The European Parliament adopted three resolutions on the human rights breaches in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Egypt.
Human rights situation in Afghanistan, in particular the persecution of former government officials
European Parliament strongly denounces the severe human rights violations in Afghanistan and warns that since the Taliban takeover of the country the frequency of human rights abuses has risen exponentially in the country. This includes the staggering oppression of women and girls, a policy of gender apartheid and the targeting of civil society organisations and human rights defenders.
MEPs call on Afghanistan’s de facto authorities to fully enforce their publically announced commitment to a general amnesty of former government officials and former National Security Forces members who are being subjected to arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture. They also demand reversing severe restrictions on the rights of women and girls in line with Afghanistan’s international obligations.
The Parliament also condemns the Taliban for their brutal persecution of Christians and other religious minorities as part of efforts to eradicate them from the country. MEPs call on the EU and member states to step up their support for Afghan civil society including by funding specific assistance and protection programmes for human rights defenders.
The text was adopted by 519 votes in favour, 15 against and 18 abstentions. It will be available in full here. (05.10.2023)
Egypt, in particular the sentencing of Hisham Kassem
MEPs demand the immediate and unconditional release of Hisham Kassem, sentenced in September to six months in prison and a fine on a charge of defamation and slander for an online post criticising former Egyptian minister Abu Eita. They urge Egyptian authorities to drop all politically motivated charges against him and call on the EU delegation and member states representatives to visit him in prison.
Ahead of the December 2023 presidential election in Egypt, Mr. Kassem has played a pivotal role in founding the Free Current, a coalition of liberal opposition parties and personalities.
MEPs underline the importance of holding credible, free and fair elections in Egypt and urge authorities to stop the harassment of peaceful opposition figures, including aspiring presidential candidates like former parliamentarian Ahmed El Tantawy,
MEPs also call on the Egyptian authorities to uphold the rule of law, freedom of expression, press, media and association and an independent judiciary. They demand the release of tens of thousands of prisoners arbitrarily detained for peacefully expressing their opinion.
The text was adopted by 379 votes in favour, 30 against and 31 abstentions. It will be available in full here. (05.10.2023)
The case of Zarema Musaeva in Chechnya
MEPs strongly condemn the kidnapping and politically-motivated detention of Zarema Musaeva, urging the Chechen authorities to immediately release her and provide her with proper medical care.
Ms. Musaeva, (the wife of former Chechen Supreme Court judge Saidi Yangulbaev and mother of human rights defender Abubakar and opposition bloggers Ibrahim and Baysangur Yangulbaev), was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of fraud and assaulting the authorities. MEPs consider this a retaliation for the legitimate human rights work and political views of her sons.
Condemning the brutal attacks on and repression of civil society, media and opposition in Chechnya, MEPs want the authorities to immediately end all forms of harassment. The Chechen government should conduct a transparent and thorough investigation into these attacks and hold those responsible accountable.
The resolution adopted by MEPs calls on the international community and the EU to respond to the extremely worrying human rights breach in Russia and in particular in Chechnya, and increase assistance to Chechen political prisoners and dissidents.
The text was adopted by 502 votes in favour, 13 against and 28 abstentions. It will be available in full here. (05.10.2023)