Human Rights breaches in Saudi Arabia, Chechnya and Zimbabwe

Fundamental rights

(Unsplash, 2019)

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


MEPs deplore the arrests of human rights defenders and violent attacks on civil society in Saudi Arabia, Chechnya and Zimbabwe.

Saudi Arabia must improve women’s rights

MEPs condemn the situation of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and express their concern over the government web services used by men to track women. By using these internet-based applications, male guardians can specify when and how women can cross Saudi borders and receive an SMS update when they travel.

Despite a reform agenda to transform the country economically and socially also through women’s empowerment, and the lifting of the driving ban for women inside the Kingdom, the Saudi political and social system remains discriminatory, effectively making women second-class citizens. MEPs note that male guardians still need to authorise women’s international travel, access to healthcare services, choice of residence and marriage. MEPs urge the Saudi government to immediately abolish the male guardianship system.

MEPs criticise the recently adopted law by which Saudi women can be notified by text message if they are divorced. They emphasise that this law does not address the fact that Saudi women can only obtain divorces in limited cases, such as with their husband’s consent or if he has harmed her.

They also ask for women’s rights activists and defenders Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, Samar Badawi, Nassima al-Sada, Israa al-Ghomgham, her husband Mousa al-Hashim, and their four co-defendants Ahmed al-Matrood, Ali Ouwaisher, Khalid al-Ghanim and Mujtaba al-Muzain, as well as the Saudi blogger and Sakharov Prize laureate Raif Badawi, to be released.

MEPs call on the Saudi authorities to introduce an immediate moratorium on the death penalty, which is still used to punish non-violent offences, such as drug smuggling, treason, adultery and apostasy. They note that between 2014 and 2017, the average number of executions per year was at least 126.

The resolution was adopted by 517 votes in favour, 10 against, with 70 abstentions.

Chechnya must immediately release human rights defender Oyub Titiev

Chechnya has experienced a dramatic deterioration in the human rights situation over the last few years. MEPs urge its authorities and Russia to stop harrassing and persecuting its citizens, and to end the climate of impunity which deters victims from seeking justice for fear of retaliation.

The Parliament also calls on Russian authorities to repeal the laws severely restricting NGOs‘ ability to work independently and effectively. Under the 2012 law on “foreign agents”, Russia designated “Memorial” (2009 Sakharov Prize winner), the last remaining active human rights organisations in Chechnya, as a “foreign agent”. MEPs call for Memorial’s director Oyub Titiev’s immediate release. He is prosecuted on fabricated evidence of illegal acquisition and possession of drugs. The European Commission, European External Action Service and EU states are expected to closely monitor his trial which should take place by mid February 2019.

The resolution calls on international sports personalities and artists to refrain from participating in public events in Chechnya or those sponsored by its leadership.

The resolution was approved by a show of hands.

Zimbabwe must stop the systematic torture used by soldiers and police

The situation of human rights in Zimbabwe remains critical. Rising poverty and declining living standards are pushing the country to the brink. Between 14 and 18 January 2019, Zimbabwe witnessed a surge in demonstrations, following an 150% increase in fuel prices. Moreover, the outcome of the first presidential and parliamentary elections held in the country on July 2018 resulted in an outbreak of post electoral violence. MEPs condemn the excessive violence used by police to suppress the riots.

They denounce the fact that the soldiers and the police used systematic torture. During the protests, “more than 17 people were killed and hundreds were injured, while around a thousand people were arrested, including children between 9 and 16 years old”, the report say. Cases of rape and destruction of property were also reported.

MEPs urge the government of Zimbabwe to immediately withdraw all military personnel and the youth militia who have been deployed across the country terrorising residents and in clear violation of the Zimbabwean Constitution. They also call on the Zimbabwean authorities to “undertake a prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigation into allegations of human rights violations and abuses, including rape and sexual violence by security forces and bring those responsible to justice”.

The resolution was approved by a show of hands.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European Parliament approves new copyright rules for the internet

Under fire, UN refugee agency evacuates 135 detained in Libya to Niger

Building a stronger Europe: new initiatives to further boost role of youth, education and culture policies

Switzerland has the most highly skilled workers in the world. This is why

Trust is at breaking point. It’s time to rebuild it

World Health Organisation and medical students: is there any room for improvement?

This Canadian company transforms plastic waste into building materials

South Eurozone countries threatened by rising borrowing cost and expensive euro

Why we need a Paris Agreement for nature

The global liberal order is in trouble – can it be salvaged, or will it be replaced?

AI can help us unlock the world’s most complex operating system – the human body

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

Africa is aiming to create the world’s largest trading bloc. It won’t succeed without women

World Bank President steps down, Chief Executive assumes temporary role

A ‘charismatic leader’ dedicated to making the world a better place for all: officials bid farewell to former UN chief Kofi Annan

Mergers: Commission approves Worldline’s acquisition of Ingenico, subject to conditions

EU Summit: Why was Poland isolated in opposing Tusk and the ‘multi speed’ Europe

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

More international support needed to curb deadly measles outbreak in DR Congo

COVID-19 Update: Solidarity and Joint Efforts Shall be the Main Theme For China and Europe in the Fight Against the Outbreak

Parliament backs measures to cut e-commerce VAT fraud

Can Southeast Asia keep up with growing energy demand?

Why helping cross-border commuters is key to fighting COVID-19

‘Well-being of two million’ in Gaza at stake as emergency fuel runs dry: UN humanitarian coordinator

Plans to keep EU budget funding in 2020 in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Investment Plan for Europe: European Investment Bank to provide BioNTech with up to €100 million in debt financing for COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing

Eurobarometer: protecting human rights tops citizens’ list of EU values

UN News Daily #UNGA Guide: Mandela Peace Summit, Global Goals, Youth and Yemen

First EU collective redress mechanism to protect consumers

Egypt urged to free prominent couple jailed arbitrarily since last June: UN rights office

FIAT Chrysler: from Geneva Motor show to the World, and back

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

Making the move to more sustainable mobility – three steps for companies

How to get ageing populations to invest in their health

ZTE @ MWC14: ZTE excels in all areas at this year’s Mobile World Congress

How our food system is eating away at nature, and our future

Libya: Security Council demands commitment to ‘a lasting ceasefire’

Yemen hospital airstrike under investigation amid resurgence of deadly cholera

The middle-class dream is moving beyond millennial reach

The EU checks the multinationals for tax fraud but Britain may sail out of the EU via Panama

Parliament to allow COVID-19 vaccines to be developed more quickly

Trump’s Russian affair spills over and upsets Europe

Lack of access to clean water, toilets puts children’s education at risk, says UN

Our food system is pushing nature to the brink. Here’s what we need to do

UN anti-corruption body in Guatemala rebuts government’s reasons for expulsion order

Tackling youth unemployment through the eyes of a European entrepreneur

UN experts warn Assange arrest exposes him to risk of serious human rights violations

“China is the only BRICS country to have either met or possibly slightly surpassed my expectations”, BRICS inventor Jim O’ Neil from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

The latest emoji are more inclusive – but who approves them?

Will France vote for more or less Europe in the next presidential elections?

Young activists do the talking as UN marks World Children’s Day

‘Never give up’: UN chief urges all who serve, marking UN Day

This is why Denmark, Sweden and Germany are considering a meat tax

Monsanto lawsuit ruling a ‘significant recognition’ of victims’ human rights, say UN rights experts

The vehicles of our future

Does EURES really exist?

High internet taxes are restricting access and slowing economic growth

Canada has high levels of well-being and solid growth but trade tensions and housing market pose risks while inclusiveness could be improved

5 ways companies can support their remote workforce

Security Council marks transition from 15 years of UN peacekeeping in Haiti

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s