Human rights: Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Tibet
- DRC must hold presidential and legislative elections in 2018
- Nigerian authorities must increase their efforts to stop ethnic and religious violence
- Chinese government must release detained human rights activists
MEPs call for elections in Democratic Republic of Congo, condemn violence in Nigeria and urge China to release human rights activists.
Democratic Republic of Congo: government must hold elections on 23 December 2018
The European Parliament regrets that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) did not hold elections by the 2017 deadline and calls on its President Joseph Kabila, and his government to guarantee to hold presidential and legislative elections on 23 December 2018. They add that any EU contribution to the electoral process should be conditional on concrete government measures that demonstrate the political will to hold the elections in December 2018, including the publication of a realistic electoral budget.
MEPs ask Congolese authorities to release all prisoners of conscience and to conduct an independent investigation into the violent repression of the demonstrations of December 2017. The European Parliament also urges the International Criminal Court and the UN to investigate the claims put forward by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), which says Congolese security forces and government-backed militias are perpetrating crimes against humanity in Kasai province, where 40 mass grave sites have been discovered. To combat the escalating cholera epidemic in the DRC, MEPs ask the EU and its member states to increase financial and humanitarian aid through reliable organisations.
Nigerian government must step up security efforts
The European Parliament expresses deep concern about the security situation in Nigeria. MEPs call on President Muhammadu Buhari and his government to:
- address the increasing inter-ethnic violence between pastoral communities and farmers by negotiating a national policy framework protecting the interests of both groups,
- step up the efforts to stop the attacks against Christian and Muslims,
- provide psychosocial support to the victims of Boko Haram radicalisation,
- reform the Nigerian state security forces and investigate abuses perpetrated by security officials, such as extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrests, and
- implement a moratorium on the death penalty, with a view to its abolition.
Moreover, MEPs ask the EU Commission and the European External Action Service to monitor the reintegration of Nigerian returnees from Libya, ensuring that the EU funding is spent effectively and keeping the European Parliament informed about the reintegration measures.
China must release human rights activists
The Chinese government must release blogger Wu Gan, pro-democracy activist Lee Ming-che, Tibetan language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk, Tibetan monk Choekyi, and all those who are being detained for their human rights work, say MEPs. Pending their release, they add, they must not subjected to torture or ill-treatment and must have access to family and lawyers of their choice.
MEPs call for an investigation into allegations that interrogators have used torture to force the confession of human rights lawyer Xie Yang, who was convicted on 26 December 2017 but exempted from criminal penalties after pleading guilty to subversion charges.
MEPs express concern that the adoption of security laws in China will impact on minorities, particularly the Counter-terrorism Law, which could lead to the penalisation of the expression of Tibetan culture and Buddhism, and the Foreign NGO Management Law, which places human rights groups under government control. The European Parliament invites High Representative Mogherini and the EU member states to adopt the Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusions on China, which would bind EU member states and institutions to a common approach towards human rights in China, thus avoiding unilateral initiatives or acts that might undermine the effectiveness of EU action.
The three resolutions were approved by a show of hands on Thursday.