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Procedure : 2020/2783(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0298/2020

Texts tabled :

B9-0298/2020

Debates :

PV 17/09/2020 - 11.2
CRE 17/09/2020 - 11.2

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2020)0234

<Date>{15/09/2020}15.9.2020</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0298/2020</NoDocSe>
PDF 160kWORD 47k

<TitreType>MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

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

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Titre>on the case of Dr. Denis Mukwege in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)</Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2783(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Frédérique Ries, Petras Auštrevičius, Stéphane Bijoux, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Moritz Körner, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Javier Nart, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu, Hilde Vautmans</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0287/2020
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

B9‑0298/2020

European Parliament resolution on the case of Dr. Denis Mukwege in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

(2020/2783(RSP))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the awarding of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2014 and to the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Dr Denis Mukwege,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), notably those of 17 January 2018, 14 June 2017, 2 February 2017 and 1 December 2016,

 having regard to the statement made the 28 August 2020 by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet,

 having regard to the EU Guidelines on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, and the EU Human Rights Guidelines on freedom of expression online and offline,

 having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

 having regard to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

 having regard to the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

 having regard to the UN Security Council resolution 2502 (2019) on renewing until 20 December 2020 the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO),

 having regard to the UN Security Council resolution 2528 (2020) renewing until July 2021 a series of sanctions as an arms embargo on armed groups in the DRC, a travel ban on individuals and asset freeze on individuals and entities designated by the Sanctions Committee,

 having regard to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 1981,

 having regard to the Constitution of the DRC, adopted on 18 February 2006,

 having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. Whereas the 2014 European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize were awarded to Dr Denis Mukwege for his work in helping victims of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo;

B. Whereas in 1999 Dr Mukwege founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Sud-Kivu, where thousands of victims of sexual violence have since been treated;

C. Whereas Dr Mukwege has become a prominent public figure and an international symbol through his achievements and international recognitions, warranting special protection against threats;  

D. Whereas Dr Mukwege has survived an assassination attempt at his home in October 2012 which required the subsequent exfiltration of Dr Mukwege and his family by the MONUSCO forces;

E. Whereas Dr Mukwege condemned a massacre of at least 18 villagers in July 2020 in Kipupu, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); whereas he has since been the target of consistent threats against his life through social media, phone calls and direct messages, whereas his family and staff at the Panzi Hospital have been the targets of similar threats;

F. Whereas Dr Mukwege has continuously and actively called for perpetrators of war crimes to be brought to justice and advocated against the use of rape as a weapon of war; whereas Dr Mukwege campaigned for an international tribunal into possible crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and other serious human rights abuses committed from 1993 to 2003 in the DRC;

G. Whereas the United Nations protection detail assigned to protect Dr Denis Mukwege and his hospital was suspended in May 2020 under the argument of a coronavirus outbreak amongst the peacekeepers stationed at Panzi Hospital; whereas no rotation of the peacekeepers forces was envisaged, or alternative protection offered to Dr Mukwege and his team or the Panzi Hospital thereafter, leaving them unprotected and having to face intimidation campaigns and threats on their own;

H. Whereas the European Parliament on 12 August 2020, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security on 20 August 2020, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on 28 August 2020, as well as different national and international institutions and organizations publicly demanded the Congolese authorities to undertake criminal investigations concerning the ongoing threats targeting Dr Mukwege and the reinstatement of the peacekeepers protection detail;

I. Whereas on 10 September 2020 the spokesperson for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC, Mr Mathias Gillmann, stated that the peacekeepers protection detail was reinstated and redeployed with the mission to protect Dr Mukwege, and ensure the security of Panzi Hospital; whereas Mr Mathias Gillmann stated that the United Nations is committed to continue the training of the Congolese police in order to enable a standing and long-term security solution; 

J. Whereas all the human rights defenders and political activists at risk in the DRC should be protected;

1. Deplores and condemns the standing life threats made directly against Dr Mukwege, his family and the Panzi Hospital staff;

2. Commends Dr Mukwege for his life-time commitment and courage to fight the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict; stresses the importance of Dr Mukwege’s public stance over the last decades on denouncing human rights violations and abuses committed in the DRC; 

3. Commends the work being carried at Panzi Hospital and its human dimension that has and continues to inspire all those promoting and fighting the abuses committed, especially against women and girls, in any given war or armed conflict;

4. Welcomes the redeployment of elements from MONUSCO to the Panzi Hospital to ensure the safety of Dr Mukwege, his patients and medical staff;

5. Recalls that the Government of the DRC bears the primary responsibility to protect civilians within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction, but the UN peacekeeping mission has also to fulfil its role in the event of difficulties on the ground;

6. Believes that it is essential to find effective and lasting solutions to ensure the protection of Dr. Mukwege, his family and medical staff, as well as that of all human rights activists living in sensitive areas where crimes are committed with impunity;

7. Urges the Government of the DRC to undertake without delay a comprehensive investigation into the threats made through social media, phone calls and direct messages targeting not only Dr Mukwege, but also his family and the Panzi Hospital staff, as promised by President Félix Tshisekedi;

8. Recalls the EP's consistent position that there should be no impunity for crimes, the importance of justice finally being done for all victims of conflicts, of their right to reparation and of the imperative obligation in the Great Lakes region, as elsewhere in the world, to work towards reconciliation between peoples, but also to prevent conflicts;

9. Fully supports President Tshisekedi's request to his government to set up a transitional justice mechanism to judge the most serious crimes and strongly hopes for the timely adoption by the Council of Ministers of the two draft decrees that have been under consideration for several months, aimed on the one hand at setting up a national transitional justice and reconciliation commission and on the other at creating a fund for the compensation of victims of serious crimes;

10. Recalls the vital nature of the reform of the security sector in RDC, a necessary step to bring safety to all civilians; supports the 2020-2024 Five Year Action Plan (PAQ 2) for the reform of the Congolese National Police;

11. Takes note of the sine die report of  the  Goma mini-summit initially foreseen on 13 September at the invitation of the RDC with the aim to convene the five Heads of State of the Great Lakes region to discuss ways to pacify the region; strongly hopes that this summit can be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity and can lead to the easing of tensions between bordering countries, as well as be an occasion to put on the agenda the Addis Ababa framework agreement of 24 February 2013, with a view to stabilizing, in particular, the east of the DRC;

12. Stresses that the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is not just an award, it is a commitment by the Members of the European Parliament to promote human rights together with the Sakharov Prize laureates and to make every effort to ensure that the laureate may freely and safely continue to act in defence of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

13. Notes that the very complicated situation in which Dr. Mukwege has found himself in recent months requires the European institutions, and in particular the European Parliament and the European External Action Service, to set up a protective shield (political, diplomatic and financial) which should enable any Sakharov Prize recipient, whatever the circumstances, to carry out freely and without hindrance their mission of promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms;

14. Calls on the HR/VP, EU Delegation and EU missions in the DRC to increase their visible support to human rights defenders at risk in DRC, including via social media, as a protection measure to provide recognition to their human rights work and acknowledge their important role as human rights defenders in fighting for stability and peace in the region;

15. Calls on the European Union and its Member States to draw attention on the case of Dr Mukwege within all relevant fora of the United Nations and ensure that the necessary resources are allocated to the MONUSCO to fully fulfil its mission of protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilisation and peace consolidation efforts until not needed anymore;

16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the European Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the ACP-EU Council of Ministers and Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the African Union, the Pan-African Parliament, and the President, Prime Minister and Parliament of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

 

 

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