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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

Michael Gahler, Željana Zovko, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Loránt Vincze, Vladimír Bilčík, David McAllister, Arba Kokalari, Lefteris Christoforou, Loucas Fourlas, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Romana Tomc, Karoline Edtstadler, Tomáš Zdechovský, Ivan Štefanec, Michaela Šojdrová, Vangelis Meimarakis, Milan Zver, Manolis Kefalogiannis, David Lega, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Tomasz Frankowski, Esther de Lange, Francisco José Millán Mon, Leopoldo López Gil, Inese Vaidere, Stanislav Polčák, Stelios Kympouropoulos
on behalf of the PPE Group

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

Postupak : 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, in particular those of 14 March 2019 on Iran, notably the case of human rights defenders, 13 December 2018 on Iran, notably the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh and of 31 May 2018 on the situation of imprisoned EU-Iranian dual nationals in Iran;

-  having regard to the European Council decision on 8 April 2019 to extend for one year (since 2011) the sanctions responding to serious human rights violation in Iran,

- having regard  to the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran of 18 July 2019 and to his statement  on the16 August 2019, urging for the release of women jailed for protesting against compulsory wearing of veil;

-  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 Rules 144 of its Rules of Procedure,


  1. whereas human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and online activists in Iran continue to face harassment, arbitrary arrest, detention and prosecution for their work;


  1. whereas intimidation, arrest, prosecution, and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, lawyers, and labour rights activists signal an increasingly severe State response;


  1. whereas the Iranian judiciary continues to clamp down on peaceful acts of resistance by women’s rights defenders protesting against the compulsory wearing of the hijab; whereas since 2018 at least 32 people have been arrested and at least 10 imprisoned for protesting against the mandatory wearing of the hijab;


  1. whereas the situation of women’s rights advocates in Iran, including those who protested against the compulsory veil are worsening; whereas women have been arrested and sentenced to imprisonment, sometimes suspended; whereas some individuals who publically supported their efforts have been imprisoned, such as Farhad Meysami whose health situation remains worrying; 


  1. whereas Iranian courts regularly fail to provide fair trials; whereas the authorities continue to criminalise human rights activism and use Article 48 of the Iranian Criminal Procedure Law to restrict detainees’ access to legal counsel; whereas there are no independent mechanisms for ensuring accountability within the judiciary;


  1. whereas numerous cases of inhumane and degrading conditions in prisons and lack of adequate access to medical care during detention in Iran have been reported, in contravention of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;


  1. whereas Iran is estimated to have executed 273 people in 2018, the second highest number in the world for that year, according to a report by the NGO Iran Human Rights;


  1. whereas Ms Mojgan Keshavarz was sentenced to 23 years and six months’ imprisonment while Ms Yasaman Aryani and Ms Monireh Arabshahi were each sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment; whereas all three were convicted of assembly and collusion in acts against national security, propaganda against the state and “encouraging and providing for [moral] corruption and prostitution;


  1. whereas Ms Sahar Khodayari, reportedly died on 10 September 2019, in the intensive care unit of Tehran’s Motahari Hospital after setting herself on fire outside a courthouse in Tehran; whereas she was summoned to the courthouse to be tried after being arrested for trying to watch her soccer team, play at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium in March 2019;


  1. whereas Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, women’s rights defender and Sakharov Prize Laureate, has been arbitrarily detained in Tehran’s Evin prison since her arrest on 13 June 2018; whereas she faces a total of 34 years in prison and 148 lashes following two separate court proceedings that can be characterized as grossly unfair trials;


  1. whereas Narges Mohammadi, Per Anger Prize laureate, is currently serving a sixteen years sentence for her campaign to abolish the death penalty and work with Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, and has required regular medical attention since May 2015 when she was imprisoned;


  1. whereas 14 dual or foreign nationals have been arrested since 2014 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Intelligence Organization; whereas 7 of them are a EU-Iranian dual citizens or have EU residency;


  1. whereas the continuing practice of arrests of EU-Iranian dual nationals, is followed by prolonged solitary confinement and interrogations, lack of due process, and long prison sentences based on vague or unspecified ‘national security’ and ‘espionage’ charges;


  1. whereas the detention of these individuals is marked by serious due process violations since Iranian authorities systematically deny people charged with national security crimes access to lawyers of their choosing during the investigation phase;


  1. whereas Branch 15 of Tehran’s revolutionary court has tried and sentenced a majority of the accused in these cases under article 508 of the Islamic penal code, whereas this article states that “any person or group who cooperates with hostile states in any shape or form if not deemed Mohareb (a sentence which involves the death penalty), will be sentenced from 1 to 10 years in prison”;


  1. whereas Iranian-British social anthropologist Kameel Ahmady has been detained in Tehran on undisclosed charges since August 11, 2019; whereas UK-based British Council employee Aras Amiri was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in Iran on unspecified charges in May 2019 and the Appeal Court in Tehran upheld her sentence in August 2019; whereas Businessman Morad Tahbaz, who has Iranian, British and US citizenship, was detained with at least nine environmentalists, in January 2018 on alleged espionage charges; whereas Iranian British dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker who was arrested and sentenced for 5 years in September 2019, has been separated from her three-year-old daughter for more than two years, has suffered from depression and contemplated suicide inside the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison;


  1. whereas Iranian-born French scholar Fariba Adelkhah was reportedly arrested on espionage charges by agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran on an unknown date in June 2019;


  1. whereas Ahmadreza Djalali  an Iranian-born Swedish scientist (received Swedish citizenship in February 2018), physician has been detained in Evin Prison since April 2016 and was sentenced in October 2017 to death for espionage charges based on a alleged forced confession;


  1. whereas dual Iran/Austria Kamran Ghaderi was the CEO of an Austrian IT company when agents of the Intelligence Ministry arrested him upon his arrival at Tehran’s International Airport on the 2 January 2016 and was tried a 10-year prison sentence for the charge of “conducting espionage for enemy states”;


  1. Calls upon the Iranian authorities to suppress all these sentences and immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders who have been arbitrarily detained for their work in advocating women’s rights, and to ensure full respect for the rights of women to freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and non-discrimination;


  1. Reiterates its call for the release of the Sakharov Prize Laureate, Nasrin Sotoudeh;

3.  Praises and supports the Iranian women human rights defenders who keep on defending human rights despite the difficulties and personal repercussions they are facing;

4. Demands the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all EU dual national and deplores the violations of the right to a fair trial;

5.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure the rights of all defendants to be represented by a chosen lawyer and to a fair trial in line with Iran’s international commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Iran;

6. Calls on the Iranian authorities to fully respect the universal human rights of all citizens, in particular the rights to freedom of expression; calls on the Iranian authorities to respect and protect the right of peaceful assembly;

7. Deplores the fact that women who peacefully protested against Iran’s compulsory veiling laws were prosecuted and underlines that they advocated for the women’s right to choose whether or not to wear the hijab; stresses that they were detained and  forcibly “disappeared” for between 9 and 14 days and they were denied access to lawyers during the initial investigation stage;

8. Urges Iran to stop criminalising the work of women’s rights defenders, including those peacefully protesting against the compulsory wearing of the hijab, and calls for this discriminatory obligation to be abolished;

9.  Deplores the use death penalty, including its use against juvenile offenders; calls on the Iranian authorities to prohibit the execution of the persons below age of 18 years as a step to abolish completely the death penalty in Iran;

10. Recalls that the resolution of 25 October 2016 on the EU strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement stresses the importance of upholding the EU human rights guidelines, in the context of EU-Iran relations: stresses that the Council has extended, since 2011, one more year the sanctions responding to serious human rights violations on the 8th of April;


11. Calls on the EU, including the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to systematically raise human rights concerns with the Iranian authorities in bilateral and multilateral fora and to use all foreseen engagements with the Iranian authorities, including those related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA);

12. 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 governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Government and Parliament of Iran.




Posljednje ažuriranje: 17. rujna 2019.
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