The European Parliament strongly condemns the violence committed against the Guarani-Kaiowá people in the Mato Grosso do Sul region of Brazil, the disappearance of publisher Mr Minhai Gui in China and the detention and torture of Mr Ildar Dadin in Russia, in three resolutions voted on Thursday.
Violence against the Guarani-Kaiowá in the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso do Sul
MEPs condemn recent violence perpetrated against the Guarani-Kaiowá people during land disputes in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul and urge the Brazilian government to conduct rapid investigations into the recent swathe of murders and assaults there. They further deplore the poverty and human rights situation of the Guarani-Kaiowá, of whom 42% suffer from chronic malnutrition, according to recent research.
MEPs understand that the Guarani-Kaiowá are in need of special protection in light of threats to their ancestral territory, and urge Brazilian authorities to “prioritise completion of the demarcation of all territories claimed by the Guarani-Kaiowá” in order to prevent any more territorial disputes and killings. MEPs also note that the Guarani-Kaiowá face inadequate provision of healthcare, education and social services, with high numbers of suicides among young people and very high rates of chronic malnutrition among children (26%) compared with non-indigenous children (5.9%).
Commending the Brazilian government for several recent advances it has made in securing indigenous rights, MEPs remind the Brazilian government of its international human rights obligations and stress that the rights of indigenous peoples must be protected, respected and upheld as per the country’s Constitution.
The ongoing detention of Mr Minhai Gui, jailed publisher in China
The European Parliament expresses grave concern over the lack of knowledge of the whereabouts of publisher and Swedish citizen Mr Minhai Gui, who disappeared last year amid a climate of tightening restrictions on freedom of expression in China. They call for Mr Gui’s “immediate safe release” and condemn restrictions on and the criminalisation of freedom of expression in the country.
The Chinese government should provide immediate and detailed information on Mr Gui’s whereabouts and wellbeing, the resolution text says. MEPs stress the importance of a “mature, meaningful and open human rights dialogue” to a strong EU-China relationship and call on China to release or drop all charges against peaceful government critics, anti-corruption activists, lawyers, and journalists.
Parliament also expresses concern over allegations that mainland China’s law enforcement agencies are operating in Hong Kong, pointing out that this would be inconsistent with the “one country, two systems” principle.
The alleged torture and imprisonment of Ildar Dadin, prisoner of conscience in Russia
MEPs express serious concern about the welfare of Mr Ildar Dadin, an activist who is currently serving two and a half years in prison in Russia for taking part in a series of street protests. Parliament calls on the Russian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr Dadin and “all those detailed on false or unsubstantiated charges or for using their right to freedom of expression and assembly”.
Parliament also stresses the need for a thorough and transparent independent investigation after Mr Dadin’s recent allegations of torture inside the prison. MEPs are gravely concerned by credible human rights reports that indicate that Mr Dadin’s is not an isolated case, and that “point to the systematic use of torture, ill-treatment and inhumane treatment in the Russian penal system” with impunity.
Russia is reminded by MEPs of the importance of its “full compliance” with its international legal obligations as per its membership of the Council of Europe and other such organisations. “Targeted sanctions” are necessary “to punish those responsible” for the mistreatment of Mr Dadin and the European Council must develop a unified policy towards Russia “that commits the 28 EU Member States and the EU institutions to a strong common message concerning the role of human rights in the EU-Russia relationship”, MEPs say.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions