 students were attacked in the Cathedral of Managua by anti-mutiny forces; whereas the IACHR has documented attacks on four university sites (UCA, UPOLL, UNA and UNAN);

C.  whereas freedom of expression and media freedom have been seriously eroded, with the shutdown and blocking of four TV channels that were providing coverage of the protests – Canal 12, Canal de Noticias de Nicaragua (CDNN23), Telenorte and Canal 51, the latest belonging to the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua; whereas this act of state censorship was condemned by the IACHR on 24 April; whereas the channel 100% Noticias was jammed and could not broadcast for six days; whereas the journalist Ángel Eduardo Gahona was among those killed during the protests; whereas the murder, having happened during a live broadcast, fuelled even greater protests and riots;

D.  whereas the IACHR has also reported cases of arbitrary detention, torture, inhuman treatment, censorship, widespread media attacks and intimidation of journalists, as well as attacks aimed at preventing demonstrators from exercising their right to peaceful protest; whereas the IACHR acknowledges the lack of neutrality and an excessive use of force by state security forces;

E.  whereas human rights organisations have recorded many claims of a lack of assistance and treatment being given to injured demonstrators in public hospitals;

F.  whereas on 6 May a Truth Commission was created and on 19 May a national dialogue was also launched, with Nicaragua’s bishops acting as mediators; whereas on 23 May the bishops declared the national dialogue suspended until further notice due to a lack of consensus; whereas they have suggested the creation of a joint committee comprising six people, three from the government and three from the platform ‘Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia’;

1.  Expresses its condolences to the families of the victims; strongly condemns the violence that erupted in Nicaragua and that has led to the death of at least 76 people; deplores the use of excessive force by the authorities to break up the protests; calls on the government to immediately end all repression and arbitrary detention and to dismantle any violent groups;

2.  Asks the government to protect the right to demonstrate by ensuring the safety of all peaceful demonstrators; calls on the government to apply international standards relating to the use of force by state security forces and to accept an international independent investigation mechanism to investigate the deaths of those killed during the protests; calls also on the demonstrators and civil society organisations leading the protests to refrain from the use of violence while exercising their rights;

3.  Calls on the government to do its utmost to ensure there will be no impunity for those who have perpetrated crimes and to provide witnesses and whistle-blowers with improved access to protection mechanisms; requests the creation of a public registry of attendance in hospitals, as requested by the IACHR;

4.  Deplores the violation of media freedom in Nicaragua, both before and during the protests; considers the seizure of media outlets by the authorities during the protests to be unacceptable; calls on the government to restore full media freedom and freedom of speech in the country and to put a stop to its harassment of journalists;

5.  Expresses its deep concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in Nicaragua and the steady erosion of Nicaraguan democracy and the civil and political rights of Nicaraguans; acknowledges that the demonstrations have shown citizens’ unease with respect to the political powers in Nicaragua; recalls that further questions about the functioning of democracy and the rule of law have been added to the initial protests against the reform of the social security system; points out that the national dialogue should also include political reforms in the country, specifically a reform of the electoral system and, possibly, an agreed electoral calendar;

6.  Welcomes the recent creation of a national dialogue and a Truth Commission; recalls that the only way out of the crisis is through dialogue and negotiation; calls as a matter of urgency for the creation of the joint committee and for the negotiations to be resumed; stresses that the dialogue should take place in the absence of violence and repression, with respect for the law and the constitution and the principle that any changes in the law should be made in accordance with the procedures established thereunder;

7.  Asks the European External Action Service (EEAS) to continue cooperating with Nicaragua towards a peaceful, negotiated solution to the crisis and to provide mediation and advice if requested;

8.  Points out that, in the light of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the countries of Central America, Nicaragua must be reminded of the need to respect the principles of the rule of law, democracy and human rights, as upheld and promoted by the EU; urges the EU to monitor the situation and, if necessary, assess the potential measures to be taken;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, the Central American Parliament, and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Nicaragua.

 

(1)

OJ C 45E , 23.2.2010, p. 89.

(2)

OJ C 285E , 21.10.2010, p. 74.

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0043.

Last updated: 29 May 2018Legal notice