On Thursday, Parliament adopted three resolutions on violations of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, the situation in Kazakhstan, and the political crisis in Sudan.
Violation of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong
Parliament condemns in the strongest terms the deterioration of human rights in Hong Kong, including severe restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of association and press freedom. MEPs call on the Hong Kong government to release all political prisoners and drop charges against all peaceful protesters arrested in recent years.
They urge the Chinese authorities to repeal the National Security Law as they consider it a breach of China’s international commitments and obligations. MEPs note the increasing attempts by the Chinese Government to legitimise its authoritarian system internally and externally, and call on the Hong Kong and Macao authorities to fully respect the rule of law, human rights, democratic principles and the high degree of autonomy under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. Parliament deeply regrets recent modifications to Hong Kong’s electoral law and the arrest and harassment of representatives of its pro-democratic opposition.
MEPs urge the Council to introduce targeted sanctions against Hong Kong and Chinese officials responsible for the ongoing human rights crackdown, as well as against companies complicit in these violations. They ask for a diplomatic and political boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
The text was adopted by 585 votes in favour, 46 against and 41 abstentions. For further details, the full version of the report will be available here. (20.01.2022)
The situation in Kazakhstan
Strongly denouncing the widespread acts of violence that followed the peaceful protests in Kazakhstan that began on 2 January, Parliament urges Kazakh authorities to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and immediately release arbitrarily detained demonstrators and activists.
Condemning President Tokayev’s inflammatory rhetoric, including his general portrayal of the protesters as ‘terrorists’, MEPs want the Kazakh authorities to refrain from bringing forward terrorism charges ‘on the basis of overly broad interpretations of the term’ and to distinguish between peaceful protesters and those using violence and committing crimes.
Parliament demands a proper international investigation into the crimes committed against the people of Kazakhstan. It also urges the Kazakh government to consider setting up a permanent working group under the OSCE’s auspices to assess whether the unrest was a result of foreign interference or internal power struggles, and to address the root cause of the unrest.
Noting President Tokayev’s announcement of socioeconomic and political reforms, MEPs encourage the government to improve citizens’ living standards and tackle discontent. According to MEPs, Kazakhstan needs urgent reforms to fight corruption and reduce rising inequality.
The text was adopted by 589 votes in favour, 35 against and 47 abstentions. For further details, the full version of the report will be available here. (20.01.2022)
Political crisis in Sudan
Parliament deplores the killing of scores of Sudanese protestors and the injuring of hundreds more, including using sexual violence, by the country’s security services and other armed groups in the wake of the military coup of 25 October 2021.
Underlining the importance of re-establishing the right of the Sudanese people to assemble and exercise their fundamental rights for democracy, MEPs condemn October’s coup and demand the Sudanese military leadership to urgently recommit to the country’s democratic transition and deliver on the Sudanese people’s demands for freedom, peace and justice.
Parliament strongly supports efforts by the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) to facilitate talks to resolve the political crisis and calls on all Sudanese political actors to engage in this dialogue to restart the transition to civilian rule.
MEPs underline the need for continued EU assistance in the provision of basic services such as health and education, while calling for an EU-wide ban on the export, sale, update and maintenance of any form of security equipment that can be or is used for internal repression, including internet surveillance technology.
The text was adopted by 629 votes in favour, 30 against and 31 abstentions. For further details, the full version of the report will be available here. (20.01.2022)