Human rights: anti-albino attacks in Malawi, persecutions of Crimean Tatars and repression in the Maldives 

Press Releases 
Plenary session 
  • Malawi authorities should prevent albinism-related crimes
  • Rights of Crimean Tatars have been gravely violated
  • Maldives President’s authoritarian rule creates a climate of fear

MEPs condemn the rise of violence against albinos in Malawi, persecutions against Crimean Tatars and crackdown on political opponents in the Maldives in three resolutions voted on Thursday.

Malawi: anti-albino attacks should be avoided


The European Parliament strongly condemns the new wave of killings and attacks targeting people with albinism since the beginning of 2017 in Malawi, as well as any discrimination and persecution directed at them. It deplores that the introduction of stronger laws in Malawi has not prevented a recent rise in violence against persons with albinism, given that the greatest threat to persons with albinism in the majority of African countries is posed by misleading and superstitious beliefs regarding the condition.


MEPS urge Malawi’s authorities to:

  • protect the rights of their citizens, including vulnerable groups;
  • act proactively against any criminal organisation active in witchcraft and human trafficking
  • train and provide resources to the police to adequately investigate the crimes against persons with albinism; and
  • bring the perpetrators of albinism-related crimes to justice.


Crimea: persecutions against Tatar community must cease


MEPs denounce the sentences against Ilmi Umerov, Crimean Tatar Leader and Deputy Chair of Mejlis, Akhtem Chyigoz, Deputy Chair of the Mejlis, and journalist Mykola Semena. These convictions are serious violations of their human rights and should be reversed, they urge. Mr Umerov and Mr Chyigoz should be immediately and unconditionally released while all charges against Mr Semena should be immediately and unconditionally dropped, MEPs add.


The "reality of repression and the application of legislation on extremism, terrorism and separatism has led to a severe deterioration in the human rights situation on the Crimean peninsula and to the widespread violation of freedom of speech and association; (...) forced imposition of Russian citizenship has become systematic and fundamental freedoms are not guaranteed" there, say MEPs. The "annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation is illegal and in violation of international law and European agreements signed by both the Russian Federation and Ukraine", they reiterate.


Maldives: political and human rights are deteriorating


The European Parliament deplores the crackdown on political opponents in the Maldives, and calls on the government to drop all charges against former president Mohamed Nasheed and to release, immediately and unconditionally all those being held for political reasons, including Jumhoory Party former leader, Qasim Ibrahim.


The government should ensure the full independence and impartiality of the judiciary, urge MEPs, calling on the Supreme Court of the Maldives to immediately revoke the suspension of those of the 56 lawyers suspended in September to whom the measure still applies.


MEPs strongly condemn the announcement of the reintroduction of the death penalty in the Maldives: the Government and Parliament of the country should respect the moratorium on the death penalty, which has been in place for more than 60 years, they add.