EU Parliament condemned multiple human rights breaches that have occurred in recent days in three separate resolutions voted yesterday (6 October) – acts of intimidation, arrest, detention and prosecution of opposition party leaders and activists in Rwanda, the ongoing indiscriminate bombing of civilians and human rights breaches in Sudan, and the guilty verdict against worker’s rights defender Andy Hall in Thailand.
In Rwanda, the EU expressed its concern at the Rwandan Supreme Court’s denial of appeal and judgment, sentencing Victoire Ingabire to 15 years’ imprisonment and at the worsening conditions of her detention. In 2012, Ms Ingabire, President of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF), was accused of conspiracy to harm the authorities using terrorism and of minimizing the 1994 genocide. The Parliament believes that Rwanda’s authorities should make sure that Ms Ingabire’s appeal process is fair and free of intimidation, arrest, detention or prosecution of opposition party leaders.
Regarding Sudan, MEPs are concerned that the Sudanese government’s bombing of civilians and the use of chemical weapons against them in the Jebel Marra areas are a “serious violation of international norms and also a war crime”. Brussels reiterated its deep concern at unlawful killings, abductions and sexual violence in the conflict areas, most notably Darfur. The EU has called for an immediate end to the aerial bombardment, arbitrary arrests and detention of activists.
As to Thailand, the EU said that it deeply regretted the guilty verdict against Andy Hall, an EU citizen, who was sentenced to a 3-year jail term after he had contributed to a report by Finnish NGO Finnwatch exposing human rights violations in a Thai pineapple processing plant. The Parliament has also called on the Thai government to ensure that human rights including the right to free trial are guaranteed for human rights activists including Andy Hall.