Human rights: breaches in Russia, the Rakhine State and Bahrain

Bahrain EU Barroso

H.E. Ambassador Ahmed Mohamed Yousif Aldoseri, Head of the Mission of Bahrain to the EU, on the right, and José Manuel Barroso. © European Union , 2012 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Georges Boulougouris.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

MEPs condemn detention of human rights defenders and breaches of free expression and assembly in Russia and Bahrain, and ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State.

Russia must free Oleg Sentsov and all other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens

As FIFA Football World Cup kicks off in Russia today, the European Parliament urges Russia to comply with its domestic and international obligations to ensure respect for human rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. It criticises the Russian law on “foreign agents”, under which NGOs and foreign media receiving foreign funds are subject to a high level of government scrutiny.

MEPs demand that the Russian authorities immediately and unconditionally release Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and more than 70 Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in Russia and on the Crimean peninsula.

They also condemn Russian violations of international law in occupied Crimea, including the enforcement of Russian legislation, heavy militarisation of the peninsula, and massive and systematic human rights violations. MEPs remind Russia that as an occupying power, it has an obligation to protect Crimean citizens from arbitrary judicial or administrative measures and ensure respect for their rights.

The resolution also calls on EU member states to remain firm and united in the implementation of the agreed sanctions against Russia and to prolong them.

The resolution was adopted by 485 votes to 76, with 66 abstentions.

Bahrain should stop military trials for civilians and the prosecution of human rights defenders

MEPs call on the Bahraini authorities to immediately release all human rights defenders imprisoned for their activities, and in particular Mr Nabeel Rajab, who has been sentenced to five years in prison for denouncing on Twitter the alleged torture in Bahrain’s Jaw Prison and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition air strikes in Yemen.

They also urge the Bahraini authorities to abide by international laws and guarantee human rights for prisoners, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly with a view to the upcoming elections, suspend military trials for civilians, and impose an an official moratorium for death sentences.

The resolution was adopted by 479 votes to 97, with 58 abstentions.

Rohingya refugees: Myanmar urged to stop the ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State

MEPs urge Myanmar authorities to stop their campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingyas, including the systematic burning of refugees’ homes and sexual violence against women and girls.

They also urge Myanmar and Bangladesh to ensure the safety of Rohingya refugees on their territories and to guarantee safe, voluntary and dignified return of those who want to go back to their land, in line with the non-refoulement principle.

The resolution calls on Myanmar and Bangladesh authorities to tackle forced prostitution, human trafficking, sexual violence, child marriage, partner violence and sexual exploitation and abuse in refugee camps. It also stress the importance of providing adequate education to children living in camps, in their own language.

The resolution was adopted by show of hands.

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