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Menettely : 2020/2814(RSP)
Elinkaari istunnossa
Asiakirjan elinkaari : B9-0318/2020

Käsiteltäväksi jätetyt tekstit :


Keskustelut :

PV 08/10/2020 - 8.2
CRE 08/10/2020 - 8.2

Äänestykset :

Hyväksytyt tekstit :


PDF 143kWORD 46k


<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 "Foreign Agents" Law in Nicaragua</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Kati Piri, Alicia Homs Ginel</Depute>

<Commission>{S&D}on behalf of the S&D Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0317/2020
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.


European Parliament resolution on the "Foreign Agents" Law in Nicaragua


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Nicaragua, in particular those of 14 March 2019 and 14 December 2019,

- having regard to the letter sent by the Chair of the Delegation for the relations with the countries of Central America of 24 September 2020,

- having regard to the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America of 2012,

- having regard to the EU country strategy paper and multiannual indicative programme 2014-2020 on Nicaragua,

- having regard to the Council conclusions on Nicaragua, in particular those of 14 October 2019 establishing a framework for targeted sanctions,

- having regard to the declarations by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on behalf of the EU on the situation in Nicaragua, in particular those of 20 November 2019 and 4 May 2020,

- having regard to the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet at the Human Rights Council of 14 September 2020,

- having regard to the newsletters published by the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,

- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,

- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

- having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and the ones on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline,

- having regard to the Nicaraguan Constitution,

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

A. whereas on  September 22, pro-government lawmakers introduced a “foreign agents” bill to the Nicaraguan Congress; whereas the bill requires “any natural or legal person” that receives funding from abroad to register as a “foreign agent” with the Ministry of Interior, including media outlets and non-governmental organizations;

B. whereas the extremely broad definition of foreign agents as stated in article 3 and subsequent restrictions on civil and political rights and participation as stated in Article 12 have  been criticised by civil society and human rights organisations as contrary to international human rights standards; whereas the adoption of this law could directly impact EU cooperation in the country and individuals linked to European interests;

C. whereas on September 28, a draft bill on Cybercrime and dissemination of fake news was also  introduced in Congress that would allow for the government to punish the “dissemination of false or distorted information” with up to five years in prison; which in this context may end up limiting the freedom of expression online;

D. whereas on September 15, the Nicaraguan government announced it was seeking a constitutional reform allowing for life sentences for “hate crimes” without any clear definition of the latter, which could be used to punish those who  have raised their voices against governmental repressive policies since April 2018;

E. whereas these  initiatives are the latest examples and corroborate a wider pattern of repression and violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by security forces and pro-government armed groups against political opponents, demonstrators, journalists, civil society organisations and members of the Catholic Church; whereas these proposed laws clearly intend to limit fundamental freedoms such as freedom of expression and association and to exercise absolute and totalitarian control over Nicaragua’s citizens, media, civil society and human rights organisations, through the monitoring of all their activities with an emphasis on the political, labour and economic spheres;

F. whereas, as stated by the UN High Commissioner for Human rights Michelle Bachelet, there has been no progress in the human rights situation and no sign that the Government is constructively addressing the tensions and structural problems that triggered the socio-political crisis in April 2018; whereas civil society organisations report that 94 persons perceived as opponents of the government, including 4 women, are still arbitrarily detained, mostly on trumped-up charges for unrelated offences;

G. whereas the COVID-19 pandemics has worsened the critical situation that suffers Nicaragua; whereas ECLAC estimates an increase of 5% unemployment and a 8.3% GDP contraction in the country; whereas several international organisations have condemned the lack of preventive and security measures in the country as well as the lack of disaggregated information on the impacts of the pandemic.

1. Expresses its solidarity with the Nicaraguan population and condemns all the repressive actions of the Nicaraguan Government, in particular the deaths caused, the generalised restriction of freedom of expression, assembly and demonstration, the outlawing of non-governmental organisations and civil society, the expulsion of international organisations from the country, the closure of and assaults against the media, the limitations on the right to information and the expulsion of students from universities;

2. Requests the Nicaraguan government and Assembly to immediately withdraw the drafts “Law for Regulation of Foreign Agents” and “Cybercrime and dissemination of fake news” bill as well as its proposal for a constitutional reform allowing for life sentences for undefined hate crimes; expresses concern that the introduction of aforementioned bills signifies the Nicaraguan government’s establishment of a legal framework to facilitate renewed crackdowns on the opposition, journalists and human rights defenders; reiterates that any legal framework adopted by Nicaragua must be in line with the country’s obligations under international and human rights law; reminds Nicaraguan government that free, credible, inclusive and transparent elections can only happen if there is a halt on repression and the respect to the constitutional rights of all Nicaraguan people are restored, including freedom of expression, assembly, belief and pacific protest;

3. Stresses that any limitation to the enjoyment of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression both online and offline, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and the right to defend human rights is incompatible with Nicaragua’s Constitution and its international obligations under human rights agreements;

4. Condemns the repression of activists, political opposition, journalists, and human rights defenders; calls for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained, for all charges against them to be dropped and for their fundamental rights under both international and domestic law to be respected; calls for the immediate halt of personal harassment operations by Government’s security forces and pro-Government paramilitary groups to those who exercise their right to freedom of expression;

5. Urges Nicaragua’s government to stop criminalizing any form of dissent and to halt any aim to control and restrict the work of the political opposition, media, journalists and civil society and human rights organizations;

6. Recalls its previous calls on the Nicaragua’s government to fully guarantee a return to the rule of law; stresses the need to guarantee political and civil freedoms for all Nicaraguans, the return of those in exile, the return of and cooperation with international organisations including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the restoration of the legal status of banned human rights organisations, and the establishment of a credible electoral process through an agreement on electoral and institutional reforms between the government and the opposition;

7. Calls on the Government of Nicaragua to abide in their entirety by the commitments made in the March 2019 agreements with the opposition and restore a sincere national dialogue in view of reaching a democratic peaceful and negotiated solution to the political crisis in Nicaragua;

8. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the EEAS to assess closely the willingness of the government to launch a national dialogue for electoral reform leading to free, fair and internationally observed elections in November 2021; in the event the assessment be negative by the end of 2020, calls on the Council to enlarge the list of individuals to be sanctioned;

9. Notes with concern that the resemblance between the Nicaraguan foreign agents bill and a similar law adopted by Russia in 2012 suggests the transplantation of autocratic legal frameworks in the context of the worldwide shrinking space for civil society; reiterates its urgent request for a global EU human rights mechanism; calls on the Council to adopt this mechanism as a decision relating to the Union’s strategic interests and objectives under Article 22(1) of the Treaty on European Union;

10. Calls for a Parliament delegation to be sent to Nicaragua as soon as possible in order to resume monitoring of the situation in the country, and urges the Nicaraguan authorities to allow it unhindered entry into the country and access to all interlocutors and facilities;

11. Calls on the EEAS, together with the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, to continue and step up its material and technical support to human rights defenders and independent media outlets in Nicaragua;

12. Recalls that, in light of the Association Agreement between the EU and the countries of Central America, Nicaragua must respect and consolidate the principles of the rule of law, democracy and human rights, and reiterates its demands that, in light of the current circumstances, the democratic clause of the Association Agreement be triggered;

13. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, the Central American Parliament, the Lima Group, and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Nicaragua.



Päivitetty viimeksi: 6. lokakuuta 2020Oikeudellinen huomautus - Tietosuojakäytäntö