Human rights breaches in Belarus, Tanzania and Tibet 

Press Releases 
  • The Belarus regime must release Mikalai Statkevich and all other political prisoners 
  • The Tanzanian government must halt its forcible evictions of Maasai communities 
  • Chinese authorities must immediately abolish the repressive boarding school system in Tibet 

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted three resolutions on the human rights situation in Belarus, Tanzania and Tibet.

The unknown status of Mikalai Statkevich and the recent attacks on the family members of Belarusian politicians and activists

Parliament demands the immediate and unconditional release of Mikalai Statkevich and all 1500 political prisoners in Belarus. A former presidential candidate and 2020 Sakharov Prize laureate, Mr Statkevich is serving a 14-year sentence based on politically motivated charges, with his health deteriorating due to being kept in solitary confinement. MEPs strongly condemn unjustified and politically motivated sentences orchestrated by the regime of Belarusian dictator Aliaksandr Lukashenka and insist that the country’s political prisoners must receive proper medical assistance and access to lawyers, family, diplomats and international organisations to have their status assessed. They also want the EU to increase pressure on the regime in Minsk through new sanctions and reiterate their call to prosecute those who have committed human rights violations and war crimes in Belarus.

The full resolution will be available here. It was adopted by 489 votes in favour, 7 against with 42 abstentions.

The Maasai communities in Tanzania

MEPs urge the Tanzanian government to immediately halt ongoing forcible evictions of Maasai communities in the country’s Ngorongoro District due to, among other reasons, plans to turn large parts of traditional grazing lands in the Loliondo Area into a game reserve. Pointing to the importance of guaranteeing the safe return of these communities, the resolution stresses their right to access to justice and for effective remedies for victims. Parliament also calls on the Tanzanian government to recognise and protect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, and to acknowledge the lands and resources that the Maasai communities have managed for generations and their role in maintaining wildlife and biodiversity. MEPs urge the Tanzanian government to allow UN and EU institutions observation visits to the concerned areas. They also call on the European Commission to report to the European Parliament on EU budget support programmes and other initiatives in Tanzania, with particular attention to projects dealing with biodiversity loss and climate change and to human rights safeguards.

For more details, the full text will be available here. The resolution was adopted by 493 votes in favour, 29 against with 17 abstentions.

The abduction of Tibetan children and forced assimilation practices through Chinese boarding schools in Tibet

Parliament strongly condemns the repressive assimilation policies in place throughout China, especially the boarding school system in Tibet that seeks to eliminate the distinct linguistic, cultural, and religious traditions among Tibetans and other minorities, such as Uyghurs. MEPs call for the immediate abolition of this authoritarian system imposed on children in Tibet and the practice of family separations as highlighted by United Nations experts, while urging the Chinese authorities to allow the establishment of private Tibetan schools. Arguing that efforts to forcibly assimilate Tibetan children violate international human rights law, the resolution welcomes the U.S. announcement to restrict visas on Chinese officials tied to the boarding school system in Tibet, with MEPs also urging the EU to adopt similar targeted sanctions. The text recalls the importance of the EU raising the issue of human rights violations in China, particularly the situation in Tibet, at every political and human rights dialogue with the Chinese authorities.

The full resolution will be available here. It was adopted by 477 votes in favour, 14 against with 45 abstentions.