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Motion for a resolution - B9-0444/2020Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Iran, in particular the case of 2012 Sakharov Prize laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh

15.12.2020 - (2020/2914(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

Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Raffaele Fitto, Anna Fotyga, Karol Karski, Adam Bielan, Ryszard Czarnecki, Assita Kanko, Joanna Kopcińska, Elżbieta Kruk, Elżbieta Rafalska, Bogdan Rzońca, Hermann Tertsch, Valdemar Tomaševski, Evžen Tošenovský, Alexandr Vondra, Veronika Vrecionová, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Charlie Weimers, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Jan Zahradil
on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0440/2020

Procedure : 2020/2914(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Iran, in particular the case of 2012 Sakharov Prize laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran;


- having regard to the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy;


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


- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);


- having regard to the United Nations Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of those facing the Death Penalty;


- having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights;


- having regard to the recent statements by HRVP Borrell on Iran on 7 October 2020;


- having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty;


- having regard to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s statement on 9 December 2020;


- having regard to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran;


- having regard to the most recent Universal Periodic Review on Iran of 2019;


- having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure;


A. whereas prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested on 13 June 2018,  facing several national security related charges, largely in connection with her work as a lawyer defending women who have been prosecuted for peacefully protesting against the forced wearing of the hijab;


B. whereas Nasrin Sotoudeh was temporarily released on 7 November following a positive test for COVID-19; whereas she was ordered to return to Qarchak prison on 2 December; whereas this decision on the part of Iranian authorities may have life-threatening consequences for her and further extend her arbitrary imprisonment in violation of Iran’s obligations under international human rights law;


C. whereas Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian scientist, has been sentenced to death in Iran on false charges of espionage and may face imminent execution;


D. whereas on 12 December 2020, Ruhollah Zam, was executed in Iran; whereas he had been living in exile in France and was lured to Iraq and kidnapped to Iran by Iranian authorities;


E. whereas on 12 September 2020, the Iranian authorities murdered and executed wrestling star Navid Afkari, having charging him on counts he fully denied; whereas his brothers remain in prison and received very lengthy sentences for having participated in anti-government protests;


F. whereas, a chilling rise in the use of the death penalty by Iranian authorities has been reported over the last year, as an apparent tactic to spread fear and deter Iranian citizens to participate in anti-government protests;


G. whereas Iranian courts, and particularly revolutionary courts, regularly fall short of providing fair trials and use confessions obtained under torture as evidence in court; whereas authorities also routinely restrict detainees’ access to legal counsel, particularly during the investigation period;


H. whereas the EU and Iran have started working towards renewing a bilateral human rights dialogue while several human rights defenders served prison sentences imposed for communicating with EU and UN officials;


I. whereas the US State Department outlined that Iran remains the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism in 2020, providing political, financial, operational and logistical support to a variety of groups listed in both the EU terror list and US list of foreign terrorist organizations;




  1. Strongly supports the aspirations of the Iranian people who want to live in a free, stable, prosperous, inclusive and democratic country, which respects its national and international commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  2. Deplores Iran’s abuse of the criminal justice system to repress peaceful activities that promote and defend human rights, and calls on its authorities to ensure a safe and enabling environment where it is possible to defend and promote human rights without fear of reprisal, punishment or intimidation;
  3.  Calls on Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Nasrin Sotoudeh, Ahmadreza Djalali, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Farhad Meysami, Narges Mohammadi, Arash Sadeghi and Golrokh Iraeee, and all others imprisoned on false charges or for solely exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and human rights activities;
  4. Deplores the executions of Ruhollah Zam and Navid Afkari and calls on the Iranian authorities to halt any future executions;
  5. Stresses that fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and assembly must always be respected and calls on the Iranian authorities to live up to their international obligations, including under the ICCPR;
  6. Welcomes the adoption of the Magnitsky Act by the Council as an important EU instrument to sanction violators of human rights; calls for the preparation of restrictive measures against Iranian officials involved in the unfair trail, detention and executions of  Ruhollah Zam, Navid Afkari and imminent execution of Swedish national Mr. Ahmadreza Djalali, and all other Iranian, dual and foreign nationals unfairly held in Iran; considers further sanctions against Iran necessary if authorities do not free Mr. Djalali as demanded by the EU and Member States;
  7. Strongly condemns the steadily deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, including and especially for persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, due to systematic political, economic, social, and cultural discrimination; deplores the alarming escalation in the use of the death penalty against protesters, dissidents and members of minority groups;
  8. Expresses grave concern over the use of coerced confessions as well as detainees’ inability to access legal representation during interrogations, serious allegations of abuse during pre-charge and pre-trial detention, and the trial of civilians before revolutionary courts;
  9. Reminds the Iranian authorities that respect for human rights is a core component in the development of EU-Iran relations; in this regard, strongly calls on the Iranian authorities to halt all acts of intimidation and reprisals against human rights defenders, including for communicating with EU and UN officials and independent human rights organizations;
  10. Calls for the EU, including the VP/HR, to continue raising human rights with the Iranian authorities in bilateral and multilateral forums, in particular in the context of EU-Iran high-level political dialogue;
  11. Calls on the Iranian authorities to eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, officially recognised or otherwise; demands that all persons belonging to minorities be allowed to exercise all the rights enshrined in the Iranian constitution and in international law, including the guarantees stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Iran is a party;
  12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Members of the Iranian Majlis.




Last updated: 15 December 2020
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