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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Human rights situation in Iran, particularly mass execution and recent death of the blogger Sattar Beheshti

20.11.2012 - (2012/2877(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

Fiorello Provera, Lorenzo Fontana, Oreste Rossi, Bastiaan Belder, Mara Bizzotto, Jaroslav Paška, Rolandas Paksas, Juozas Imbrasas on behalf of the EFD Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0500/2012

Menetlus : 2012/2877(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Human rights situation in Iran, particularly mass execution and recent death of the blogger Sattar Beheshti


The European Parliament,

--having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran,


-- having regard to the statements of the High Representative on Iran of 11 November 2012 and 23 October 2012,


– having regard to the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed call for the immediate release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and a moratorium on executions,


– 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 of its Rules of Procedure,


A. whereas on November 3, 35-year-old Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti died while being detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison following his arrest on October 30 by a specialized cyber police unit for his online writings on political and social issues;


B. whereas Mr. Beheshti is believed to have been tortured and beaten, yet the circumstances of his death are still not clear and subject to investigation;


C. whereas Iran’s prosecutor-general stated that several people have been arrested in connection with Beheshti's death and his case will be sent to the courts in ten days for consideration;


D. whereas - according to a report of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed - at least 141 officially-announced executions are known to have been carried out between January and early June 2012 and several sources have reported that another 82 secret executions have been carried out in the same period, and that there were 53 executions across the country during one week in May 2012, a majority of which related to drug offences; whereas numerous undeclared executions have taken place in detention centers such as Mashhad's Vakilabad Prison, where ten prisoners were executed on October 12, and more than 600 inmates remain on death row and reportedly 146 secret executions took place in 2011 alone;


E. whereas the Islamic Republic is the number one executioner of juvenile offenders in the world and one hundred juveniles are currently being held on death row;


F. whereas Sakharov prize winners Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi are both serving jail sentences for their work in highlighting human rights abuses in Iran and Ms. Sotoudeh has since embarked on a hunger strike after being refused family visits;


G. whereas the Iranian government refused to grant permission to five MEPs to visit this year's Sakharov Prize winners;


H. whereas at least fifteen people have died as a result of neglect and mistreatment since 2009 while being detained in Iranian prisons on charges related to the exercise of freedom of expression;


I. whereas hundreds of journalists and writers, including 59-year-old journalist Isa Saharkhiz are being held in Iranian prisons since the crackdown in political dissent that came after the disputed 2009 elections;


J. whereas at least nine women in Tehran's Evin prison have undertaken a hunger strike to protest their mistreatment, including sexual abuse;


K. whereas prison terms of 15-20 years are regularly handed out to those who are charged for simply peacefully expressing their opinions;


L. whereas both international and Iranian law require prison authorities to provide adequate medical care for detainees and allow their families to visit them;


M. whereas in the Islamic Republic freedom of expression, assembly and association are highly curtailed, all independent student associations have been dissolved and public demonstrations are forbidden;


1. Strongly condemns the persecution and alleged torture committed by Iranian prison authorities that led to the death of blogger Sattar Beheshti and is extremely concerned by the growing number of alleged undeclared executions in Iran;


2. Calls for a thorough investigation into the death of Mr. Beheshti and for those responsible for his mistreatment to be brought to account;


3. Commends the work of the UN Special rapporteur for human rights in Iran and calls on the Iranian government to fully cooperate with UN human rights bodies and stop all executions and the inhumane treatment of prisoners;


4. Calls for the immediate release of Sakharov Prize winners Jafar Panahi and Nasrin Sotoudeh, and/or grant them access to see their families, seek legal aid and receive adequate medical aid;


5 Calls on the Iranian authorities to take immediate action to improve prison conditions and to ensure that all prisoners and detainees in their custody are protected against torture and other ill-treatment, in particular sexual assault;


6. Urges the Iranian authorities to release all prisoners held in Iranian prisons on the basis of exercising their right to free speech and expression;


7. Stresses that free access to information and means of communication and uncensored access to the internet are universal rights and are indispensable for democracy and freedom of expression, ensuring transparency and accountability;


8. Expresses the need for the Iranian government to grant access to independent human rights organizations who wish to investigate ongoing abuses taking place inside Evin prison and other institutions suspected of conducting mass executions;


9. Calls on EU representatives and the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to encourage the Iranian authorities to re-engage in human rights dialogue;


10. Calls on the EU Special Representative for Human Rights to report regularly on the human rights situation in Iran and on the actions taken by EU institutions to engage with the Iranian authorities on those issues;


11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the UN Human Rights Council and the Government and Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran