- De facto authorities of Afghanistan have to end “gender apartheid”
- Lukashenka government must stop repression of the democratic opposition
- Armed groups in Democratic Republic of Congo have to halt aggression and disarm
On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted three resolutions on the respect for human rights in Afghanistan, Belarus and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Human rights situation in Afghanistan, especially the deterioration of women’s rights and attacks against educational institutions
The staggering regression in women and girls’ rights under the Taliban qualifies as gender apartheid, warn MEPs. They call on Afghanistan’s de facto authorities to ensure that women can again actively participate in public life. This must be a key condition, they say, if the international community is to engage with the Taliban. Denouncing the egregious ban on secondary education for girls, Parliament recalls the Taliban’s promises that women’s access to education would be restored and demands that the Taliban now honour their own commitments.)
Parliament deeply regrets that, since the Taliban takeover, access to information has become increasingly difficult, journalistic independence has been curtailed, and civil society organisations have been subjected to increasing pressure.
MEPs also express their alarm at the devastating impact of climate change and environmental degradation in Afghanistan, which is ranked by the UN as the sixth country in the world most affected by climate-related threats, and call for urgent action by the international community to help Afghans address this dramatic situation.
Finally, MEPs ask the EU to establish a long-term strategy on Afghanistan in light of the current situation and the failure of the Taliban to deliver on any of their initial promises.
The resolution was adopted by 532 votes in favour, 8 against with 25 abstentions. For more details, it will be available in full here. (24.11.2022)
Belarus - the continuing repression of the democratic opposition
The European Parliament strongly condemns the unjustified and politically motivated sentences handed down to more than 1 400 political prisoners in Belarus, among others members of the so-called “Autukhovich twelve”. It also denounces the ongoing incarceration of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ales Bialiatski and urges the regime of Belarusian dictator Aliaksandr Lukashenka to ensure his release ahead of the award ceremony in Oslo on 10 December.
While endorsing the Belarusian democratic opposition’s position that Belarus should be recognised as an occupied territory from which Russian troops should immediately withdraw, Parliament strongly condemns the Lukashenka government’s involvement in Russia’s war against Ukraine. The resolution notes that the Belarusian regime shares responsibility with Russia for war crimes in Ukraine, for which it should be held accountable before an international tribunal and the International Criminal Court.
In addition, MEPs reiterate their call on EU countries and the European Commission to strictly impose the same sanctions on Belarus that they have imposed on Russia. They also encourage the EU institutions to support Belarusian independent news outlets such as Nexta . and call for more systematic cooperation between the EU and representatives of Belarusian democratic forces.
The resolution was adopted by show of hands. For more details, it will be available in full here. (24.11.2022)
Forced displacement of people as a result of escalating conflict in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
MEPs express their deep concern regarding the escalation of violence and the alarming and deteriorating humanitarian situation in the DRC, caused by the armed conflicts in the eastern provinces. They denounce the full range of threats and human rights violations and abuses, particularly experienced by women and girls, who are often specifically targeted.
Parliament strongly condemns the ongoing brutal aggressions of armed groups and calls for the M23 armed group to withdraw from its positions and disarm. They urge Rwanda not to support M23 rebels, and all governments concerned to ensure that any political settlement does not include an amnesty for those responsible for grave international crimes.The international community should take concrete actions to stop the ongoing violence by supporting the regional mediation Luanda process, MEPs add.
The resolution calls for the EU and its member states to impose sanctions against perpetrators of human rights violations in Eastern DRC, provide humanitarian aid to the region, and continue increasing its development and humanitarian funding for the country.
More than 232 000 civilians have been displaced in the Eastern Region, and 2.4 million Congolese children under the age of five suffer from global acute malnutrition. An estimated 7.5 million people are currently in need of assistance with no access to water and sanitation.
The resolution was adopted by 546 votes in favour, 2 against with 24 abstentions. For further details, the full version will be available here. (24/11/22)
Snježana KOBEŠĆAK SMODIŠPress Officer