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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

Marietje Schaake, Edward McMillan-Scott, Sarah Ludford, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Leonidas Donskis, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Marielle de Sarnez, Louis Michel, Kristiina Ojuland, Jelko Kacin, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Ivo Vajgl, Hannu Takkula, Robert Rochefort, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Sonia Alfano on behalf of the ALDE Group

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

Postup : 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, notably those concerning human rights, in particular those of 7 September 2010, 20 January 2011 and 16 November 2011,


 having regard to the Report of the UN Secretary General of 22 August 2012 to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,


 having regard to the report by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center of 10 June 2011 on the use of rape as a method of torture by Iranian prison authorities,


 having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the EU HR Ashton of 9 October 2012 on the execution of Iranian prisoner Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani; on the statement of October 23 on the execution of ten Iranian individuals on charges of drug offences and finally on the statement of November 11 on the death of the blogger Sattar Beheshti;


 having regard to the restrictive measures of 12 April 2011, 10 October 2011 and 23 March 2012 imposed on Iranian individuals and entities for involvement in serious human rights violations and censorship activities in Iran,


 having regard to the reinforcement of EU restrictive measures due to serious human rights violations in Iran on 10 October 2011,


 having regard to United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 62/149 of 18 December 2007 and 63/168 of 18 December 2008 on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty,


 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, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to all of which Iran is a party,


 having regard to the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran and notably the articles 23 to 27 and 32 to 35 which provide for freedom of expression, assembly, association and practice of one's religion as well as basic rights for accused and detained,


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


A. whereas recently a considerable number of prisoners of conscience, including several members of the Kursdish, Arab and Baluch ethnic minorities, have lost their lives in custody in various prisons including Evin, Rajaishar, Urumieh, Ahvaz and Zahedan prisons, either under torture or under extremely dubious conditions;


B. whereas several other prisoners of conscience have died within days of being released, apparently as a result of torture and other cruel treatment in prison and an unknown number of common prisoners have also died in custody;


C. whereas on November 3, Sattar Beheshti, a 35 year-old blogger, died while being detained in police custody following his arrest on October 30 by the specialised cyber police unit known as FATA, for alleged cybercrimes;


D. whereas, according to a detailed report by the coroner's office, wounds were found on five places of his body, including foot, hand, back and one of his thighs;


E. whereas the exact circumstances and cause of death are still unknown, and the authorities have not publicly accepted any responsibility for his death;


F. whereas in recent weeks the Iranian authorities have increased their attacks on female prisoners of conscience, notably Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer, who was compelled to go on hunger strike on October 17 to protest the pressures exerted on her family including her 12 years-old daughter and violation of her visitation rights;


G. whereas after Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh was awarded, together with Jafar Panahi, the Sakharov prize for freedom of Thought by the European Parliament on 26 of October 2012 , the Iranian authorities responded by transferring her to solitary confinement;


H. whereas the Iranian Government refused to grant permission to five MEPS to meet this year's Sakharov Prize Winners in Iran, reason for which the Delegation was cancelled;


I. whereas nine female prisoners of conscience staged at one-week hunger strike in Evin prison on 31 of October to protest insulting treatment and sexual harassment by prison officials;


J. whereas on October 23 Saeed Sedighi and nine other men were executed, despite calls on the country's authorities by Amnesty International and UN human rights experts to halt their executions;


K. whereas following Sedeghi's execution, the authorities warned his family members not to speak to the media and barred them from holding a public funeral ceremony after his burial;


L. whereas IRNA, the official Iranian news agency, reported on November 7 that ten prisoners were hanged in Teheran's Evin Prison on that day, due to drug-related charges;


M. whereas the Iranian authorities continue building an 'halal-internet', which effectively cuts of Iranians from the world wide web, and continues to use Information and Communication Technologies to crack down on fundamental freedoms, such as the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly;


N. whereas the Iranian authorities continue the jamming of satellite signals by the Iranian authorities against BBC, Deutsche Welle, France 24, and Voice of America also continues;


1. Strongly condemns the persecution and alleged torture of Mr. Sattar Beheshti committed by the Iranian authorities that caused his death and expresses serious concern for the alarming execution rate in Iran, which has surpassed 300 executions since the beginning of the year;


2. Calls on the Iranian Government for a thorough investigation on this murder, to hold accountable those responsible for his arrest, torture and killing, and immediately cease all reported harassment of Behesti's family;


3. Calls for the Iranian authorities to guarantee a stringent respect of fair trial and due process to all detainees, as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;


4. Expresses its grave concern over the continuously deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, the growing number of political prisoners, the continuously high level of repression of bloggers and political activists;


5. Calls on the Iranian authorities to release all political prisoners, in particularly Sakharov-price winner Nasrin Sotoudeh.


6. Calls for the respect of the universal right to free expression, including the right of any individual to seek, receive and share information, irrespective of his personal and political beliefs;


7. Condemns Iran for illegally jamming BBC Persian Service and Deutsche Welle TV signals from the Hotbird and the Eutelsat W3A satellites


8. Calls for the Iranian prison authorities to provide all detainees with adequate medical care and to treat them with dignity and respect;


9. Calls on the Iranian authorities to demonstrate that they are fully committed to cooperating with the international community in improving their human rights situation in Iran and calls on the Iranian Government to respect all obligations under international law, and to fulfil all obligations under the International Conventions signed;


10. Expresses its concern at the use of (European) censorship, filtering and surveillance technologies to control and censor information and communication flows and to track down citizens, notably human rights defenders,; calls on European companies to live up to their corporate social responsibilities by not providing goods, technologies and services to Iran which could endanger the civil and political rights of Iranian citizens


11.  Stresses that free access to information and means of communication and uncensored access to the internet and information and communication technologies (digital freedom) are universal rights and are indispensable for democracy and freedom of expression, ensuring transparency and accountability, as stated by the UN Human Rights Council on 6 May 2011


12. Calls on the Iranian authorities to repeal or amend all legislation that provides for, or could result in, discrimination against and prosecution and punishment of people on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to ensure that anyone held solely on account of consensual sexual activities or sexual orientation is released immediately and unconditionally;


13. Calls on the Iranian authorities to accept peaceful protest and to address the numerous problems facing the Iranian people


14. Calls on the Member States to provide safe haven for Iranian citizens who have fled their country, such as through the Shelter City initiative;


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


16. Calls on the Council to reinforce targeted measures against Iranian individuals and entities, including state institutions, that are responsible or involved in grave human rights violations, and restrictions of fundamental freedoms, particularly through the misuse of ICTs, internet and media censorship; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that all property and real estate of Iranians targeted by the restrictive measures, which are in the EU, are seized and frozen;


17. Urges the EEAS to focus on EU citizens in Iranian prisons and to do everything possible to ensure their wellbeing and release;




18. 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, the Government and Parliament of Iran.