MEPs react to breaches of human rights in Moldova, Burundi and Somalia

 

Somalia 2018

AMISOM/Ilyas Ahmed Ethiopian soldiers with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), after a battle with Al-Shabaab militants on 9 June 2016 in Halgan village, Hiran region, Somalia.

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

MEPs condemn the lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law in Moldova, Burundi and Somalia, in resolutions voted last Thursday.

Moldova: MEPs appeal for the respect of rule of law and democracy

MEPs condemn the decision of the Supreme Court of Moldova to invalidate the results of the election for the Mayor of Chișinău, on the grounds that both candidates, who on the day of the election used social media to encourage people to vote, broke the electoral law.

They share the demands of thousands of people protesting in the streets of Chișinău to respect the will of voters and call on the Moldovan authorities to reform the judiciary system, in order to prevent the situation from escalating further.

The resolution stresses that the decision to invalidate the vote does not respect democratic mechanisms, and therefore calls on the European Commission to suspend any foreseen payments of macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Moldova.

The resolution was passed with 343 votes to 35, with 160 abstentions.

Burundi should guarantee freedom of expression and plurality of the media

MEPs denounce the intimidation, repression and the harassment of journalists and human rights defenders, and urge Burundian authorities to guarantee the respect of the rule of law and human rights, such as the right of freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

They demand an end to any further payments to the Burundian troops engaged in UN and AU peacekeeping missions, which have been used by the government to conceal domestic problems in the country.

The European Parliament appeals to governments in the region to ensure that the return of refugees is voluntary, based on informed decisions and carried out in safety and dignity. 413 000 people have fled the country since the President announced that he will run for a third term.

The resolution was adopted by show of hands.

Somalia: more needs to be done on human rights

MEPs recognise the progress made by the Federal Government of Somalia, since it took power in 2012, but stress the need for a universal suffrage system to be in place for the next elections, and the importance of ending violations of human rights, which are widespread in the country and target women, children and minorities in particular.

They urge the Somali authorities to step up their efforts towards strengthening the rule of law, to stop the intimidation of journalists and human rights defenders, allow unions to be set up, and to investigate and punish those perpetrating violations of human rights.

MEPs appeal to the Somali President to commute pending death penalty sentences and review the penal code, to align the country’s legislation to its international obligations on human rights, and to treat child soldiers as victims of terrorism and war, rather than perpetrators.

The resolution was adopted by show of hands.

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