• Bangladesh must end crackdown on the media and political opposition 
  • Cuba must stop state attacks on peaceful dissidents and civil society 
  • Vietnam must immediately release all prisoners of conscience 

MEPs deplore government crackdowns on the media, political opposition and human rights defenders in Bangladesh, Cuba and Vietnam.

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted three resolutions taking stock of the human rights situation in Bangladesh, Cuba and Vietnam.


Bangladesh must end crackdown on the media and political opposition


The European Parliament expresses serious concern at the deteriorating human rights situation in Bangladesh and, in particular, at the ongoing crackdown against the media, students, activists and the political opposition. It calls on the country’s authorities to conduct independent investigations into reports of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and excessive force, including the cases of Maroof Zaman and Mir Ahmad Bin Quasem, and bring those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards.


The resolution conveys the European Parliament’s appreciation for the constructive role played by Bangladesh under difficult circumstances in accepting Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar. At the same time, it also urges the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar to immediately reconsider the decision to start repatriating Rohingya refugees, since the conditions for a safe, dignified and voluntary return have not yet been met.

MEPs call on the EU and other international donors to step up their efforts in providing the necessary financial and material aid to Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.


The text was adopted by a show of hands.


Cuba must end state attacks on peaceful dissidents, journalists and civil society


Cuba must end the arbitrary detention, persecution and harassment of peaceful dissidents, independent journalists, human rights defenders and the political opposition, say MEPs.


They regret that, despite the adopted EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA), the situation regarding human rights and democracy in the country has not improved. The European Parliament reminds the Cuban authorities that the PDCA includes a provision to suspend the agreement in the event of human rights violations, and calls on the European Commission to closely monitor this issue.


The resolution also demands that the Cuban government stop imposing online censorship and blocking internet sites for the sole purpose of limiting political criticism. MEPs recall that freedom of movement and assembly is guaranteed under international human rights law, and that this freedom extends to activists and members of the democratic opposition.


The text was adopted by 325 votes to 240, with 44 abstentions.


Vietnam must immediately release all prisoners of conscience


MEPs call on the authorities in Vietnam to immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience detained or sentenced for merely exercising their right to freedom of expression.


They reiterate their demand to end all restrictions, surveillance, acts of harassment and unfair trials against human rights defenders, journalists, dissidents and bloggers, and condemn the current abuse of repressive legal provisions restricting fundamental freedoms in the country.


The resolution also urges the Vietnamese government to ensure that the treatment of all detainees is in line with international standards, including the right to access lawyers, medical professionals and family members. Human rights defenders must be able to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of reprisal and be free from all restrictions, including judicial harassment, MEPs say.


The text was adopted by a show of hands.