violations of human rights in russia, sudan & hong kong
Three resolutions on the respect for human rights by Russia, Sudan, and Hong Kong were adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday.
Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov, two minor Ukrainians, were subjected to torture and criminal prosecution by the Russian Federation.
The charges against Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov must be dropped, as demanded by the legislature, and the case against them must be closed. The two Ukrainian teenagers were detained by Russian authorities last year on suspicion of plotting to destroy Berdiansk’s railway infrastructure. The two juvenile detainees, who have endured beatings and electroshock torture and could spend up to 20 years in prison, are being held in custody, and MEPs are pleading with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help ensure their safe return.
In addition to requesting an investigation into their case by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, Parliament also demands that those responsible for the two teenagers’ criminal prosecutions be added to the EU sanctions list. They also demand the release of every Ukrainian citizen wrongfully detained by Russia.
Additionally, MEPs denounce Russia for its so-called “re-education” programs, illegal adoptions, and sending kids to Belarus or Russia. They reiterate their calls for the creation of an EU-Ukraine Child Protection Package for children fleeing or impacted by the conflict as well as for the EU to step up its efforts to prevent and put an end to serious abuses of children in conflict areas.
With 425 votes in favor, 3 votes against, and 15 abstentions, the resolution was approved.
MEPs urge humanitarian aid and peace in Sudan-
The ongoing conflict between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Force (RSF) is strongly denounced by MEPs. They criticize the conflict’s numerous transgressions of international humanitarian law, such as the stoppage of aid, the enlistment of minors, and the blatant disregard for civilians. According to MEPs, the EU and its member states should immediately consider using the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime to sanction those in Sudan who continue to violate human rights.
The resolution calls on all parties to begin peace talks and to immediately halt military hostilities that have killed thousands of unarmed civilians. To ensure that a civilian-led government will be established through some democratic reforms after a peace agreement is reached, MEPs call on the EU and its member states to support efforts in this area.
The Sudanese conflicting parties are urged by the parliament to permit unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, and they are also urged to establish corridors for the delivery of fundamental public services. The EU and its member states should be ready to provide whatever humanitarian aid is required to those impacted by the conflict, including providing emergency travel documents to those looking for asylum abroad.
Loss of fundamental freedoms and Rights in Hong Kong-
Parliament calls on the Hong Kong government to free pro-democracy representatives and activists as soon as possible and to drop all charges against them. This includes Jimmy Lai, a well-known businessman, and politician who has been detained since February 2021 on fabricated charges and charged with fraud and collusion with foreign forces under the National Security Law.
The European Parliament requests that the European External Action Service and the EU Office in Hong Kong increase their trial observations, report on the most notable trials, and ask for prison visits for imprisoned Hongkongers for defending their fundamental rights. Additionally, they reaffirm their call for all EU members to halt extradition agreements with Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China.
The EU should impose targeted sanctions against all Hong Kong and Chinese officials, including Chief Executive John Lee, who are responsible for the city’s ongoing crackdown on human rights. The European Parliament also condemns any efforts made by Chinese authorities to single out their diaspora communities in the EU. Finally, the Parliament requests that the Chinese government revoke the National Security Law and stop hindering journalists’ ability to do their jobs.
The resolution notes that since the Chinese regime imposed its National Security Law in 2020, in flagrant violation of the so-called “One Country, Two Systems” principle, fundamental liberties, the rule of law, and the independence of the judiciary have alarmingly declined in Hong Kong.