Human rights: Uganda and Nigeria; Russia; human trafficking in Sinai
Parliament passed three separate resolutions on Thursday, calling for urgent political dialogue with Uganda and Nigeria under the Cotonou Agreement on the recent laws against homosexuals; calling on the Russia to review the sentences passed on the Bolotnaya Square demonstrators; and calling for coordinated regional action to tackle human trafficking in Sinai.
Uganda and Nigeria
MEPs say recent laws in Uganda ("Anti-Homosexuality Act") and Nigeria ("Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill") violate Article 9(2) of the Cotonou Agreement on human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law and they call on the Commission to launch "urgent political dialogue [...] no later than at the EU-Africa Summit".
MEPs call for targeted sanctions, such as travel and visa bans, against "the key individuals responsible for drafting and adopting these two laws". They also demand a review of the EU development aid strategy with Uganda and Nigeria with a view to redirecting aid to civil society and other organisations rather than suspending it.
The Russian authorities must reconsider the sentences passed on the Bolotnaya Square demonstrators in the appeal process and release the eight demonstrators, as well as Bolotnaya prisoner Mikhail Kosenko, who was sentenced to forced psychiatric treatment, say MEPs. They "regret the continuous crackdown on citizens who voice criticism against the regime, and on the remaining independent media outlets, including TV Dozhd (Rain) and Ekho Moskvy Radio".
The Russian government must end "the campaign of harassment against civil society organisations and activists", they add.
Parliament states its "deep concern" regarding the reported cases of human trafficking in Sinai and "condemns the terrible abuses to which the victims are subjected". It stresses the importance of protecting and assisting Sinai survivors, with special regard to medical, psychological and legal support.
Increased international support and more cooperation among the governments of Egypt, Israel, Libya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan are necessary, say MEPs.
MEPs are also "very concerned about the reports of blackmailing taking place from within the EU" and call on EU foreign and justice ministers to take appropriate measures".