Torture and criminal prosecution of Ukrainian minors Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov by the Russian Federation
Parliament demands that the proceedings against Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov should end and the charges against them be dismissed. The two Ukrainian were teenagers detained last year and accused by Russian authorities of allegedly planning to damage railway infrastructure in Berdiansk. MEPs urge the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to facilitate the safe return of the two jailed minors, who have been subjected to beatings and electroshock torture and face up to 20 years in prison.
Parliament calls for the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children to investigate their case and demands that those responsible for prosecuting the two teenagers be included on the EU sanctions list. Additionally, they ask for the release of all Ukrainian citizens unlawfully detained by Russia.
MEPs also condemn Russia for deporting children to Russian or Belarusian territory, illegal adoptions and so-called “re-education” measures. They call again for an EU-Ukraine Child Protection Package for children fleeing or affected by the war and for the EU to intensify its commitment to preventing and ending grave violations against children in war zones.
The resolution was adopted by 425 votes in favour, 3 against and 15 abstentions. For more details, the full text will be available here. (15.06.2023)
Sudan: MEPs call for peace and humanitarian support
MEPs strongly condemn the continued fighting between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Force (RSF). They deplore the conflict’s numerous violations of international humanitarian law, including the disruption of humanitarian aid, the recruitment of children and the deliberate targeting of civilians. The EU and its member states should urgently consider sanctioning those responsible for ongoing human rights abuses in Sudan through the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, MEPs say.
The resolution urges all sides to immediately cease the military hostilities that are responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, and to negotiate a peace agreement. MEPs call on the EU and its member states to support efforts to ensure that a civilian-led government will be established through a series of democratic reforms after a peace agreement is reached.
Parliament urges the fighting parties in Sudan to allow for unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, and calls on all factions to help establish corridors for the provision of basic public services. The EU and its member states should also be prepared to offer any humanitarian assistance necessary to those affected by the conflict, including by issuing emergency travel documentation to those seeking refuge abroad.
The resolution was adopted with 477 votes in favour, 3 against and 43 abstentions. The full text will be available here (14.06.2023).
Deterioration of fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong
Parliament urges the Hong Kong government to immediately release and drop all charges against pro-democratic representatives and activists, including prominent businessman and politician Jimmy Lai, who has been detained since February 2021 on trumped-up charges and accused of collusion with foreign forces and fraud on the grounds of the National Security Law. MEPs call on the European External Action Service and the EU Office in Hong Kong to step up their trial observations, report on the most prominent trials and request prison visits to Hongkongers in jail for exercising their basic rights. They also reiterate their call on all EU member states to suspend any extradition treaties with Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China.
Parliament reiterates its call on the EU to introduce targeted sanctions against all officials from Hong Kong and China responsible for the ongoing human rights crackdown in the city, including Chief Executive John Lee, and condemns the attempts made by Chinese authorities to target their diaspora communities in the EU. Finally, Parliament calls on the Chinese authorities to repeal the National Security Law and to stop impeding the work of journalists.
The resolution notes that fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and the judiciary’s independence have alarmingly deteriorated in Hong Kong since the Chinese regime imposed its National Security Law in 2020, in clear breach of the so-called “One Country Two Systems” principle.
The resolution was adopted by 483 votes in favour, 9 against and 42 abstentions. For more details, the full text will be available here (15.06.2023).