MEPs urge Russia to release the Estonian Eston Kohver, and Ukrainians Oleg Sentsov, Nadiya Savchenko and Olexandr Kolchenko condemning the "blatant violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Estonia". In three resolutions adopted on Thursday they also call for the release of all political prisoners in Azerbaijan and express concerns at the human rights situation in Angola.
Russia: the cases of Eston Kohver, Oleg Sentsov and Olexandr Kolchenko
MEPs urge the Russian Federation to release Eston Kohver, Oleg Sentsov and Olexandr Kolchenko and to guarantee their safe return to Estonia and Ukraine respectively. They also call for the release of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, including Nadiya Savchenko, in line with the agreed Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
Parliament "strongly condemns the blatant violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Estonia through the illegal kidnapping of citizens of both countries so that they could be charged before a Russian court". It stresses that the Russian courts are not competent to judge acts committed outside the internationally recognised territory of Russia.
MEPs urge the President of the European Council and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy "to come up with a comprehensive policy strategy which would enable the EU to regain the initiative and to pursue a more clear-cut policy towards Russia". They ask the Council "to establish a common EU list of the officials responsible for the abduction, illegal detention and sentencing of Eston Kohver, Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Santsov and Alexander Kolchenko, to impose and implement an EU-wide visa ban on these officials, and to freeze any financial assets that they, or their immediate family, may hold within the EU".
The non-legislative resolution was adopted by 378 votes to 111, with 138 abstentions.
Parliament calls for the immediate and unconditional release from jail of all political prisoners, human rights defenders, journalists and other civil society activists, including Khadija Ismayilova, Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus, in line with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights and / or a prompt investigation into the death of the journalist Rasim Aliyev. It demands that the Azerbaijan government immediately end its crackdown on civil society and human rights work and says that "the negotiations for a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Azerbaijan should be immediately put on hold as long the government fails to take concrete steps in advancing respect for universal human rights".
The resolution calls on the Commission "to review and suspend temporarily, if needed, all funding not related to human rights, civil society and grassroots level people-to-people cooperation granted to Azerbaijan through the European Neighbourhood Instrument, and recalls Parliament's decision to send a delegation to Azerbaijan.
The non-legislative resolution was adopted by 365 votes to 202, with 72 abstentions.
MEPs express their concern over the deteriorating situation of human rights in Angola and call on the authorities of Angola to immediately release all political prisoners and human rights defenders. Parliament asks the EU delegation to Luanda to reinforce the political dialogue with the government of Angola in order to ensure that it honours its human rights commitments. The resolution urges the EU to monitor and evaluate the efficient use of all European funds.
The non-legislative resolution was adopted by 550 votes to 14, with 60 abstentions.