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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 Rwanda, the case of Victoire Ingabire (2016/2910(RSP))

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Pavel Telička, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, Ivo Vajgl, Carolina Punset, Petr Ježek, Petras Auštrevičius, Gérard Deprez, Nedzhmi Ali, Marian Harkin, Marielle de Sarnez, Ivan Jakovčić, Paavo Väyrynen, Jasenko Selimovic, José Inácio Faria, Nathalie Griesbeck, Hannu Takkula, Filiz Hyusmenova on behalf of the ALDE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Rwanda, the case of Victoire Ingabire (2016/2910(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

Having regard to its previous resolution on Rwanda,


Having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was ratified by Rwanda in 1975,


Having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR),


Having regard to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance,


Having regard to the instruments of the United Nations and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, in particular the Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa,


Having regards to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment


Having regard to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the ACP and the EU, particularly to Annex VII thereto, which calls for the promotion of human rights, democracy based on the rule of law and transparent and accountable governance,


Having regard to the statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on 03 December 2015 on the constitutional review in Rwanda,


Having regard to the National Indicative Programme for Rwanda 2014-2020,


Having regard to the Vision2020 development program.



A.Whereas Rwanda is among the few African countries leading in the achievement of the MDGs, especially in gender equality women empowerment, universal primary education, child and maternal mortality, HIV prevalence, and environmental sustainability;


B.Whereas strong economic growth was accompanied by substantial improvements in living standards, evidenced by a two-thirds drop in child mortality and the attainment of near-universal primary school enrolment;


C.Whereas economic and political efforts have been made in order to improve the economy of the country and make it more industrialized and service oriented;


D.Whereas with roughly 64 percent of women in Parliament, Rwanda is ranked the first country in the world;


E.Whereas on 30 October 2012 Victoire Ingabire was sentenced to eight years in prison; whereas she was convicted of two updated charges and acquitted of four others; whereas she was found guilty of conspiracy to harm the authorities using terrorism, and of minimising the 1994 genocide, on the basis of her relations with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu rebel group; whereas the Public Prosecutor sought a sentence of life imprisonment;


F.Whereas in April 2013, in the course of her appeal before the Supreme Court, while she was cleared of the six charges lodged by the prosecution, Ms Ingabire was condemned by the Supreme Court, following an appeal by the Public Prosecutor, “for conspiracy harming the authorities through terrorism and war, for minimising the genocide, and for spreading rumours to incite violence";


G.Whereas on 18 September 2016, Théophile Ntirutwa, local representative of FDU-Inkingi in Kigali, was kidnapped by militaries, questioned and tortured for two days until he was released; whereas on 23 August 2016, Gasengayire Leonille, assistant treasurer of the FDU-Inkingi, was arrested over the accusation of inciting public disorder; whereas in March 2013 Sylvain Sibomana, FDU-Inkingi Secretary General, was imprisoned after being arrested after an altercation with Police when he wanted to access the High Court premises in order to follow Ms. Victoire Ingabire’s trial and sentenced to 5 years;


H. Whereas on 19 May 2016, Carolin Buisman, Victoria Ingabire’s lawyer was asked to leave Rwanda where she had entered with a tourist visa after several attempts to obtain a visa as a lawyer in order to visit and give legal advice to Ingabire


I.Whereas on September 2016 a delegation of the European Parliament composed of eight MEPs was refused access to visit Victoria Ingabire;


J.Whereas respect for fundamental human rights, including political pluralism and freedom of expression and association, are severely restricted in Rwanda, making it difficult for opposition parties to operate and for journalists to express critical views;


K.Whereas the consolidation of democracy – including ensuring the independence of the judiciary and the participation of opposition parties – is crucial, particularly in view of the presidential election to be held in 2017;


1.Highlights the economic achievements of the country during the last 20 years, which have improved the life conditions of the population, reduced poverty and children mortality, and approached the country to the MDG objectives,


2.Urges the Government of Rwanda to extend these economic and social achievements to the field of human rights in order to fully move towards a modern and inclusive democracy which will then be able to provide the region with stability and to be example of good governance and national reconciliation,


3.Strongly condemns the prosecution of political opponents, namely the trial of Victoire Ingabire, Recalls that Victoire Ingabire is sentenced for an ordinary crime and that all domestic legal remedies have been exhausted; underlines that only an appeal at the African Court of justice and Human Rights is possible;


4.Urges the Rwandan authorities immediately to release all individuals and other activists detained or convicted solely for exercising their rights of freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly; Condemns all forms of repression, intimidation and detention of political activists, journalists and human rights activists; Calls on the Rwandan authorities to ensure the separation of administrative, legislative and judicial powers, and in particular the independence of the judiciary, and to promote the participation of opposition parties to function freely, in a context of mutual respect and inclusive dialogue as part of a democratic process,


5.Stresses its respect for the independence of the judicial system of Rwanda, but reminds the Rwandan authorities that the EU, in the context of the official political dialogue with Rwanda under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement, has raised its concerns with regard to the respect due to human rights and the right to a fair trial,


6.Calls on the European Union and its international partners to continue supporting the people and Government of Rwanda in their work to build peace and stability in the country and the region as a whole,


7.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary General, the institutions of the African Union, the East African Community, the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the defenders of Victoire Ingabire and the President of Rwanda,



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