Motion for a resolution - B9-0455/2022Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the death of Mahsa Amini and the repression of women’s rights protesters in Iran

4.10.2022 - (2022/2849(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Raffaele Fitto, Anna Fotyga, Charlie Weimers, Assita Kanko, Bogdan Rzońca, Adam Bielan, Dominik Tarczyński, Valdemar Tomaševski, Elżbieta Rafalska, Ryszard Czarnecki, Veronika Vrecionová, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Carlo Fidanza, Patryk Jaki, Beata Mazurek, Ladislav Ilčić, Nicola Procaccini, Alexandr Vondra
on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0434/2022

Procedure : 2022/2849(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the death of Mahsa Amini and the repression of women’s rights protesters in Iran


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran, in particular that of 17 February 2022 on the death penalty in Iran [1], that of 8 July 2021 on the case of Ahmadreza Djalali in Iran[2], that of 17 December 2020 on Iran, in particular the case of 2012 Sakharov Prize Laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh[3], that of 19 September 2019 on Iran, notably the situation of women’s rights defenders and imprisoned EU dual nationals[4] and that of 19 December 2019 on the violent crackdown on the recent protests in Iran[5],

 having regard to the statement of 19 September 2022 by the Spokesperson of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the death of Mahsa Amini,

 having regard to the statement of 22 September 2022 by UN experts on the death of Mahsa Amini,

 having regard to the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/584 of 12 April 2021 implementing Regulation (EU) No 359/2011 concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Iran[6] and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2021/585 of 12 April 2021 implementing Decision 2011/235/CFSP concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities in view of the situation in Iran[7],

 having regard to the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EU Magnitsky Act) of 7 December 2020,

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

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

 having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, also known by her Kurdish name Jhina, was arrested on 13 September for allegedly ‘improperly’ wearing her hijab; whereas she was beaten while in custody and died as a result three days later on 16 September 2022; whereas the Iranian authorities have maintained that her death was from natural causes; whereas a proper investigation has not been conducted; whereas the victim’s father was prevented by doctors from seeing her body and the autopsy report;

B. whereas thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to protest the death of Mahsa Amini in over 120 cities in over 30 provinces across the country, including in Tehran, Isfahan, Karaj, Mashhad, Rasht, Saqqes and Sanandai; whereas the Iranian leaders and authorities have warned that they will act harshly and decisively against those participating in the protests; whereas the security forces have responded excessively and disproportionally, using live ammunition, pellet guns and teargas against protesters;

C. whereas protests have continued despite a brutal crackdown by the Iranian authorities, which including shutting down the internet and severely restricting the Instagram, Whatsapp and LinkedIn social media platforms; whereas at least 133 people have been killed, including children, and over 1 200 have been arrested, including political activists, journalists, athletes and celebrities;

D. whereas during the protests many women took off their hijab or cut their hair in protest at Mahsa Amini’s death; whereas in 1983, compulsory veiling was imposed in Iran; whereas since then women have been harassed, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, flogged and killed;

E. whereas the protests have also united different religious and ethnic backgrounds and are led by many student activists and many educated, urban and middle-class women and men in their twenties expressing support for women’s rights and fundamental freedoms; whereas protests and strikes at over 100 universities turned into street demonstrations across the country, as students left campuses and joined the protests;

F. whereas on 30 September 2022, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) stated that it had arrested nine foreigners, including German, Polish, French, Italian, Dutch and Swedish nationals in recent days for their alleged involvement in the protests; whereas the MOIS stated that it was closely watching foreign embassies whose agents it alleged had been involved in the recent protests and warned German, French, British and Swedish diplomats, among others; whereas European-Iranian dual nationals continue to be arrested, receive unfair trials, are placed in solitary confinement and sentenced on the basis of false and vague espionage charges;

G. whereas the MOIS stated on 30 September 2022, that it had arrested 49 members of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation in Iran who it charged with organised terrorism and vandalism, and fabricating fake news to incite riots: whereas it also stated that it had arrested 77 agents of Kurdish dissident groups, three leaders of the Baha’i faith, two of their alleged media agents and 92 supporters of the former Pahlavi monarchy;

H. whereas the protests in Iran have led to increased surveillance and intimidation by Iranian intelligence services against the Iranian diaspora throughout Member States in a clear violation of the civil rights of European citizens;

I. whereas Iranian courts, and particularly revolutionary courts, regularly fail to provide fair trials and accept confessions obtained under torture as evidence in court; whereas the authorities also routinely restrict detainees’ access to legal counsel, particularly during the investigation period;

J. whereas the human rights situation in Iran is increasingly deteriorating, and UN experts have expressed alarm at the escalating persecution of religion and belief on the ground; whereas the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)is included in the EU and US sanctions list for their involvement in grave human rights violations;

K. whereas according to reports, every year 400 to 500 women are brutally murdered in Iran, in ‘honour killings’; whereas under the Iranian Criminal Code, ‘honour killings’ are permitted under certain circumstances without penalty; whereas women and men often face no justice for crimes committed against them in the name of ‘honour’;

L. whereas religious persecution continues in Iran, including arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances of members of religious minorities; whereas Iran’s approximately 500 000 Christians suffer widespread discrimination although they account for less than 1 % of the Iranian population; whereas practising Christians and converts from Islam to Christianity or any other faith risk persecution; whereas other religious minorities such as the Baha’i or Sufi Yarsanis are also persecuted; whereas being Muslim is a requirement for most government jobs;

M. whereas Ebrahim Raisi, who was elected as Iran’s President in June 2021 and is on the United States sanction list, previously served as chief of the Iranian judiciary, despite having a well-documented record of grave human rights violations; whereas Ebrahim Raisi’s victory was engineered by the Islamic Republic’s institutions in elections which were not fully free or fair; whereas only seven candidates out of 592 received the green light to run for the presidency from the Guardian Council; whereas none of the candidates were women, persons from minority groups or held views opposed to the regime’s;

N. whereas during Ebrahim Raisi’s tenure as chief of the Iranian judiciary since early 2019, at least three political prisoners have been executed, several have been killed in prison or died due to lack of medical attention and many in Tehran and Shiraz received death sentences; whereas multiple cases of torture of political prisoners and those detained during protests have been reported; whereas Ebrahim Raisi also served as a member of a ‘death panel’ that carried out summary executions of up to 5 000 political prisoners in 1988;

O. whereas Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian national was arrested in October 2017 after he visited Iran to attend workshops on disaster medicine; whereas Dr Djalali has been sentenced to death in Iran on false charges of espionage and faces imminent execution; whereas he was subjected to enormous pressure and made false confessions under torture; whereas medical issues have prevented him from eating properly, resulting in dramatic weight loss; whereas his detention has been used as a leverage by Iran in its negotiations with the international community and the Belgian authorities;

P. whereas on 12 December 2020, journalist Ruhollah Zam was executed in Iran; whereas he had been living in exile in France, was lured to Iraq and illegally extradited to Iran to be executed;

Q. whereas on 12 September 2020, the Iranian authorities executed the wrestler Navid Afkari after charging him on counts he completely denied; whereas his brothers, Vahid and Habib, remain in prison and have received lengthy sentences; whereas on 23 August 2022 it was reported that Vahid Afkari had been threatened with a death sentence;

R. whereas on 27 September 2022 it was reported that the hacktivist group Anonymous had obtained documents from the National Bank of Iran that showed that the Islamic Republic had laundered huge sums of money through corrupt individuals in Europe;

S. whereas on 28 September 2022, the Iranian military fired almost a hundred missiles and launched suicide drones against military bases belonging to the Kurdish Democratic Party in Iran in Iraqi Kurdistan killing 13 people and injuring 58;

T. whereas the US State Department has stated that Iran remains the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism in recent years, 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 organisations;

U. whereas on 22 September 2022 the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Control (OFAC) designated Iran’s Morality Police for abuse and violence against Iranian women and the violation of the rights of peaceful Iranian protesters; whereas the US OFAC also targets the MOIS, the army’s ground forces, the Basij resistance forces and law enforcement; whereas this decision was taken pursuant to Executive Order 13553, which imposes sanctions on certain persons with respect to serious human rights abuses by the Government of Iran;

V. whereas on 26 September 2022, Elon Musk’s Starlink activated its satellite broadband service in Iran after the US allowed private companies to offer uncensored internet access to the country during the current protests; whereas the open internet access follows Starlink’s activation in Ukraine after Russia’s aggression against Ukraine; whereas Iran has provided Russia with drones to be used in its war against Ukraine in a reported quid pro quo for the purchase of advanced Russian Sukhoi-35 (Su-35) fighters to upgrade its own ageing military air fleet;

W. whereas on 7 December 2020, the Council adopted a Regulation establishing the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime; whereas restrictive measures for serious human rights violation in Iran were first adopted on 12 April 2011, and have been extended every year;

X. whereas negotiations on the renewal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are ongoing with reportedly no deal expected before the US mid-term elections; whereas talks continue on the safeguards probe that was launched by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after it found traces of uranium at three undeclared sites in Iran;

Y. whereas the Russian aggression against Ukraine resulted in the deepening of Tehran’s relations with Moscow; whereas in this context, there have been reports of a possible scheme for Russia to circumvent sanctions against it by means of a ‘swap’ scheme where Tehran receives Russian oil in return for Iran selling its own oil to Russia’s clients and of other joint efforts to evade international sanctions;

1. Deplores the death of Mahsa Amini and extends its condolences to her family and friends; calls for a prompt, impartial, and effective investigation into her death by an independent competent authority in cooperation with international organisations;

2. Expresses support to the young Iranian women leading and participating in the protests despite the difficulties and personal repercussions they are facing; strongly condemns the violence and discrimination against women in Iran and deplores that women are obliged to wear a veil against their will on pain of violent reprisals or even death; calls for an end to discriminatory laws and clothing requirements for women in Iran, including the mandatory hijab;

3. Strongly condemns the violent crackdown by the Iranian authorities against protesters; regrets the resulting loss of life and that people were injured while protesting and extends its condolences to the victims and their families; calls on the Iranian authorities to refrain from using disproportionate force against peaceful protesters and stresses that all the serious allegations of violence against protesters must be thoroughly and independently investigated;

4. Calls for the release of all arrested protesters, as well as of all unlawfully detained human rights activists, journalists and other prisoners of conscience in Iran and calls for all charges against them to be dropped; reiterates its support for the aspirations of the Iranian people who want to live in a free, inclusive and democratic country, which respects its national and international commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms;

5. Expresses grave concern about the reported arrests of nine European nationals in Iran, including German, Polish, French, Italian, Dutch and Swedish nationals and the public threats by MOIS against the German, French, British and Swedish embassies among others; demands the immediate release of these European nationals and for all charges against them to be dropped;

6. Calls on VP/HR Josep Borrell and the European External Action Service to publicly denounce the repression against women, human rights defenders as well as minorities in Iran and to call for the release of the arrested European citizens and peaceful Iranian protesters; recalls that respect for human rights is a core component for the development of EU-Iran relations and calls on VP/HR Borrell to stress that any improvement in economic relations with Iran is conditional on the end of Iran’s serious human rights abuses;

7. Condemns the internet disruption and censorship by the Iranian authorities as part of their crackdown against the protests; welcomes the activation of Starlink in Iran and the US decision to allow private companies to offer uncensored internet access to the country during the current protests; urges Member States and European companies to take similar steps to facilitate internet access in Iran;

8. Reiterates its strong condemnation of 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;

9. Calls on the Iranian authorities to eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons belonging to minorities, whether officially recognised or not, and to respect ethnic and religious minorities’ fundamental rights and freedoms including freedom of conscience and to exercise their full rights on an equal basis with all citizens;

10. Strongly condemns the Iranian authorities’ increasing use of the death penalty in recent years; deplores the alarming escalation in the use of the death penalty against protesters, dissidents and members of minority groups through Iran’s abuse of the criminal justice system to repress peaceful activities that promote and defend human rights; calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately cease applying the death penalty and move towards its abolition;

11. Expresses grave concern about the situation of Ahmadreza Djalali, Vahid Afkari and all others unlawfully imprisoned in Iran; reiterates its call for their unconditional release and for all charges against them to be dropped; demands that the Iranian authorities ensure that the rights of prisoners and those arrested are protected at all times, including their ability to receive adequate medical care and full access to their families and lawyers of their own choice; reiterates its calls on Iran to grant requests for visits from representatives of international organisations; calls on the Iranian authorities to stop threatening Ahmadreza Djalali’s family in Iran and Sweden;

12. Strongly condemns the IRGC’s unprovoked attack in Iraq’s Erbil Governorate and stresses that such indiscriminate attacks threaten innocent civilians and the region’s stability; underlines the Iranian regime’s destabilising role throughout the region and denounces the fact that the regime is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iran, Syria, Yemen and Iraq; strongly condemns Iran’s cooperation with Russia and the fact that it is supplying for the Russian war against Ukraine;

13. Expresses its dismay and deep concern that the Commission may have financed or co-financed campaigns trivialising the wearing of the Islamic veil, including the Council of Europe campaign co-financed by the Commission which stated that ‘beauty is in diversity as freedom is in hijab’; urges the European institutions to not finance any future campaign that may promote the Islamic hijab or put pressure of any kind on Muslim women and girls to feel obliged to wear it;

14. Welcomes the Council’s adoption of the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EU Magnitsky Act) as an important instrument for the EU to sanction violators of human rights; calls on the Council to impose sanctions in response to serious human rights violations, including acts of repression, the monitoring of telecommunications and all violations against Iranian civilians;

15. Calls on the Council to prepare targeted measures against Iran’s Morality Police, whose officials were involved in the death of Mahsa Amini, and who have committed serious human rights violations against protesters, been responsible for executions and arbitrary detentions of dual and foreign nationals in Iran, and against judges who have sentenced journalists, human rights defenders, political dissidents and activists to death; calls for Member State ambassadors to Iran to be recalled; reiterates that sanctions against the IRGC leadership must not be lifted;

16. Calls on the VP/HR to suspend all negotiations on the JCPOA in the light of the findings of the IAEA probe and Tehran’s hostile conduct in the region and globally;

17. Calls for an independent investigation into the role of Ebrahim Raisi in crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture;

18. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, 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 Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Members of the Iranian Majlis and the family of Mahsa Amini.


Last updated: 4 October 2022
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