• Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi should condemn hostilities against Rohingya
  • Cambodian opposition leader to be released
  • Gabonese authorities should respect the opposition
  • Lao government should protect freedom of expression

MEPs call on Myanmar to halt hostilities against the Rohingya, Cambodia and Gabon to free opposition leaders, and Laos to respect free speech, in four resolutions voted on Thursday.

Myanmar: hostilities against the Rohingya minority should stop

 

The European Parliament calls upon the "military and security forces in Myanmar to immediately cease the killings, harassment and rape of the Rohingya people, and the burning of their homes". The "Myanmar authorities have a duty to protect, without discrimination, all civilians from abuse" and to grant immediate access to humanitarian aid organisations to all conflict areas and displaced people”, it adds.

 

The Myanmar government "and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in particular, should condemn unequivocally all incitement to racial or religious hatred and combat social discrimination and hostilities against the Rohingya minority", urge MEPs. They remind the 1990 Sakharov Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi that this prize is awarded to those who defend human rights, safeguard the rights of minorities and respect international law. MEPs also wonder whether the Sakharov Prize could be revoked in cases where laureates violate those criteria after the prize has been awarded.

 

Cambodia: opposition leader should be freed

 

MEPs call for the immediate release of Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha, who was arrested early in September on charges that appear to be politically motivated. The Cambodian authorities should release him immediately, in view of his parliamentary immunity, they add.

 

MEPs are worried by the worsening climate for opposition politicians and human rights activists in Cambodia. A credible democratic process leading up to the National Assembly election in July 2018 requires an environment in which political parties, civil society and the media are able to carry out their legitimate roles without fear, threats or arbitrary restrictions, they stress.

 

Gabon: stop clamping down the opposition

 

The serious post-electoral crisis following the 2016 presidential elections in Gabon is fuelling instability, say MEPs. They condemn the pressure and intimidation of the opposition in the country as its role is fundamental in a democratic society.

 

MEPs urge the Gabonese authorities to immediately overturn their decision  "denying the right to leave the country to several leaders of the Gabon opposition, including the candidate in the 2016 presidential election Jean Ping". An "independent and objective investigation into the election-related violence and the allegations of serious violations for human rights and fundamental freedoms” should be held, repeat MEPs.

 

Laos: stop harassment of human right defenders 

 

The three Lao workers, Mr Somphone Phimmasone, Mr Soukane Chaithad and Ms Lod Thammavong, sentenced to prison terms of between 12 and 20 years and the equivalent of tens of thousands of euros in fines for criticising the government on social media, should immediately be released, urges the European Parliament.

 

The Lao government should "stop the harassment and arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights defenders, independent journalists and social activists", "respect its international commitments and protect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly", adds the text.

 

#humanrights

 

Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions