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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Ethiopia, notably the case of Dr Merera Gudina

16.5.2017 - (2017/2682(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

Cristian Dan Preda, Tunne Kelam, Deirdre Clune, Pavel Svoboda, Jarosław Wałęsa, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Milan Zver, Krzysztof Hetman, Dubravka Šuica, Sven Schulze, Stanislav Polčák, Michaela Šojdrová, Lefteris Christoforou, Marijana Petir, Ivan Štefanec, Tomáš Zdechovský, Eva Maydell, Csaba Sógor, Adam Szejnfeld, Sandra Kalniete, Patricija Šulin, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Brian Hayes, Luděk Niedermayer, Elisabetta Gardini, Željana Zovko, Ivana Maletić, Andrey Kovatchev, Jiří Pospíšil, Mairead McGuinness, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Roberta Metsola, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Seán Kelly, Inese Vaidere on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0369/2017

NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
Postopek : 2017/2682(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Ethiopia, notably the case of Dr Merera Gudina


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on situation in Ethiopia,

–  having regard to the declaration of 10 July 2015 of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye on the release of Ethiopian journalists,

–  having regard to the joint statement of 20 October 2015 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,

–  having regard to the EU-Ethiopia Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility, signed on 11 November 2015,

–  having regard to the statement of 23 December 2015 by the spokesperson of the HR/VP on recent clashes in Ethiopia,

–  having regard to the statement of 10 October 2016 by the Spokesperson of the HR/ VP on Ethiopia's announcement of a state of emergency,

–  having regard to the EU-Ethiopia Strategic Engagement,

–  having regard to the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights,


–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,


–  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,


–  having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.whereas on 30 November 2016 Ethiopian security forces arrested Dr Merera Gudina, the Chairman of the Ethiopian opposition party ‘Oromo Federalist Congress’ in Addis Ababa, allegedly breaching the law issued to implement the State of Emergency; whereas his bail request has been denied and he still remains in custody awaiting verdict;


B.whereas Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Human Rights Commission concluded that 669 people died during the anti-government protests that started in November 2015 and led to the declaration of a six-month state of emergency October 9 2016, which was extended in March this year;

C. whereas the Ethiopian authorities are alleged to have repetitively used excessive force against peaceful demonstrators and conducted human rights abuses against members of the Oromo community, such as persecution, arbitrary arrests and killings, due to their perceived opposition to the government; whereas the government has described the demonstrators as terrorists;

D. whereas Ethiopia is a signatory to the Cotonou Agreement, Article 96 of which stipulates that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is an essential element of ACP-EU cooperation;

E. whereas Ethiopia, the second most populated country in Africa, is currently one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with an average of 10% growth rate in the past decade; whereas, nevertheless, it also remains one of the poorest, with a per capita GNI of 632 USD; whereas it ranks 174 out of 188 countries in the Human Development Index for 2016;

F. whereas Ethiopia is faced with permanent influxes of migrants and is a host country for approximately 700 000 refugees, mainly from South Sudan and Eritrea but also from Somalia; whereas on 11 November 2015, a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM) was signed by the EU and Ethiopia to reinforce cooperation and dialogue between both parties in the area of migration;

G. whereas political, economic and democratic stability in Ethiopia is crucial to the development of the countries of the Horn of Africa; whereas the country plays a key role in the region as a supporter of international efforts to bring stability to Somalia and fight terrorist groups in the region; whereas Ethiopia is also heavily involved in relations between Sudan and South Sudan, and has been organising peace talks under the IGAD umbrella;

H. Whereas the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis visited Ethiopia in April 2017, marking the launch of the sectorial dialogue on Human Rights and Governance under the EU-Ethiopia Strategic Engagement;

1. Expresses deep concern regarding the arrest of Dr Merara Gudina on 30 November 2016; calls for his immediate release on bail and that the politically motivated charges against him must be withdrawn;

2. Stresses that for any opposition dialogue to be seen as credible, senior opposition politicians, such as Dr Merara Gudina, who has allegedly been charged with outrages against the constitution, should be released from prison and all charges dropped;

3. Firmly believes that peaceful protest is part of a democratic process and that excessive force in response should be avoided in all circumstances; calls on the Ethiopian authorities to rapidly lift the restrictions connected to the state of emergency;

4. Stresses that a free, diverse and inclusive political environment as well as the respect for freedom of expression, association and assembly are fundamental to any democratic society;

5. Reminds the Ethiopian government of their obligations to guarantee fundamental rights, including access to justice and the right to a fair trial, as provided for in the African Charter, and other international and regional human rights instruments;

6. Stresses that free and independent media are essential to guarantee an informed, active and engaged population; calls on the Ethiopian authorities to guarantee the rights of local civil society and media; calls on the Commission and the Member States to support, through cooperation instruments, the development of free media broadcasting in Ethiopia;

7. Calls on the Ethiopian authorities to prevent any ethnic or religious discrimination and to encourage and act in favour of a peaceful and constructive dialogue between all communities;

8. Call on the Ethiopian Government to immediately and unconditionally release all arbitrary detained persons and fulfil its obligations as regards to human rights and the rule of law;

9. Recalls that Ethiopia is an important country of destination, transit and origin for migrants and that it hosts the largest refugee population in Africa; therefore welcomes the adoption of a Common Agenda on Migration between the EU and Ethiopia encompassing the issues of refugees, border control and the fight against human trafficking; also calls on the European Commission to closely monitor all projects recently initiated within the framework of the EU Trust Fund for Africa;

10. Welcomes the key role that Ethiopia continues to play in the region, and in particular its support to the stabilisation of Somalia and the fight against terrorism, and to the peace process between Sudan and South Sudan, and within South Sudan;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Commission Vice-President / EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Co‑Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the African Union Commission and the Pan-African Parliament, the Ethiopian Government and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.