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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of ethnic minorities in Iran

12.6.2012 - (2012/2682(RSP))

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

Cornelia Ernst, Helmut Scholz on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0309/2012

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


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran,

 having regard to the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (A/HRC/19/66 of 6 March 2012),


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


a. whereas Iran’s population includes a large number of religious, ethnic, and linguistic minorities; whereas these groups are highly diverse, but despite constitutional guarantees of equality, religious and ethnic minorities share common experience of economic marginalization, political repression and denial of basic cultural rights;


b. whereas minorities, including Ahwazi Arabs, Azerbaijanis, Baluch, Kurds and Turkmen, continue to be subjected to intense socio-economic discrimination and pressures, including land and property confiscation, 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;


c. whereas regions where Arab, Azeri, Balochi, Kurdish communities and some communities of non-citizens live are the poorest in the country; whereas despite the fact that Sistan-Balochistan is a region rich in resources, 76 percent of the Baloch population live in extreme poverty; whereas similarly in the Arab majority cities of Abadan and Mohammerah the rates are 41 percent and 60 percent respectively;


d. whereas despite Article 15 of the Iranian constitution, the Ahwaz, Baloch, Kurds, Azerbaijani Turks, and Turkmen face difficulties in exercising their rights to use their own languages, in private and in public; whereas contrary to official statements that the teaching in minority languages is permitted teaching in Arabic, Balochi, Kurdish, Luri, Turkic or Turkmen languagesis not permitted;


e. whereas the political representation of ethnic minorities in Iran is extremely low; whereas during the 2009 Presidential Elections candidates who represented ethnic minorities were officially forced to withdraw their candidature; whereas after the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005, many ethnic minority civil servants were reportedly forced from their jobs in a widespread purge;


f. whereas there is an alarming increase in the number of reported executions in Iran; whereas according to the latest data the rate of executions in Iran during the first 5 months of 2012 confirmed the country as one of the world's leading users of the death penalty - as was also the case in 2011; whereas in the week beginning 14 May alone, the Iranian authorities confirmed that 35 executions took place; whereas this situation affects Iran’s population as a whole, minorities are executed at much higher rates;


g. whereas extra-judicial killings have been a characteristic of Iranian state policy in ethnic minority regions, especially in Balochistan, Kurdistan and the Arab Ahwaz region;


h. whereas the Iranian authorities have to date failed to meet their obligations under international law and refused to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur;


1. Expresses its serious concern at the human rights situation in Iran; calls on the Iranian Government and Parliament to respond in a constructive way to the justified demands of the people of Iran to develop democracy, to overcome the political, economic and social problems;


2. Calls on the Iranian authorities to stop all human rights violations in the country, including the discrimination of ethnic minorities;


3. Calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately free all those detained for peacefully exercising their rights to free expression, association and assembly and to investigate and prosecute government officials and members of the security forces responsible for the killing, abuse and torture of family members of dissidents, demonstrators and detainees;


4. Calls on the Government of Iran to cooperate fully with all international human rights mechanisms, to continue exploring cooperation on human rights and justice reform with the United Nations and to fully implement the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review; Urges the Iranian Government immediately to allow the UN-appointed Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed to enter Iran to address the country's ongoing human rights crisis;


5. 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 63/138, to institute a moratorium on executions, pending the abolition of the death penalty;


6. Calls on EU Representatives and the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs to re-engage in a human rights dialogue with the Iranian authorities;


7. Insists on a peaceful political settlement to any dispute with Iran; reaffirms its strong opposition to any military action or threat of use of force and warns that any military action would lead to a deeper crisis in the region; expresses its serious preoccupation about the reinforced military presence of the United States in the region and threat of use of force by Israel;


8. Reiterates its position that dialogue with Iran on all levels, in particular with civil society, is the only way to achieve results; expresses its hope that the Iranian Parliament will accept the invitation to restart the interparliamentary dialogue;


9. 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 President of the Iranian Supreme Court and the Government and Parliament of Iran.