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Plenary highlights: Sakharov Prize, EU Ombudsman, pollinators

Uyghur scholar and human rights activist Ilham Tohti was awarded the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought during a ceremony on Wednesday 18 December. As Tohti is currently imprisoned for life in China on separatism-related charges, his daughter Jewher Ilham accepted the award on his behalf. Following a debate about China's repression of the Uyghurs, MEPs called for Tohti and Uyghur prisoners to be released from jail immediately, in a resolution adopted on Thursday. Emily O’Reilly has been re-elected as European…

Italy: EU provides EUR 45m to develop Port of Trieste

EUR 39m loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and EUR 6.5m in funds from the European Commission via the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) 70 km of track within the port connecting the docks to the national and international rail network During project implementation 400 extra jobs per year will be created The European Union is supporting the development of the Port of Trieste with new funding worth EUR 45.5m. The EIB today signed a EUR 39m loan with the Eastern Adriatic Sea Port Authority, which will also receive EUR…

Press release – Human Rights breaches in Russia, Afghanistan and Burkina Faso

Russia MEPs call on the Russian authorities to immediately repeal the country’s law on ‘foreign agents’ and to bring existing legislation into line with Russia’s constitution and obligations under international law. This law from 2012 requires the country’s non-governmental organisations to register with the Ministry of Justice as ‘organisations performing the functions of foreign agents’ if they receive foreign funding or are engaged in vaguely described ‘political…

Press release – MEPs condemn violent crackdown on the recent protests in Iran

At least 304 people have been killed, with many more wounded and thousands arrested after “tens of thousands of people from all over Iran and representing all segments of society have exercised their fundamental right to freedom of assembly.... in the largest-scale unrest in 40 years”, warn MEPs in the resolution adopted on Thursday by show of hands. Nationwide protests in Iran started on 15 November, after the government announced a 50 percent increase in the price of fuel. The authorities have reacted in an…

Press release – Nicaragua: MEPs demand an end to repression of political opponents

In a resolution adopted on Thursday, MEPs urge the Nicaraguan government to end the persistent repression of dissent, torture and sexual violence against the political opposition. They also call on the Nicaraguan authorities to immediately release all those arbitrarily detained and dismantle the paramilitary forces operating in the country. The text, adopted by 560 votes to 12, with 43 abstentions, further condemns the Nicaraguan government’s lack of willingness to relaunch a meaningful internal dialogue with the…

Press release – China must close its “re-education camps” for Uyghurs in Xinjiang, MEPs say

MEPs strongly condemn that hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs are being sent to political “re-education camps” based on a system of predictive policing, in a resolution adopted on Thursday. They urge the Chinese government to immediately end the practice of arbitrary detentions without any charge, trial or conviction for criminal offence and to immediately and unconditionally release all detained persons, including this year’s laureate of the Sakharov Prize, Ilham Tohti. Mass internment and…

Spain: EIB grants EUR 57.5m to Vitalia Home to build 19 retirement homes

The centres will provide some 3 200 residential places and more than 500 daycare places Employment impact: the agreement will help create almost 1 400 jobs The project will help to develop the “Homes to live in with gardens ” residential model for integrated people-centred care Climate action: the buildings for the new centres will be energy efficient with near-zero energy consumption The investment is being supported by the Juncker Plan The European Investment Bank (EIB) is helping to improve elderly care…

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