Human Rights: breaches in Cambodia, Uganda and Myanmar

Myanmar 2018

UNHCR/Saiful Huq Omi After fleeing violence in Myanmar in October 2016, Rohingya refugees live in overcrowded makeshift sites in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

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

MEPs condemn arrests and trumped-up charges against opposition politicians and journalists in Cambodia, Uganda and Myanmar.

Cambodia must drop all charges against opposition politician Kem Sokha

Following widespread and systematic repression of the political opposition and electoral rights in Cambodia, the European Parliament urges its government to put an end to all forms of harassment and politically-motivated charges and rulings against politicians, human rights defenders, trade unionists, civil society activists and journalists. Parliament also expresses its serious concerns over the conduct and results of the 2018 elections, which failed to produce a credible process, and underlines that this electoral procedure cannot be considered free and fair.

MEPs demand that the Cambodian authorities drop all charges against prominent opposition leader Kem Sokha, and call for his immediate and full release from house arrest. This also goes for all other politicians, including Sam Rainsy, who have been charged, detained or imprisoned for the same reasons.

Parliament also asks the European External Action Service and the European Commission to compile a list of individuals responsible for the dissolution of the Cambodian opposition and other serious human rights violations in the country, with the aim of imposing possible visa restrictions and asset freezes on them.

The resolution was approved by a show of hands.

Uganda: end arrests of opposition MPs and ensure national assembly’s independence

MEPs expresses deep concern at the arrests of opposition parliamentarians in connection with the 15 August municipality elections in Arua in north-west Uganda, which was marked by violence.They also call on the Ugandan authorities to drop what appear to be trumped-up charges against independent parliamentarian, musician and government critic Bobi Wine, and to stop the crackdown against the political opposition and supporters.

Parliament stresses that it is vital for Ugandan democracy that the President and the government respect the independence of the country’s Parliament and the free and elected mandate of its members. The resolution also notes with concern that journalists covering recent political demonstrations and riots have been beaten along with participants, and calls on Ugandan security forces to show restraint when policing protests, to desist from using live bullets and to act lawfully with full respect for human rights.

The text was approved by a show of hands.

Myanmar

After the Myanmar authorities’ arrests on 12 December 2017 of the two Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were investigating the massacre of the Rohingya people, MEPs demand the overturn of their seven-year prison sentences and their immediate release.

They repeat their strong condemnation of the attacks by the Myanmar military on the Rohingya population, which according to the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar amount to war crimes and genocide, and urge the country’s government to allow full and unhindered access to the Rakhine State for international observers, media and humanitarian relief organisation.

The resolution also calls on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court without delay for a full investigation of human rights violations and reiterates the need to impose a global comprehensive arms embargo on the country.

The resolution was approved by a show of hands.

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