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Motion for a resolution - B7-0599/2011Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Iran, recent breaches of human rights


with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden, Peter van Dalen, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ryszard Czarnecki on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0594/2011

Procedure : 2011/2908(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on Iran, recent breaches of human rights

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran,

- having regard to statements by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton or her spokespersons on the situation in Iran, in particular of 18 October 2011 on the sentences on Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi and Iranian Actress Marzieh Vafamehr, of 8 October 2011 on the sentencing of Ms. Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian Human Rights Defender and of 26 September 2011 on the arrest of 6 independent filmmakers in Iran,

- having regard to the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council of 10 October 2011 concerning Iran,

- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), signed and ratified by Iran,

- having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,


A. Whereas the general state of human rights in Iran is appalling and continues to deteriorate, with the government being engaged in systematic violations of human rights, including extensive restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, and the widespread use of torture, ill-treatment, and unfair trials of human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, film makers, women's activists, bloggers, persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities and members of the opposition,


B. Whereas Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was first arrested in December 2006 on charges of apostasy, but released two weeks later; whereas he was arrested again on 12 October 2009 while attempting to register his church, and whereas he was tried and found guilty of apostasy and sentenced to death by the Assize Court of Gilan Province on 22 November 2010; whereas a final verdict from the Supreme Leader is still awaited and whereas there are reports that Nadarkhani is now being accused of rape, extortion and being a Zionist,


C. Whereas there are reports that in the first half of 2011 at least 207 Christians have been arrested; whereas members of the Baha'i and Sufi faith are also systematically repressed and persecuted; whereas members of the Sunni minority are discriminated, among others in employment and education sectors; whereas members of other Azeri, Kurdish and Arab minority groups are also discriminated and persecuted,


D. Whereas Iran continues to imprison filmmakers and actors, among which are filmmaker Jafar Panahi, sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in December 2010 after being convicted of “acting against state security” and “propaganda against the system”; documentary director Mojtaba Mir Tahmasb, who remains in prison after being arrested on 17 September 2011 for making the documentary This is Not a Film,  about the life of banned film director Jafar Panahi; producer and distributor Katayoun Shahabi who is thought to remain in custody after having been arrested along with three documentary directors on 17 September 2011 who have since been released on bail; and Mehran Zinatbakhsh, also arrested in September 2011 and held in Evin Prison on unknown charges,


E. Whereas Iran continues its crackdown on members of the opposition; whereas Iranian opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard remain under house arrest without an arrest warrant, charge or trial; whereas it is believed that several hundred people are currently being held in Iran’s prisons solely for the peaceful expression of their political views,


F. Whereas Iran continues to target human rights defenders, such as Iranian human rights lawyer and activist Ms. Narges Mohammadi who was handed over an 11 year prison sentence whilst there are worrying reports about the state of her health and that she may not be receiving the medical attention she needs,


G. Whereas dozens of journalists and bloggers are currently behind bars or free on short-term furloughs and more than 60 journalists have been forced into exile in 2011 alone,


H. Whereas the Iranian penal code provides the death sentence for crimes not considered to be among the "most serious" as required by Article 6 of the ICCPR such as adultery, drug possession and trafficking and same-sex conduct; and whereas Iran officially prohibits the execution of persons under the age of 18, according to various reports the country executes more juvenile offenders than anywhere else in the world and more than 100 juvenile offenders are currently on death row;


I. Whereas several European companies facilitate the actions of the Iranian regime, among which are Eutelsat, who removed Voice of America and BBC Farsi from its Hotbird Satellite services upon request of the Iranian government, and Ericsson, who provided the Iranian regime with software enabling it to monitor SMS and e-mail traffic,


1.  Is deeply concerned about the appalling and deteriorating state of human rights in Iran, calls on the Iranian government to grant its citizens the full range of rights expressed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other internationally recognized human rights instruments; calls on the Iranian government to implement the recommendations it has accepted through the Universal Periodic Review; furthermore calls on the Iranian government to work with the newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, including by giving him access to the country;


2.  Condemns the arrests and house arrests and demands the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, including those belonging to religious minorities, such as Youcef Nadarkhani, civil society activists such as Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mir Tahmasb, Katayoun Shahabi and Mehran Zinatbakhsh, members of the opposition, such as Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard and human rights activists such as Ms. Narges Mohammadi;


3.  Strongly condemns the prosecution, including execution, of homosexuals and women, including minors, for so called sexual misdemeanours;


4.  Supports the decision by the Foreign Affairs Council of 10 October 2011 to reinforce the EU's restrictive measures against persons responsible for serious human rights violations in Iran by adding 29 persons to the list of those targeted by an assets freeze and a visa ban; requests the Council and Commission to continue to monitor the situation and if necessary add more people to the list of those targeted by restrictive measures;


5.  Requests the Council and Commission to take appropriate measures to stop European companies from facilitating human rights violations and repressive actions by the Iranian regime;


6.  Requests the EEAS and the EU Member States to continue to work together with international partners to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime as much as possible by enacting smart and coherent sanctions;


7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the United Nations General Assembly and Human Rights Council and the Government and Parliament of Iran.