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Procedure : 2009/2603(RSP)
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PV 07/05/2009 - 13.1
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CRE 07/05/2009 - 14.1

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Thursday, 7 May 2009 - Strasbourg Final edition
Iran: the case of Roxana Saberi
P6_TA(2009)0391B6-0270, 0274, 0276, 0277, 0279, 0282/2009

European Parliament resolution of 7 May 2009 on Iran: the case of Roxana Saberi

The European Parliament ,

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

–   having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 63/191 of 18 December 2008 on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,

–   having regard to the Report of the UN Secretary-General of 1 October 2008 on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,

–   having regard to the EU Presidency Statement of 10 April 2009 on developments in the case of Roxana Saberi and the Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU of 20 April 2009 concerning the sentence of Miss Roxana Saberi,

–   having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to all of which Iran is a party,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas on 18 April 2009 the Iranian Revolutionary Court pronounced an eight-year prison sentence against Roxana Saberi, an American-Iranian journalist, who worked for a number of organisations, including ABC radio, the BBC, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and NPR, for espionage,

B.   whereas Roxana Saberi had no access to a lawyer for five weeks and has not been given a fair and transparent trial,

C.   whereas Roxana Saberi's lawyer has filed an appeal against her conviction as his defendant pleads innocent to all charges against her,

D.   whereas Roxana Saberi went on a hunger strike, was admitted to the Evin prison hospital on 1 May 2009, reportedly in a very frail condition,

E.   whereas the journalist Maryam Malek, a member of the 'One Million Signatures' Campaign for Equality, was arrested on 25 April 2009, as were numerous members of the Campaign before her, and whereas her family is unable to pay the bail for her release, which has been set at 200 million rials (over EUR 10 000),

F.   whereas, on 1 May 2009, International Labour Day, security and police forces violently repressed peaceful demonstrations in various locations in Iran, which had been organised by ten independent labour organisations, and whereas over 100 people have reportedly been arrested,

G.   whereas on 1 May 2009 the Iranian authorities executed Delara Darabi in Rasht Central Prison despite a two-month stay of execution accorded by the Head of the Judiciary on 19 April 2009, and whereas she is not the first person to have been executed this year after being convicted of a crime she was alleged to have committed while still under the age of 18,

H.   whereas the general human rights situation in Iran has continued to deteriorate since 2005 in all areas and respects, in particular as regards the exercise of civil rights and political freedoms, despite the fact that Iran has undertaken to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms under the various international instruments in this field,

1.  Condemns the unfounded sentence pronounced by the Iranian Revolutionary Court on 18 April 2009 against Roxana Saberi;

2.  Expresses its deep concern at the deteriorating health condition of Roxana Saberi;

3.  Urges the Appeals Court, at its hearing of 12 May 2009, to release Roxana Saberi immediately and unconditionally on the grounds that the trial was held in camera without due legal process, in accordance with international norms, and to drop all charges against her;

4.  Is shocked by the unfair trial and execution of Dilara Darabi and is appalled about the continued executions of juvenile offenders in disregard of international law and despite assurances by the Iranian authorities that Iran has halted this inhumane practice; calls on the Iranian authorities to honour their commitment to halt executions of juvenile offenders;

5.  Condemns the bail system practised by the Iranian authorities in an attempt to suppress all public statements by critical citizens or peaceful reform movements, and calls for the immediate release of Maryam Malek;

6.  Recalls that numerous labour rights activists, including Mansour Osanloo, Ebrahim Maddadi, Farzad Kamangar and Ghaleb Hosseini, remain incarcerated solely on the grounds of their commitment to fair labour practices, and reiterates its call for their immediate release;

7.  Urges the Iranian authorities to comply with all international human rights instruments ratified by Iran, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both of which guarantee the right to a fair trial; in this context insists that the Iranian authorities urgently abolish the practice of stoning. Condemns strongly the recent execution by stoning of Vali Azad, and expresses great concern over the pending execution of Mohammad Ali Navid Khamami and Ashraf Kalhori;

8.  Calls on the Council Presidency and the Member States" diplomatic representatives in Iran to take urgent concerted action with regard to all these cases;

9.  Reiterates its request to the Council and the Commission to continue their examination of the human rights situation in Iran and to submit to it a comprehensive report on the matter in the first half of 2009;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Human Rights Council, the Head of the Judiciary of Iran and the Government and Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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