Human rights: Ms Ingabire in Rwanda, killings in Sudan and Mr Hall in Thailand
Parliament condemns any act of intimidation, arrest, detention or prosecution of opposition party leaders, members and activists in Rwanda, the ongoing indiscriminate bombing of civilians and human rights breaches in Sudan, and the guilty verdict against worker's rights defender Andy Hall in Thailand, in three separate resolutions voted on Thursday.
Victoire Ingabire in Rwanda
The European Parliament expresses its deep concern at the Rwandan Supreme Court's denial of appeal and judgement sentencing Victoire Ingabire to 15 years' imprisonment and at the worsening conditions of her detention. On 30 October 2012, Ms Ingabire, President of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF), was accused of conspiracy to harm the authorities using terrorism and of minimising the 1994 genocide.
Rwanda’s authorities should ensure that Victoire Ingabire's appeal process is fair, says the text. MEPs condemn any act of intimidation, arrest, detention or prosecution of opposition party leaders, members and activists, as well as journalists and other perceived critics of the Rwandan Government; solely for expressing their views.
Acknowledging that Rwanda is among the few African countries playing a leading role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, MEPs urge its government to extend these economic and social achievements to the field of human rights, in order to complete the move towards a modern and inclusive democracy.
War crime in Sudan
MEPs condemn the Sudanese government’s indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Sudan and use of chemical weapons against them in the Jebel Marra area as a "serious violation of international norms and also a war crime".
They remain deeply concerned at the unlawful killings, abductions, and gender-based and sexual violence in the conflict areas, notably in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile, calling for an immediate end to the aerial bombardment of civilians by Sudanese forces, and condemning the arbitrary arrest and detention of activists, human rights defenders and journalists.
The government of Sudan should guarantee the peaceful exercise of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly, and engage constructively with civil society organisations to promote human rights awareness in Sudan without delay, says the text. President Omar al-Bashir must "comply with international law and to "appear before the International Criminal court (ICC) for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide", it adds.
Andy Hall in Thailand
The European Parliament regrets the guilty verdict against worker's rights defender Andy Hall, an EU citizen, who was sentenced on 20 September 2016 to a three-year suspended jail term and fined THB 150,000 after contributing to a report by Finnish NGO Finnwatch exposing labour rights violations in a Thai pineapple processing plant, Natural Fruit Company Ltd.
It welcomes the EU's strong commitment to the Thai people and calls on the Thai government to ensure that the rights, including the right to a fair trial, of Andy Hall and other human rights defenders are respected and protected and that the promotion and protection of human rights are not criminalised.
The European Parliament recognises the progress achieved by the Thai Government in combating worker exploitation and protecting national and migrant workers and invites it to adopt and implement a "holistic long-term in-bound migration policy for low-skilled migrant workers in accordance with human rights principles".
Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions