MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Rwanda, the case of Paul Rusesabagina
9.2.2021 - (2021/2543(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure
Michael Gahler, David Lega, Sandra Kalniete, David McAllister, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Paulo Rangel, Miriam Lexmann, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Tomáš Zdechovský, Vladimír Bilčík, Inese Vaidere, Vangelis Meimarakis, Michaela Šojdrová, Tomas Tobé, Christian Sagartz, Loránt Vincze, Magdalena Adamowicz, Ivan Štefanec, Janina Ochojska, Eva Maydell, Luděk Niedermayer, Lefteris Christoforou, Jiří Pospíšil, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Stanislav Polčák, Krzysztof Hetman, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Benoît Lutgen, Maria Walsh, Seán Kelly, Peter Pollák, Romana Tomc
on behalf of the PPE Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0130/2021
European Parliament resolution on Rwanda, the case of Paul Rusesabagina
The European Parliament,
- having regard its previous resolution on Rwanda, in particular that of 6 October 2016 on Rwanda, the case of Victoire Ingabire,
- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was ratified by Rwanda in 1975,
- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
- having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,
- having regard to the Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa,
- 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 regard to the Amnesty International country report Rwanda 2019,
- having regard to the answer by VP/HR Borell, on 12 November 2020 to Written Question E-005242/2020 regarding allegations of political discrimination in Rwanda,
- having regard to Rule 135 of its Rule of Procedure.
- Whereas Paul Rusesabagina, the former manager of the Hôtel des Mille Collines, which sheltered more than 1 200 people from the Rwandan genocide in 1994, disappeared on 27 August 2020 in Dubai. He reappeared on 31 August 2020 in prison in Kigali.
- Whereas the forced transfer of Mr. Rusesabagina from Dubai to Kigali is a prima facie violation of article 3 of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), providing that, “no State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
- Whereas the Rwandan authorities have stated that Mr Rusesabagina was arrested on ‘an international warrant’ and is accused of being ‘the founder, leader, sponsor and member of violent, armed, extremist terror outfits;
- Whereas Mr. Rusesabagina is a cancer survivor in remission, and is suffering from a cardiovascular condition, which requires medication.
- Whereas since Paul Kagame became president in 2000, Rwanda has become increasingly authoritarian. Today the opposition is seriously limited. The media is controlled by the government, leading to extensive self-censorship,. and freedom of assembly and association are severely curtailed.
- Whereas the Rwandan genocide and civil war of 1994 continue to have a negative impact on the stability of the region; whereas mental health experts in organisations of the survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi say that mental illness challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
- Whereas according to Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), depression prevalence is at 11.9 per cent within the general population and as high as 35.6 per cent are genocide survivors. This means one in three genocide survivors faces trauma;
- Whereas Rwanda is signatory to the Cotonou Agreement, which stipulates that respect for human rights is an essential element of EU-ACP cooperation;
- Whereas the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law is crucial;
- Calls on the Rwanda government to guarantee full impartiality of the judiciary and to respect due process of law and the right to a fair, impartial and independent trial;
- Calls on the Government of the Rwanda to respect and fully support the right to protest, the right to freedom of expression, and the right to assembly, and not seek to restrict those rights;
- Calls on Rwanda to end torture and ill-treatment, and investigate cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and deaths in custody:
- Strongly condemns the politically motivated nature of the trial, the prosecution of political opponents and the prejudging of the trial outcome; calls on the Rwandan judiciary to ensure a prompt and fair appeal for Mr Rusesabagina that meets the standards set by Rwandan and international law;
- Calls for Paul Rusesabagina’s fair trial rights are guaranteed and that he has access to legal counsel of his preference.
- Stresses Mr. Rusesabagina’s medical condition and underlines that he must not be deprived of his medication and appropriate medical care;
- Is deeply concerned by recent developments in Rwanda which includes reports of ongoing violence and allegations of serious breaches of fundamental human rights; stresses that all cases of enforced disappearance must be thoroughly and impartially investigated and that all those suspected of criminal responsibility must be brought to justice in fair trials
- Strongly condemns politically motivated trials, prosecution of political opponents and prejudging the outcome of the trial; urges the Government of Rwanda to extend economic and social achievements to the field of human rights in order to fully move towards a modern and inclusive democracy; Demands that detainees have access to legal counsel and family members, and that pre-charge and pre-trial detentions do not exceed the limits set out in law;
- Condemns all forms of repression, intimidation and detention of political activists, journalists and human rights activists; 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; urges, in this respect, the Rwandan authorities to adjust national law in order to guarantee freedom of expression;
- Condemns any intimidation, arrests, detentions, and prosecutions of opposition parties leaders, members, activists, as well as journalists and other perceived critics of Rwandan government solely for expressing their views;
- Urges the Rwandan Government to comply with international law and to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
- Recalls that statements obtained by the use of torture or other forms of ill-treatment are inadmissible in any proceedings; Calls on the Rwandan judicial authorities to investigate allegations of torture and other abuses of human rights effectively and to bring those guilty of such offences to justice, as impunity cannot be tolerated;
- Calls on the Government of Rwanda to review the law on ‘genocide ideology’ in order to bring it into line with Rwanda’s obligations under international law, and to change the law instituting punishment for offences of discrimination and sectarianism to bring it into line with Rwanda’s obligations under international human rights law;
- Reminds the Rwandan authorities that democracy is based on pluralistic government, a functioning opposition, independent media and judiciary, respect for human rights, and respect for the rights of expression and assembly; calls, in this regard, on Rwanda to live up to these standards and to improve its human rights record;
- Stresses that in the context of international development work in Rwanda, much greater priority should be given to human rights, the rule of law, and transparent and responsive governance, and that aid should be channelled through the civil society; calls on the EU, in collaboration with other international donors, to exert continued pressure to encourage human rights reform in Rwanda;
- Supports the efforts for reconciliation in the Rwandan society, making justice to the victims of the genocide and their families, made by Churches and religious leaders.
- Calls on the European Commission to keep on regularly evaluating EU support to Rwandan government institutions to ensure that this support fully promotes human rights, freedom of expression and association, political pluralism and independent civil society;
- Calls on the European External Action Service to monitor closely the human rights and political situation in the Rwanda;
- Calls on the EU to make full use of all instruments at its disposal in order to promote the respect of human rights and democratic principles in the Rwanda, including by considering the possibility of introducing temporary individual targeted sanctions against those undermining human rights;
- 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 of Rwanda, the UN Human Rights Council, and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.