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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Iran, notably the situation of women’s rights defenders and imprisoned EU dual nationals

17.9.2019 - (2019/2823(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 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Kati Piri, Jytte Guteland
on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0089/2019

Menetlus : 2019/2823(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Iran, notably the situation of women’s rights defenders and imprisoned EU dual nationals


The European Parliament,

  having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran, notably on the case of human rights defenders of March 2019, on the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh of December 2018, on the imprisoned EU-Iranian dual nationals in Iran of May 2018, on the EU strategy towards Iran of April 2014, on the death penalty of October 2015;


  having regard to its Report on EU strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement of 24 October 2016;


  having regard to the Report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran of February 2019;


  having regard to the Statements by UN human rights experts, “Iran: release women jailed for protesting against compulsory wearing of veil” of 16 August 2019, and “Iran must protect women´s rights advocates” of 29 November 2018;


  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948;


  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which Iran is a party;


  having regard to the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment of 1988;


  having regard to the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) of 2015;


  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure.




A.  Whereas in recent months Iranian revolutionary courts have substantially increased the length of prison sentences against women human rights defenders;

B.  Whereas on August 27, the court of first instance sentenced three women labour rights activists, Sepideh Gholian, Sanaz Allahyari and Asal Mohammadi, who, along with 4 other trade unionists, have been detained since January 2019, to 19.5 and 18 years in prison on charges that include "assembly and collusion to act against national security," "membership in an illegal group of Gam," an online publication”, "propaganda against the state," and "publishing false news", and whereas if the sentence is upheld, they each must serve 7 years in prison;

C.  Whereas on August 31 and 24, Marzieh Amiri and Atefeh Rangriz, two women labour rights defenders who have been detained since they were arrested at a peaceful Labour Day protest, were sentenced to 10 years in prison and 148 lashes, and 11.5 years and 74 lashes, respectively, on charges that include “assembly and collusion to act against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “disrupting public order,” and whereas if confirmed they must serve 6 and 7.5 years in prison, respectively;


D.  Whereas Saba Kordafshari, Mojgan Keshavarz, Yasman Ariani, and Monireh Arabshah, four women who peacefully protested compulsory hijab laws in Iran, a discriminatory practice against women, have been sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 15 to 24 years, and whereas if confirmed they will each have to serve 10 to 11 years in prison;

E.  Whereas on 11 March 2019, human rights defender and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh wassentenced [by trial court] to 38 [12] years in prison and 148 lashes, including in relation to her work defending women charged for protesting against the compulsory hijab; whereas in June, more than 1 million people joined a global campaign to demand that the Iranian Government release Ms. Sotoudeh;

F.  Whereas Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee’s husband, Arash Sadeghi, a human rights defender himself, is reportedly serving a 19-year prison sentence in Rajaee Shahr Prison and is at immediate risk of death resulting from a rare form of bone cancer; whereas the Iranian authorities have agreed to transfer him to a hospital, but the transfer keeps on being postponed;

G.  Whereas Atena Daemi and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee have both received, in September 2019, an additional two years and one month imprisonment sentence, during a revision hearing of the Tehran Appeal Court to their initial prison sentence of six [five] years handed out in October 2016; whereas it is believed the additional prison sentence was handed out in reprisals for the women human rights;whereas Sahar Khodayari, an Iranian woman, was caught dressed as a man to watch a football game and was detained; according to Iranian law, women are not permitted to watch sports in the presence of men; learning that she would face a six month prison sentence for her actions, she burned herself to death in protest;

H.  Whereas on 24 June 2019, Leila Hassanzadeh, a student of anthropology who was arrested during a peaceful protest in January 2018, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison; whereas the Revision Court of Tehran Province announced that the verdict is definite and irreversible;

I.  Whereas Iranian authorities arrested over 300 members of the minority Gonabadi Dervish Muslim community in late February 2018 after police forcibly tried to break up a protest., including Sepideh Moradi, Sima Entesari, Shima Entesari, Avisha Jalaledin and seven other women;

J.  Whereas at least seven EU-Iranian dual nationals are currently imprisoned in Iran: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Ahmadreza Djalali,  Fariba Adelhah, Anousheh Ashouri, Morad Tahbaz,  Aras Amiri and Kamran Ghaderi

K.  Whereas the EU has adopted restrictive measures related to violations of human rights, including asset freezes and visa bans for individuals and entities responsible for grave human rights violations, and a ban on exports to Iran of equipment which might be used for internal repression and of equipment for monitoring telecommunications; whereas these measures are regularly updated and remain in place;




L.  Whereas the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) established High Level Political Dialogue between the EU and Islamic Republic of Iran, in the framework of which human rights issues are regularly discussed; whereas the EU and Iran have convened 4 rounds of High Level Political Dialogue which included a segment on human rights.



  1. Calls on Iran to immediately and unconditionally release all women human rights defenders who are detained and sentenced merely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly; stresses that the Iranian authorities must in all circumstances ensure that human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists are able to carry out their work free from threats, intimidation and impediment;
  2. Commends the Iranian women human rights defenders for their unabated courage in the face of highly adverse circumstances; 
  1. Calls on the Iranian Parliament to amend the vaguely defined national security crime laws that are regularly used to prosecute human rights defenders, journalists, environmental, trade union activists and members of religious and ethnic minorities;
  1. Calls on the Iranian government to respect the right to privacy of Iranian women to choose their own dress code;
  2. Reiterates its call on the Iranian authorities to amend Article 48 of the country’s Criminal Procedure Law to ensure that all defendants have the right to be represented by a lawyer of their choice and to a fair trial in line with Iran’s commitments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  3. Calls on the Iranian authorities to revise the legal provisions which discriminate against women, in particular those that relate to their personal legal status; welcomes the introduction of the Bill for the Protection of Women Against Violence to the Parliament of Iran and stresses the need for comprehensive legislation to define and criminalise all forms of gender-based violence;
  4. Calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure that women are allowed access to all stadiums, without discrimination or risk of persecution;
  5. Deeply regrets the lack of progress in the cases of EU-Iranian dual nationals detained in Iran; reiterates its condemnation of the continuing practice of imprisonment of EU-Iranian dual nationals by Iranian authorities following unfair trials; calls for their immediate and unconditional release, unless retried according to international standards, and for the officials responsible for the violations of their rights to be held accountable;
  6. Insists that the Iranian authorities must ensure the right to a due process and to a fair trial of all detainees, including the right to have a lawyer of their own choice;
  7.  Insists that the Iranian authorities must guarantee the safety and well-being of all detainees while in detention, including adequate medical care to human rights defenders; calls on the Iranian authorities to investigate all allegations of ill-treatment in detention and bring perpetrators to justice;
  8. Calls on EU Member States with diplomatic missions on the ground to fully implement the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and to provide all appropriate support to human rights defenders detained, including prison visits, trial monitoring and the provision of legal or any other form of assistance that they might require;
  9. Insists once again on the importance of an expeditious establishment of an EU Delegation in Tehran;
  10. Calls on the EEAS to continue including human rights, particularly the situation of women´s rights defenders, in the context of the EU-Iran High Level Political Dialogue;
  11. 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 Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Office of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.



Viimane päevakajastamine: 17. september 2019
Õigusteave - Privaatsuspoliitika