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Motion for a resolution - B8-0086/2016Motion for a resolution


19.1.2016 - (2016/2520(RSP))

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

Ignazio Corrao, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Piernicola Pedicini, Laura Ferrara, Laura Agea, Isabella Adinolfi, Rolandas Paksas on behalf of the EFDD Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0082/2016

Procedure : 2016/2520(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Ethiopia


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Ethiopia, in particular those of, 19 June 2007, on Human rights in Ethiopia, of 15 November 2006 on Ethiopia, that of 7 July 2005 on human rights in Ethiopia, that of 13 October 2005 on the situation in Ethiopia and that of 15 December 2005 on the situation in Ethiopia and the new border conflict;


- having regard to the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, ratified by Ethiopia in 1998;


- having regard to the Statement of 23 December 2015by the EEAS spokesperson on recent clashes in Ethiopia;


- having regard to the Ethiopian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (Law no. 652/2009);


- having regard to the Joint statement by Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, of 20 October 2015 when they agreed to elevate the level of EU/Ethiopia relations into a "Strategic Partnership";


- having regard to the Cotonou agreement (and in particular to its Art. 8 on the Political Dialogue




A.Whereas, according to Human rights organisations, human rights defenders in Ethiopia work in extremely difficult conditions marked by threats, acts of intimidation, restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly, judicial harassment, and arbitrary arrests;


B.Whereas several human rights defenders and journalists were forced to flee the country and those who remained practised self-censorship for fear of attack or harassment;


C.Whereas the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (Law no. 652/2009), adopted in 2009, contains a definition of terrorism that is broad and vague and has been used to target Human rights defenders, journalists and the political opposition, encouraging self-censorship, as it foresees imprisonment for up to 20 years for the publication of statements considered to encourage acts of terrorism; whereas it also provides the government with additional power to conduct online surveillance, and imposes sharp restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly;


D.Whereas the Oromo Peoples' Democratic Organization (OPDO) party, announced that it wanted to halt the so-called "Addis Ababa Masterplan" that includes plans for the expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into the Oromia Regions;

E.Whereas since mid-November, protests by students and farmers belonging to the Oromo Ethnic Group based on the fear of displacement of farmers, have spread through many towns in Oromia region;


F.Whereas police and military forces have responded to the generally peaceful protests by killing dozens of protesters and wounded many others; whereas according to Human rights organisations 140 people have been killed; whereas Government officials have to date only acknowledged five deaths so far;


G.Whereas senior Ethiopian government officials defined the protests as connected to “foreign terrorist groups,” to justify the application of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (Law no. 652/2009), and the deployment of the army and the use of lethal force to quell the protests.


H.Whereas this is not the first time that Ethiopian security forces have been implicated in serious human rights violations in response to peaceful protests and it is known that the Ethiopian government is systematically repressing freedom of expression and association, and banning individuals to express dissent or opposition to government policies, limiting civil and political space, including by carrying out politically motivated prosecutions under the draconian antiterrorism law, decimating independent media, dismantling substantial civil society activism, and cracking down on opposition political parties.


I.Whereas the ruling coalition in the May 2015 election won every single one of the 547 parliamentary seats


J.whereas the European Union should launch without delay a regular political dialogue with Ethiopia under art. 8 of the Cotonou Agreement;



1.recalls that respect for human rights and the rule of law are crucial to the EU’s policies to promote development in Ethiopia and throughout the Horn of Africa;


2.Strongly condemns the use of violence by national security forces in Oromia and calls on the Government to keep its response to protests within legal boundaries, to stop immediately mass arrests, beatings and killing of protesters, journalists and opposition party leaders and members, peaceful protesters, and to release immediately all those jailed for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, including students, farmers, opposition politicians, academics and journalists;


3.Calls on the Government to ensure safe access to family members, lawyers to those protesters, journalists and opposition party members still in detention;


4.Calls on the EU High Representative to coordinate a robust response by the European Union and its 28 member states to Ethiopia’s escalating crisis;


5.Calls on the Government to carry out a credible, transparent and impartial investigation into the killings of protesters and other alleged human rights violations in connection with the protest movement, and to fairly prosecute those responsible, regardless of rank or position;


6.Urges the Government to invite without delay the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly and other UN human rights experts to visit Ethiopia to report on the situation;


7.Calls on the Government to stop suppressing the free flow of information, including by jamming media broadcasts and harassing media, and facilitate access throughout Ethiopia for independent journalists and human rights monitors;


8.Urges the Government open a dialogue with Oromo communities about the impact of the expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary, including potential displacement of communities and compensation for those affected;


9.Calls on the EU to review programs and policies to ensure that EU development assistance is not contributing to human rights violations in Ethiopia, particularly programs linked to displacement of farmers and pastoralists, and develop strategies to minimize any negative impact of displacement within EU funded development projects;


10.Calls on the Government of Ethiopia to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Union Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of opinion and to guarantee the independence of the judiciary system;


11.Calls on international community, to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to ensure the establishment of the legal and institutional basis for the respect of human rights and the respect of the rule of law;


12.Instructs its Co-Presidents to forward this resolution to the Ethiopian Government, the EEAS High Representative/Vice President of the EU Commission, the EU Council of ACP Ministers, the European Commission, the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretary General of the United Nations and the African Union Executive Council, the Pan-African Parliament.