Parliament voiced major concerns on Thursday about attacks in Africa on lesbians and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, harassment of activists in Belarus, including the case of journalist Andrzej Poczobut, and forced abortions in China.
Violence against lesbians and LGBTI rights in Africa
Parliament condemns the stigmatization, harassment and violence, including murder, and so-called corrective rape, suffered by women and LGBTI people in a number of African countries. It calls on the authorities to protect potential victims and bring the perpetrators to justice.
It urges the Commission and the foreign policy high representative, Catherine Ashton, to exert pressure to protect people from discrimination and persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation and to raise these issues in the EU's dealings with third countries.
MEPs note that female homosexuality is illegal in 27 African countries, male homosexuality is illegal in 38 African countries, and homosexuality is punishable by death in some African countries.
Harassment of activists in Belarus – the case of Andrzej Poczobut
Parliament condemns human rights abuses in Belarus and points to the restrictive media law, constant reports of systematic and increasing harassment of civil society representatives and opposition activists and arbitrary travel bans and short-term detentions.
It demands that the investigation and charges against Andrzej Poczobut, a journalist for the Polish daily "Gazeta Wyborcza", be dropped. The fourth Eastern Partnership foreign ministers meeting on 23 and 24 July in Brussels must address these issues, it says, and it reminds Belarus that any potential EU engagement is tied to strict conditions.
Forced abortions scandal in China
The practice of forced abortions and sterilisations in China, in the context of the one-child policy, is unacceptable, says Parliament, pointing to the abduction and forced abortion of a seven-months-pregnant woman, Feng Jianmei, on 2 June 2012.It recalls that abortions are illegal in China beyond six months but that, as a result of the one-child policy, illegal sex-selective abortions are widespread.
Forced abortion must be discussed at the next human rights dialogue with China, says Parliament.
Procedure: Motions for resolutions (Rule 122)