Resolution on Tanzania  
2018/2969(RSP) - 13/12/2018  

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Tanzania.

The resolution was tabled by the EPP, S&D, ECR, ALDE, Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL, and EFDD groups.

Noting that since the election of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli in 2015, basic human rights in Tanzania have been undermined, Parliament expressed its concern about the deteriorating political situation in the country characterised by a shrinking of the public space through the tightening of restrictions on the activities of civil society organisations, human rights defenders, the media and many political parties. It called on the European Union Delegation and Member States to do all they can to provide emergency protection and support to human rights defenders at risk.

Members expressed particular worry about the deteriorating situation for LGBTI persons against whom there has been increasing stigmatisation, violence and targeted arrests. They pointed out that Tanzania’s anti-homosexuality law is among the harshest in the world, where same-sex relationships are criminal offences punishable by 30 years to life imprisonment. Calling on Tanzania to repeal laws criminalising homosexuality, Parliament reminded the Tanzanian Government of its obligation, including commitments made under the Cotonou Agreement, to protect the rights, dignity and physical integrity of all its citizens in all circumstances. It wanted to see independent investigations into cases of attacks and assaults on journalists, LGBTI people, human rights defenders and opposition party member. In this context, it urged the Tanzanian authorities to ensure that Paul Makonda, the regional commissioner of Dar Es Salaam, and a prominent advocate of the repression, ended his provocation against the LGBTI community and is brought to justice for incitement to violence. Members called on the Commission to ensure that an explicit reference to non-discrimination based on sexual orientation is included in the future ACP-EU partnership agreement post-2020.

Parliament also called on the Tanzanian authorities to amend all restrictive provisions in the Cybercrimes Act, the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations and the Media Services Act and replace these with provisions that will guarantee freedom of expression and the media in line with international human rights standards.

Members went on to call on the Tanzanian authorities to repeal laws, policies or other barriers to services and information that women, girls and young mothers need for a healthy life. They referred to the fact that that on 22 June 2018 President Magufuli issued a declaration banning pregnant girls from attending school and that Tanzanian authorities are intimidating civil society organisations (CSOs) that advocate the rights of pregnant girls to go back to school. The Tanzanian Government obstructs access to sexual and reproductive health services and intimidates organisations providing information about such services

With regard to relations between Tanzania and the EU, Parliament expressed serious concern about the pressure exerted by the Tanzanian Government on the EU Head of Delegation, Roeland van de Geer, who was forced to leave the country. It noted that since the election of President Magufuli, the Head of UN Women, the Head of the UNDP and the Head of Unesco have all been expelled from Tanzania. Members welcomed the comprehensive review of the Union’s relations with Tanzania announced by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini. They called for the EU to continue to closely monitor the human rights situation in Tanzania, particularly through regular reporting by its delegation.