The European Parliament called on Azerbaijan to proceed with human rights reforms, Burundi to release human rights campaigner Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, and Bangladesh to apply international labour standards, in three resolutions voted on Thursday.
MEPs call on the Azerbaijani authorities to undertake long-overdue human rights reforms without further delay and cease their harassment of civil society organisations, opposition politicians and independent journalists and lift the ban of public gatherings in Baku. They condemn the arrest and detention of Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov, Intigam Aliyev and Hasan Huseyni and demand their immediate and unconditional release.
EU support and cooperation with Azerbaijan, including ongoing negotiations for a Strategic Modernisation Partnership, must be conditional upon and include clauses relating to protection of human rights, says the text.
The case of Pierre Claver Mbonimpa in Burundi
MEPs strongly condemn the detention of human rights campaigner Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, who was arrested on 15 May 2014 and has been held in pre-trial detention ever since, and call for his immediate release. (A, 1) They urge the Burundian government to control the youth wing of the ruling party CNDD-FDD and prevent them from attacking perceived opponents.
Parliament recalls that Burundi is bound by the human rights clause of the Cotonou Agreement (5) and calls on the European Commission to consider launching consultations with Burundi, under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, with a view to possible suspension from the Agreement.
Human rights violations by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an emergency force created 10 years ago comprising both military and police officers, should stop (H, 2), say MEPs. They call on the Bangladeshi authorities to put an end to RAB's impunity.
MEPs also call on the government of Bangladesh to ensure that labour laws are enforced and bring them into line with International Labour Organisation standards (10). They ask that the Donor Trust Fund mechanism, created by the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee to help victims and survivors following the Rana plaza factory collapse in 2013, be made mandatory, as voluntary company donations have only reached USD 17 million, leaving USD 23 million outstanding.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions