The government of Rwanda has to immediately release a Rwandan opposition leader, Paul Rusesabagina, held in prison after being kidnapped, detained in abusive conditions, denied of legal representation and fair trial, and unjustly condemned to 25 years and to ensure his safe return to his country of residence, The European Parliament representatives (MEPs) has concluded.
The conclusion was reached following a plenary debate on Thursday October 7, 2021 by MEPs. The MEPs adopted a resolution against the actions of the Rwandan government, by 660 votes in favour, 2 against, and 18 abstentions.
The resolution and conclusion, a copy of which was obtained by AfroAmerica Network, is under reference P9_TA(2021)0418, and is titled: "Le cas de Paul Rusesabagina au Rwanda. Résolution du Parlement européen du 7 octobre 2021 sur le cas de Paul Rusesabagina au Rwanda (2021/2906(RSP))" or "The case of Paul Rusesabagina in Rwanda. European Parliament resolution of 7 October 2021 on the case of Paul Rusesabagina in Rwanda (2021/2906 (RSP)"".
Appaling Human Rights Abuses in Rwanda
In the resolution, the European parliament condemned the Rwandan Government for graves human rights violations, arbitrary arrestations and fallacious accusations of opposition leaders and government critics, disappearances, abuses in secret detentions and other grave violations, against African and international agreements and statutes.
Specifically, in the resolution, the European Parliament MEPs stated the following:
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Article 7: Deplores the overall human rights situation in Rwanda and, in particular, the targeted persecution of dissenting voices; condemns politically motivated prosecutions and the prosecution of political opponents; urges the Rwandan authorities to guarantee the separation of powers, and in particular the independence of the judiciary;
Article 8. Calls on the European External Action Service, the Commission and the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights to strengthen the dialogue on human rights at the highest level with Rwanda as specified under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement so that the country respects its bilateral and international commitments; stresses that, in the context of international development work in Rwanda, much higher priority should be given to human rights, the rule of law and transparent and responsive governance;
Article 9. Calls on the Commission to undertake a critical review of the support provided by the European Union to the Rwandan government and Rwandan public institutions in order to ensure that it fully promotes human rights and does not no negative repercussions on freedoms of expression and association, political pluralism, respect for the rule of law and independent civil society;
Article 10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for human rights, to the President of the Republic of Rwanda, to the Speaker of the Rwandan Parliament as well as to the African Union and its institutions.
European Union Condemnation of the Rwandan Govenment for Human Rights Abuses: A First
It is the fist time the European Parlement has taken such an unequivocal position against the Rwandan government. The Rwandan government is widely known as one of the most human rights abusing governments on the African continent and often criticized by International organizations, human rights organizations and activists, and independent medias for kidnappings, disappearances, assassinations, and war crimes, including genocides (See United Nations 2011 Mapping Report: France-Africa Summit: Rwandan Paul Kagame warns the United States and The European Union against Giving him Lessons on Justice and Fairness and Rejects UN Mapping Report)
The Rwandan government is led by General Paul Kagame, one of the most brutal dictators in Africa (see Africa: African Dictators of 2021; 3 Down, More to Go)
What is next?
Will Rwandan Government release Paul Rusesabagina (and other numerous political prisonners held in Rwanda prisons and secret safe houses, and torture cells) and Will European Union Sanctions against the Rwandan government be implemented, and if so, when?
AfroAmerica Network is still following the story and checking with sources close to the Euopean Union parliament .
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