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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the case of Dr. Denis Mukwege in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

15.9.2020 - (2020/2783(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 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Michael Gahler, Loránt Vincze, Željana Zovko, David McAllister, Sandra Kalniete, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Krzysztof Hetman, Eva Maydell, Jiří Pospíšil, Luděk Niedermayer, Janina Ochojska, David Lega, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Benoît Lutgen, Stanislav Polčák, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Peter Pollák, Michal Wiezik, Vladimír Bilčík, Inese Vaidere, Michaela Šojdrová, Magdalena Adamowicz, Ivan Štefanec, Romana Tomc, Maria Walsh, Loucas Fourlas, Lefteris Christoforou
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0287/2020

Procedură : 2020/2783(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the case of Dr. Denis Mukwege in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in particular those of 18 January 2018, 9 July 2015 and 12 September 2013,

- having regard to the report of 11 November 2019  of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in DRC,

- having regard to the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the death threats made against Dr Mukwege of 28 August 2020,

- having regard to the press release of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Right of 9 November 2019,

- having regard to the press release of 1 May 2020 by the African Union (AU) Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Focal Point on Reprisals in Africa on the protection of Human Rights Defenders during the COVID-19 pandemic,

- having regard to the Cotonou Declaration on strengthening and expanding the protection of all Human Rights Defenders in Africa, adopted on the 1st April 2017,

- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

- having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, ratified by the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1982,

- having regard to the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo,

- having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in June 2004,

- having regard to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,

- having regard to the UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power,

- having regard to Rule 144 of its Rule of Procedure,

A. whereas Dr Mukwege, a gynaecological surgeon and founder of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu (DRC), is being targeted in a campaign of intimidation, together with his family and colleagues, for fervently criticising a series of crimes and human rights violations in the eastern DRC;

B. whereas Dr Mukwege has been internationally recognised for his efforts to help war rape victims and his work has earned numerous awards, including the European Parliament’s 2014 Sakharov Prize and the 2018 Nobel Prize for Peace;

C. whereas following the escalation of  violence  and attacks by armed groups in Kipupu, eastern Congo on 16 and 17 July 2020, which resulted in the loss of  many lives, sexual and gender-based violence, abductions and other human rights violations, Dr Mukwege has been condemning the massacre and urging for the establishment by the UN of an international criminal court for the DRC, competent for crimes committed in the country from the 1990s until today and for the creation of a specialised mixed court (Congolese and international magistrates) to help combat impunity

D. whereas Dr Mukwege has long been outspoken about the need for accountability and the implementation of recommendations of the UN human rights report mapping abuses in the region between 1993 and 2003;whereas Dr Mukwege narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in October 2012, when five gunmen in civilian clothes attacked his home in Bukavu, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, amidst which his bodyguard lost his life;

E. whereas the Rwandan state-run newspaper, The New Times, suggested that Mukwege had staged the threats, asserting that the instability in eastern Congo are being used by the doctor as an instrument to build career; whereas in spite of the evidence linking Rwanda to the atrocities committed by rebels in the Eastern Congo, Rwanda’s government has objected to suggestions that its forces had any involvement

F. whereas protesters have taken to the streets of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) capital, to express support for Dr Denis Mukwege, calling for his protection;

G. whereas in August 2020, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, condemned the death threats and pledged to take measures to ensure the safety of Dr Mukwege;

H. whereas despite the ongoing demonstrations requesting actions, President Félix Tshisekedi and his government is yet to take any significant measures;

I. whereas the UN peacekeeping force, which had been deployed in the compound where Mukwege lives and works, were withdrawn in May after the outbreak of Covid-19 and have only been reinstated on the 9 September 2020;

J. whereas rising cases of death threats and harassment have been reported against other human rights defenders and their families in the Kivu Provinces in DRC, including Josué Aruna, who denounced illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources, and Lucien Byamungu Munganga, who was arbitrarily arrested in Kalehe during a peaceful demonstration calling for the release of other colleagues, who were arrested for denouncing the theft of public street lighting allocated  to combat insecurity;

K. whereas the UN is working on finding a new security arrangement with national police for such protection work in the future;

L. whereas, between 2014 and 2020, the European Union supported the Democratic Republic of Congo through the 11th EDF national indicative programme, amounting to €620 000 000 focusing on policy reforms in the areas of police, justice and defense and   actions in sustainable agriculture, the health system and road transports;

1. Remains deeply concerned about the pronounced threats on the life of the renowned Human Rights defender Dr Mukwege, and that of other activists;;

2. Expresses its deep regrets by the events: the intimidation campaign and the inaction by the DRC government to guarantee the security of the victims;

3. Strongly condemns any form of threats towards Dr Mukwege, his family and his colleagues at the Panzi hospital;

4. Praises all human rights defenders in the Democratic Republic of Congo who still carry out their work in spite of the challenges they are faced with, and welcomes the open condemnation of the events by several national and international organizations;

5. Urges the DRC government to immediately adopt urgent and concrete measures to protect the wellbeing of Dr Mukwege, family and colleagues;

6. Calls on the DRC government to open investigations into the facts to ensure justice and accountability, as the European Union believes that failure to fully investigate and to bring to justice those responsible will perpetuate these behaviors and will not serve as deterrent to others who attack and threaten human rights defenders;

7. Calls on the Congolese authorities to reinforce efforts to prevent further human rights violations in the Eastern DRC, and to take steps to establish mechanisms that will ensure victims of future conflicts their rights to justice and reparation;

8. Calls on the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the international community to take further necessary steps to ensure protection of human rights defenders against any form of threats, also for those who do not benefit from high public profile;

9. Insists on the Congolese government’s duty to ensure a high level of protection for civilians and aid workers in these regions, in order to create an environment where it is safe for all to live and thrive and free to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals.

10. Calls on the European Commission and the EU delegation to DRC to closely follow the situation and report back to the European Parliament;

11. 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 African Union, the President, Prime Minister and Parliament of the DRC, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the UN Human Rights Council, and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

Ultima actualizare: 15 septembrie 2020
Aviz juridic - Politica de confidențialitate