• China must end mass arbitrary detentions of minorities in the Xinjiang region 
  • Belarus: stop state harassment and detentions of journalists 
  • UAE must set free all prisoners of conscience, including Ahmed Mansoor 

MEPs deplore arbitrary arrests and detentions of ethnic minorities, journalists and human rights defenders in China, Belarus and the United Arab Emirates.

China must end mass arbitrary detentions of minorities in the Xinjiang region

Following recent systematic and arbitrary mass detentions of members of the Uyghur, Kazakh and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region by Chinese authorities, MEPs demand the immediate end to such practices and that those detained under such circumstances must be released unconditionally.

They also urge the Chinese government to close all camps and detention centres in the area and express their deep concern at reports of state harassment and intimidation of Uyghurs abroad. Parliament calls on all EU countries to suspend the return of ethnic Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic Muslim minorities to China, considering the risk of arbitrary detention, torture or other ill-treatment they would face.

MEPs finally demand that journalists and international observers should have free, unhindered access to the Xinjiang province, located in the north-west of China.

Belarusian authorities must stop the harassment and detention of journalists

Amid deteriorating media freedom in Belarus, MEPs condemn the repeated detention and state harassment of journalists and independent news outlets in the country. They also consider it unacceptable that the authorities have blocked the leading independent Belarusian news website Charter 97, and strongly disapprove of the recent amendments adopted to the country’s media law, which are being used to create bureaucratic burdens for journalists and tighten control over the internet.

Parliament regrets the fact that Belarus is continuing its repressive and undemocratic policy against journalists, lawyers, political activists and civil society actors; such repression hinders any closer relationship with the EU and broader participation in the Eastern Partnership, MEPs stress.

Finally, they call for the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners Mikhail Zhamchuzhny and Dzmitry Paliyenka, and urge the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to closely monitor the situation of media freedom in Belarus.

UAE authorities must release prisoner of conscience Ahmed Mansoor and his peers

After the arrest and recent imprisonment of prominent Emirati human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, MEPs call for his immediate and unconditional release, and that all charges against him be dropped. This also goes for all other prisoners of conscience detained by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Parliament expresses its grave concern at the report that Ahmed Mansoor has been subjected to forms of torture, and calls on UAE authorities to ensure that detainees deemed to have broken the law are given a fair trial according to international standards.

The resolution also urges the UAE to review various domestic laws, including on counter-terrorism and cybercrimes, since they are repeatedly used to prosecute human rights defenders.

Further, MEPs stress the need for an EU-wide ban on the export, sale and maintenance of any form of security equipment to the UAE, including internet surveillance technology, which could be used for internal repression.

The resolutions on Belarus and China were approved by a show of hands. The resolution on United Arab Emirates was approved by 322 votes in favour, 220 against and 56 abstentions.