PLENARY SESSIONPress release -Humanitarian aid/Development and cooperation/External relations−19-01-2017 - 12:27
Parliament condemns growing intolerance towards ethnic, religious and sexual minorities in Indonesia, attacks against peacekeepers in Central African Republic and breaches of human rights in Burundi, in three resolutions voted on Thursday.
Indonesia: the cases of Hosea Yeimo, Ismael Alua and the Governor of Jakarta
The European Parliament expresses deep concern about the case brought against the Governor of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok, who was charged with blasphemy on 16 November 2016 in connection with a reference he made to a Qur’an verse during a campaign speech in late September 2016. If convicted, Ahok could face up to five years’ imprisonment under Indonesia’s blasphemy law.
MEPs welcome the recent release on bail of Papuan political activists Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua, who were detained and charged with “rebellion” under the Indonesian Criminal Code, following peaceful political activities during which at least 528 people, including children, were arrested on 19 December 2016 in cities across Indonesia. Legal proceedings of the case continue and if convicted, they could face up to life imprisonment.
MEPs call on the authorities of Indonesia to drop all charges against all Papuan activists charged solely for peacefully exercising their human right to freedom of expression. They are concerned about the growing intolerance towards ethnic, religious and sexual minorities in Indonesia and call upon its authorities to bring all its laws, including its “blasphemy laws” and “rebellion laws”, into conformity with its obligations under international human rights law.
Attacks against peacekeepers in Central African Republic
The European Parliament strongly condemns violations of international human rights in the Central African Republic (CAR), including arbitrary killings, sexual violence, inhuman treatment and aggression against civilians and peacekeepers, as well as the loss of livelihood and property. They call on the CAR government to launch “prompt and impartial investigations” into such cases and to prosecute those responsible appropriately.
Parliament welcomes the efforts of CAR President Touadéra and his government to foster peace and reconciliation in the country, against a backdrop of long-term underdevelopment, fragility and several years of armed conflict. MEPs encourage the government to intensify its peacebuilding efforts, in particular through dialogue with the armed groups SSR and DDRR.
MEPs further commend the authorities for their efforts in enhancing credibility and transparency, after the peaceful holding of combined elections on 14 February 2016 in the CAR. They note that this peaceful election procedure, as well as significant voter turnout, constitute “real successes for the political transition process”.
Human rights violations in Burundi
MEPs express deep concern over the worsening political and security situation in Burundi, condemning the violence taking place there since 2015. They call for perpetrators to be brought to justice through a thorough and independent inquiry into widespread abuses, which include death, torture, targeted violence against women, such as collective rape, harassment and imprisonment of thousands of people, forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Burundians, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions.
The European Parliament is very worried by the passing of two laws, on 23 and 28 December 2016, which impose tighter controls on both domestic and international NGOs in the country. As a result of these laws, the human rights organisation Ligue Iteka has been banned from operating in Burundi.
Parliament urges the Burundian authorities to reconsider the decision to adopt these laws, and reminds them of their obligations to guarantee, protect and promote the fundamental rights of citizens as per the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.