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Procedure : 2017/2681(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0361/2017

Texts tabled :

B8-0361/2017

Debates :

PV 18/05/2017 - 9.1
CRE 18/05/2017 - 9.1

Votes :

PV 18/05/2017 - 11.1

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0218

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 262kWORD 50k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0361/2017
16.5.2017
PE605.459v01-00
 
B8-0361/2017

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure


on Zambia, particularly the case of Hakainde Hichilema (2017/2681(RSP))


Charles Tannock, Karol Karski, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Raffaele Fitto, Arne Gericke, Angel Dzhambazki, Geoffrey Van Orden, Ruža Tomašić, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Monica Macovei, Notis Marias on behalf of the ECR Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Zambia, particularly the case of Hakainde Hichilema (2017/2681(RSP))  
B8‑0361/2017

The European Parliament,

-having regard to previous European Parliament documents on Zambia including the report of the election observation delegation to the general elections in Zambia held on 11 August 2016,

-having regard to previous Amnesty International reports and statements on Zambia,

-having regard to statements made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Zambia (ZCCB) in relation to the political situation in Zambia,

-having regard to the commitment of the European Parliament to respecting and upholding international norms of human rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of press and freedom of manifestation;

-having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.Whereas according to the Zambia Electoral Commission, in the 11 August 2016 presidential elections the incumbent President Edgar Lungu, leader of the Patriotic Front (PF), won 50.35% of the vote against 47.63% for Hakainde Hichilema (HH) of the United Party for National Development (UPND) (a loss by a margin of approximately 100,000);

B.Whereas Hichilema has challenged the election results in the Constitutional Court of Zambia, but the case was dismissed;

C.Whereas some of the concerns of the Zambian political opposition have been supported by international observer missions, most particularly the European Parliament delegation that “expressed great concern about the lack of a level playing field resulting from the restrictions on the non-state media and the limitations imposed by the Public Order Act on the opposition’s ability to campaign freely”;

D.Whereas on 5 October 2016 Hichilema and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba were arrested on their way to visit their supporters in prison in Copperbelt Province on charges of “seditious practices”, after they publically stated their non-recognition of President Lungu as the legitimately elected leader of Zambia;

E.Whereas the Zambian authorities allege that on 8 April 2017 Mr Hichilema’s convoy refused to make way for President Lungu’s convoy, while both travelled to the same ceremony in Zambia’s Western Province;

F.Whereas on 11 April 2017 Mr Hichilema and five of his employees were arrested after armed policemen raided his home in the capital, Lusaka, and along with Mr. Hichilema’s family, allegedly subjected to violent treatment, intimidation and torture;

G.Whereas the opposition leader has been charged with treason for allegedly obstructing President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade “in an attempt to put the life of the president in danger” as well as “using insulting language”;

H.Whereas treason is a non-bailable offence in Zambia, with a minimum jail term of 15 years and maximum sentence of the death penalty;

I.Whereas the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Zambia criticised the brutal arrest of the country’s main opposition leaders and decried the use of the national police to apparently settle political scores and, through harassment and forcible measures, prevent the organisation and general functioning of the political opposition;

J.Whereas ZCCB President Luskaka Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, in a statement on 21 April 2017, called on the Zambian government “to drive the agenda of promoting peace and reconciliation in the country”;

 

 

1.Calls on the Zambian government to drop all charges of treason brought against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, and release him and his five employees immediately;

2.Calls for the Zambian government to promptly and thoroughly investigate reports of alleged torture and other forms of mistreatment of detainees, and put suspected perpetrators on trial in a fair and legal manner;

3.Calls on Zambian authorities to immediately drop charges of sedition against Zambia’s main opposition leader and his deputy;

4.Supports the initiative of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Zambia in calling for national reconciliation and talks between the ruling PF and UPND to reduce tensions existing between their supporters, and to allow more media freedom and reinstate the democratic process;

5.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President/High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Member States, the government and parliament of Zambia, the African Union as well as the United Nations Secretary General, and the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated: 16 May 2017Legal notice