In three resolutions voted on March 10, the European Parliament condemned the deteriorating climate for the media and free speech in Kazakhstan, as well as the torture and assassination under suspicious circumstances of EU citizen Giulio Regeni in Egypt, and the worsening security and human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to a European Parliament press release, MEPs are deeply concerned about the climate for the media and free speech in Kazakhstan, where strong pressure on independent media outlets includes some being closed down.
“Freedom of speech for independent media, bloggers and individual citizens is a universal value that cannot be bargained away,” said MEPs in their resolution. They stressed the Kazakh authorities should “ensure that any measure to restrict access to internet resources is based on law”.
As regards the torture and assassination of Regeni, a 28-year-old Italian doctoral student at Cambridge University, the MEPs condemned the incident. According to their resolution, this “is not an isolated incident but occurred within a context of torture, death in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt in recent years”.
In their third resolution, the MEPs expressed grave concern about the deteriorating security and human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where since January 2015 Congolese security and intelligence officials have clamped down on peaceful activists, political leaders and others who oppose attempts to allow President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, to amend the constitution to enable him to stay in power beyond his constitutionally-mandated two-term limit.
The government is “responsible for preventing any deepening of the current political crisis or escalation of violence and to respect, protect and promote the civil and political rights of its citizens,” they said.