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Ontwerpresolutie - B7-0328/2012Ontwerpresolutie
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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

Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden on behalf of the ECR Group

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

Procedure : 2012/2682(RSP)
Stadium plenaire behandeling
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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, notably those concerning human rights, and in particular those of 7 September 2010, 20 January 2011 and 17 November 2011,

–   having regard to numerous statements on the situation in Iran by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs,

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

–   having regard to the appointment by the President of the UN Human Rights Council on 17 June 2011 of Ahmed Shaheed as UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran and to the interim report of 23 September 2011 submitted by the Special Rapporteur to the 66th session of the UN General Assembly on the situation of human rights in Iran,

–   having regard to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, submitted by the Rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Council, 6 March 2012

–   having regard to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in particular Articles 23 to 27 and 32 to 35 thereof, which provide for freedom of expression, assembly and association and the right to practise one's religion and basic rights for persons indicted and detained,

–   having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. Whereas Iran is an ethnically diverse country and, in addition to the 51% Persian Majority, is comprised, among others, of Azeris, Kurds, Arabs, Lor, Azeri Baluchis, Turkmens, Armenians, Assyrians, Jews, Afghans and Georgians;

B.  Whereas ethnic groups within Iran continue to suffer systematic discrimination and persecution, including forced displacement from their homes by the Iranian government;

C. Whereas Iran drew worldwide condemnation for its crackdown on peaceful, legitimate protest in 2011, the worst of these was seen in Khuzestan, where local Arabs planned to march in solidarity with other protests across the region; whereas reports indicated that several hundred protestors were arrested and live ammunition was used, with more than 30 people killed; Whereas dozens of people were arrested and injured in environmental protests in Western Azerbaijan Province against the drying-up of Lake Urmia;


D. Whereas, the pressure on religious minorities, notably Bahai’, converts and dissident Shia scholars, continues to increase; whereas the Bahai’, despite being the biggest non-Muslim religious minority, suffer widespread discrimination including denial of access to education, and whereas legal proceedings against their seven imprisoned leaders are ongoing and over 100 community members remain under arrest;

E.  Whereas there are reports that in the first half of 2011 at least 207 Christians were arrested; whereas Sunni Muslims continue to face discrimination in law and in practice, and are prevented from fully exercising their right to practise their religion; whereas a state-supported defamation campaign against (Shia) Nematullahi Sufis, depicting all forms of mysticism as satanic and persecuting Sufi worshippers, is continuing, the most glaring example being the armed attack in Kavar in September 2011, which killed one person and left others seriously injured;

F.  Whereas the persecution of those adhering to faiths other than Islam continues unabated and affects, among others, Sunni Muslims who face a shortage of unacceptable places to worship and who, according to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, are reportedly subject to multifaceted discrimination, harassment, mistreatment, arbitrary arrest and executions;


G. Whereas areas with a Baloch majority are underdeveloped and frequently face problems raised by limited access to housing, education, health care and employment resulting in an estimated 76% of the Baloch population now living in extreme poverty;




1.  Expresses grave concern over the steadily deteriorating situation for minorities in Iran due to systematic political, economic, social, and cultural discrimination at the hands of both central and local state authorities;


2.  Deplores discrimination against, and persecution of, all ethnic minorities within Iran who continue to be subject to discriminatory practices, including property confiscations, denial of state education and employment, and cultural and linguistic restrictions which in turn fuels further ethnic-based political violence, in particular among Iranian Kurds and Baluchi communities; Highlights that the Iranian Constitution guarantees equality of ethnic minorities in Iran;


3.  Believes that a visit by a special UN Rapporteur may help to establish an overview of the situation of ethnic minorities in Iran; Notes with concern that Iran has not accepted any visits by UN special rapporteurs or the High Commissioner for Human Rights since 2005; Calls on Iran to honour its stated intention to allow a visit during 2012 by Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed;


4.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure fairness and transparency of the judicial process for all citizens of Iran, regardless of ethnicity; insists, in this respect, that Iran ensures that the Six members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority currently under arrest for enmity against God and corruption on earth, Blogger Mohammad Ali Amouri, chemistry teacher Rahman Asakereh, teacher Hashem Sha’bani Amouri, teacher Hadi Rashidi 28 February Sayed Jaber Alboshoka and his younger brother Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka are tried according to international fair trial standards, that the men are protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and that they are allowed regular access to legal counsel;


5.  Encourages Iran to provide support for its refuge population, including the one million registered Afghan refugees and the estimated two million unregistered Afghan refugees, who face uncertainty and a lack of transparency when applying to remain in Iran; notes with concern that such uncertainty has resulted in many refusing to re-register as legal refugees, thereby losing access to education, healthcare and livelihood support provided to them by the Iranian government;


6.   Pays tribute to the courage of all Iranians who are fighting in defence of fundamental freedoms, human rights and democratic principles on behalf of ethnic minorities within Iran and who wish to live in a society free from repression, intimidation and persecution;


7.  Calls on Iran to guarantee freedom to practice religion as guaranteed by the Iranian constitution and international conventions to which Iran is a party; notes with the utmost concern that in 2011 a large number of Christians involved in the setting up of house churches, and those worshipping at them, were arrested and that according to reports over 400 Christians were arbitrarily arrested for forming and attending house churches in 2011; insists that under no circumstances should any citizen of any faith be put under pressure to recant their faith and convert to Islam, as was reported by those detained;


8.  Notes with concern that the Iranian authorities have increased their persecution of the Baha’is by instigating an increase in the frequency of raids on the homes and workplaces of faculty members of Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) and that seven key faculty members were tried and convicted for between four and five years in prison for practicing the Baha’i faith and charges relating to national security;


9.  Calls on the government of Iran to guarantee civil, political and human rights for all of its citizens;


10. 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 Office of the Supreme Leader, the President of the Iranian Supreme Court and the Government and Parliament of Iran.