Index 
 Previous 
 Next 
 Full text 
Texts adopted
PDF 76kWORD 38k
Thursday, 14 June 2012 - Strasbourg Final edition
Situation of ethnic minorities in Iran
P7_TA(2012)0265B7-0309, 0311, 0313, 0318, 0322, 0325 and 0328/2012

European Parliament resolution of 14 June 2012 on the situation of ethnic minorities in Iran (2012/2682(RSP))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Iran, in particular those concerning human rights,

–  having regard to UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/9 establishing a mandate for a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran,

–  having regard to the reports on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran of 23 September 2011 and 6 March 2012,

–  having regard to the Statement by the Spokesperson of High Representative Catherine Ashton on the use of the death penalty in Iran, issued on 30 May 2012,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to all of which Iran is a party,

–  having regard to Rule 122(5) and 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the current human rights situation in Iran is characterised by an ongoing pattern of systematic violations of fundamental rights; whereas minorities in Iran continue to be discriminated against and harassed on the grounds of their ethnic or religious background; whereas in recent months minority groups have demonstrated for their rights, and whereas this has led to the large-scale imprisonment of participants;

B.  whereas six members of Iran's Ahwazi Arab minority are on trial after they were detained without charge for almost a year in connection with their activities on behalf of this minority; whereas justified fears exist that they may not receive a fair trial and may be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment;

C.  whereas, on 5 June 2012, for instance, Mohammad Mehdi Zalieh, an Iranian-Kurdish prisoner, died in Rajaee Shahr prison as a result of poor medical attention by the prison's authorities;

D.  whereas the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran formally provides for the fair treatment of ethnic minorities; whereas, however, in practice members of ethnic minorities, such as Azeris, Arabs, Kurds and Balochs, face a wide range of human and civil rights violations, including encroachments on their right to freedom of assembly, association and expression;

E.  whereas there is widespread socio-economic discrimination against persons belonging to minorities, including land and property confiscation and denial of employment, and restrictions on social, cultural and linguistic rights, in violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

F.  whereas discrimination against ethnic minorities has a considerable impact in the field of education, as schools in minority regions are often poor and dropout and illiteracy rates in these regions tend to be higher than the national average, which contributes to the underrepresentation of national and ethnic minorities in high-ranking government positions;

G.  whereas non-Persian women face double discrimination as members of marginalised communities and as women in Iran, where the law specifically limits their rights;

H.  whereas a dramatic increase in executions, including of juveniles, has been recorded in Iran in recent years; whereas the death penalty is regularly imposed in cases where the accused are denied their due-process rights and for crimes that do not fall into the category of ‘most serious crimes’ under international standards;

1.  Expresses its serious concern at the steadily deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, including for persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, due to systematic political, economic, social, and cultural discrimination;

2.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, officially recognised or otherwise; demands that all persons belonging to minorities be allowed to exercise all the rights enshrined in the Iranian constitution and in international law, including the guarantees stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Iran is a party;

3.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure that the arrested members of Iran's Ahwazi Arab minority – Mohammad Ali Amouri, Rahman Asakereh, Hashem Sha'bani Amouri, Hadi Rashidi, Sayed Jaber Alboshoka and Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka – are tried in accordance with international fair-trial standards, with due protection from torture and other ill-treatment, and without recourse to the death penalty;

4.  Urges the Iranian authorities to release all activists who are currently imprisoned for their peaceful advocacy of minority rights;

5.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to respect the right of ethnic minorities to use their own languages, in private and public, and in particular to guarantee education in minority languages, in accordance with the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran;

6.  Calls on the UN Independent Expert on minority issues and the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance to request a visit to Iran in order to report on the situation of human rights, and in particular the plight of minorities;

7.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to guarantee religious freedom in accordance with the Iranian constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to put a stop in practice to discrimination against and harassment of religious minorities such as non-Shia Muslims, including Assyrians and other Christian groups, the systematic persecution of the Baha'i minority and the application of the death penalty to converts from Islam;

8.  Calls on the Commission, in close cooperation with Parliament, to make effective use of the new Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights in order to support democracy and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, in Iran;

9.  Strongly condemns the use of the death penalty in Iran and calls on the Iranian authorities, in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolutions 62/149 and 63/168, to institute a moratorium on executions, pending the abolition of the death penalty; urges the government to prohibit the execution of juveniles and commute all capital sentences currently faced by juveniles;

10.  Reaffirms its readiness to engage in human rights dialogue with Iran at all levels on the basis of universal values as enshrined in the UN Charter and UN conventions;

11.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to demonstrate that they are fully committed to cooperating with the international community in improving the human rights situation in Iran; stresses the need for closer engagement with the Human Rights Council and UN human rights mechanisms;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council, and the Office of the Supreme Leader, the Government and the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Last updated: 18 September 2013Legal notice