Joint motion for a resolution - RC-B9-0089/2019Joint motion for a resolution

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

18.9.2019 - (2019/2823(RSP))

pursuant to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of the Rules of Procedure
replacing the following motions:
B9‑0089/2019 (ECR)
B9‑0090/2019 (Verts/ALE)
B9‑0093/2019 (S&D)
B9‑0094/2019 (Renew)
B9‑0096/2019 (PPE)

Michael Gahler, Željana Zovko, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Loránt Vincze, Vladimír Bilčík, David McAllister, Arba Kokalari, Lefteris Christoforou, Loucas Fourlas, 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, Stanislav Polčák, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Inese Vaidere, Andrey Kovatchev, Ioan-Rareş Bogdan
on behalf of the PPE Group
Kati Piri, Jytte Guteland
on behalf of the S&D Group
María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Luisa Porritt, Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Abir Al-Sahlani, Andrus Ansip, Petras Auštrevičius, Phil Bennion, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Sylvie Brunet, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Katalin Cseh, Chris Davies, Anna Júlia Donáth, Laurence Farreng, Fredrick Federley, Valter Flego, Klemen Grošelj, Christophe Grudler, Irena Joveva, Ondřej Kovařík, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Nathalie Loiseau, Radka Maxová, Karen Melchior, Javier Nart, Lucy Nethsingha, Bill Newton Dunn, Urmas Paet, Dragoş Pîslaru, Frédérique Ries, Michal Šimečka, Susana Solís Pérez, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu, Hilde Vautmans, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou
on behalf of the Renew Group
Hannah Neumann, Heidi Hautala, Ernest Urtasun, Saskia Bricmont, Katrin Langensiepen, Bronis Ropė, Ville Niinistö, Catherine Rowett, Erik Marquardt, Anna Cavazzini, Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel, Kim Van Sparrentak, Tineke Strik, Ellie Chowns
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Anna Fotyga, Karol Karski, Raffaele Fitto, Jan Zahradil, Veronika Vrecionová, Alexandr Vondra, Ruža Tomašić, Charlie Weimers, Evžen Tošenovský, Valdemar Tomaševski, Assita Kanko
on behalf of the ECR Group
Martin Buschmann, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Cornelia Ernst

Procedure : 2019/2823(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :

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 those concerning human rights, in particular those of 14 March 2019 on Iran, notably the case of human rights defenders[1], of 13 December 2018 on Iran, notably the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh[2], of 31 May 2018 on the situation of imprisoned EU-Iranian dual nationals in Iran[3], of 25 October 2016 on the EU strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement[4], of 3 April 2014 on the EU strategy towards Iran[5], of 8 October 2015 on the death penalty[6] and of 17 November 2011 on Iran – recent cases of human rights violations[7],

 having regard to the Council conclusions on Iran of 4 February 2019 and to Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/560 of 8 April 2019 implementing Regulation (EU) No 359/2011 concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Iran, which extends the restrictive measures related to serious human rights violations in Iran for one year, until 13 April 2020[8],

 having regard to the report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran of 8 February 2019,

 having regard to the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran of September 2018, 30 January 2019 and 18 July 2019, and to his statement of 16 August 2019 on the detention of and lengthy prison sentences handed to Mojgan Keshavarz, Monireh Arabshahi and Yasaman Aryani, three Iranian women arbitrarily detained for publicly protesting against the compulsory wearing of veils,

 having regard to the statement of 29 November 2018 by UN human rights experts entitled ‘Iran must protect women’s rights advocates’,

 having regard to the EU Guidelines on the death penalty, on torture, on freedom of expression both online and offline, and on human rights defenders,

 having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson for the European External Action Service (EEAS) of 12 March 2019 on the conviction of Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh,

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

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

 having regard to the UN General Assembly resolution of 17 December 2018 on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,

 having regard to the new EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, which aims to place the protection and monitoring of human rights at the heart of all EU policies,

 having regard to the UN’s Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment of 1988,

 having regard to the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the ‘Nelson Mandela Rules’) of 2015,

 having regard to the Iranian President’s Charter on Citizens’ Rights,

 having regard to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas in recent months Iranian revolutionary courts have substantially increased the clampdown on peaceful acts of resistance by women’s rights defenders protesting against the compulsory wearing of the hijab, including the length of prison sentences; whereas, according to the UN, at least 32 people have been arrested and at least 10 imprisoned since 2018 for protesting against the mandatory wearing of the hijab;

B. whereas Iranian activists Mojgan Keshavarz, Monireh Arabshahi and Yasaman Aryani were arbitrarily detained in April 2019 after publishing an online video in which they appear without their headscarves, peacefully protesting against Iran’s compulsory veiling laws while handing out flowers on the Tehran metro on 8 March 2019, International Women’s Day; whereas Sahar Khodayari, an Iranian woman detained for attempting to watch a football match at a stadium, burned herself to death in protest after learning that she would face a six-month prison sentence for her actions;

C. whereas in August 2019 Mojgan Keshavarz, Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi and Saba Kord-Afshari were handed sentences ranging from 16 to 24 years’ imprisonment; whereas they were denied access to lawyers during the initial investigation stage and their legal representatives were reportedly prohibited from representing them at their trial; whereas their sentences are directly related to their peaceful exercise of the rights of freedom of expression and assembly in defence of gender equality in Iran;

D. whereas on 27 August 2019, the court of first instance sentenced three women labour rights activists – Sepideh Gholian, Sanaz Allahyari and Asal Mohammadi – on charges including ‘assembly and collusion to act against national security’; whereas it emerged on 24 and 31 August that Marzieh Amiri and Atefeh Rangriz, two women labour rights defenders who had been in detention since their arrest at a peaceful Labour Day protest, were sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison and 148 lashes, and 11 and a half years in prison and 74 lashes, respectively, on charges that include ‘assembly and collusion to act against national security,’ ‘propaganda against the state’ and ‘disrupting public order’;

E. whereas Iran has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly; whereas Iran has a range of discriminatory laws, in particular concerning the legal provisions relating to personal status;

F. whereas EU-Iranian dual nationals continue to be arrested, with arrest followed by prolonged solitary confinement and interrogations, with lack of due process, lack of a fair trial and long prison sentences based on vague or unspecified ‘national security’ and ‘espionage’ charges, as well as state-sponsored smear campaigns against the imprisoned individuals; whereas Iran does not recognise dual nationality, thereby limiting the access foreign embassies have to their dual nationals held there;

G. whereas at least six EU-Iranian dual nationals, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Ahmadreza Djalali, Kamal Ahmady, Kamran Ghaderi, Massud Mossaheb and Morad Tahbaz, are currently imprisoned in Iran;

H. whereas Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian national employed by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has been unlawfully imprisoned in Iran since 3 April 2016, having been unlawfully detained for months, accused of spying, and then subsequently denied a free and fair trial; whereas she has been repeatedly deprived of medical treatment, leading to the deterioration of her physical and mental health; whereas she has recently been denied access to international phonecalls and has had family visits restricted to only once a month;

I. whereas Iranian-British social anthropologist Kameel Ahmady has been in detention in Tehran on undisclosed charges since 11 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;

J. whereas Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian-born Swedish scientist and physician, has been held in Evin prison since April 2016 and received a death sentence in October 2017 on espionage charges on the basis of an alleged forced confession;

K. whereas Kamran Ghaderi, a dual Iranian-Austrian national, 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 2 January 2016, and was handed a 10-year prison sentence on the charge of ‘conducting espionage for enemy states’;

L. whereas on 11 March 2019, the 2012 Sakharov prize laureate, human rights defender and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced in absentia to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes, inter alia in relation to her work defending women charged for protesting against the compulsory hijab; whereas more than one million people joined a global campaign in June to demand that the Iranian Government release Ms Sotoudeh;

M. whereas Atena Daemi and Golrock Ebrahimi Iraee were sentenced to six years in prison in October 2016; whereas two additional years were added to their sentence in September 2019 after they were accused of ‘insulting the supreme leader’; whereas this sentence was reportedly handed down as a reprisal for protests by women’s rights defenders in prison;

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

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

P. 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 of their own choice and to deny them consular assistance; whereas there are no independent mechanisms for ensuring accountability within the judiciary;

Q. 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;

R. whereas Iran continues to apply the death penalty on a frequent basis; whereas Narges Mohammadi, a Per Anger Prize laureate, is currently serving a sixteen-year sentence for her campaign to abolish the death penalty and her work with Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi;

1. Calls on the Iranian authorities to annul all these sentences and immediately and unconditionally release Mojgan Keshavarz, Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, Saba Kord-Afshari and Atena Daemi as women’s rights defenders protesting against the compulsory hijab; calls also for the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh, Narges Mohammadi, Sepideh Gholian, Sanaz Allahyari, Asal Mohammadi, Marzieh Amiri and Atefeh Rangriz, and of all the human rights defenders imprisoned and sentenced for simply exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly;

2. Condemns in the strongest terms the ongoing repression of women for objecting to compulsory veiling and for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly; calls on the Iranian Government to respect the freedom of Iranian women to choose their own dress code;

3. 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, and demands that the Iranian judiciary cease the permanent harassment; urges the Iranian judiciary to cease online censorship and to respect the universal human rights of all people, in particular their rights to free expression online and offline;

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

5. Deeply regrets the lack of progress made in the cases regarding EU-Iranian dual nationals detained in Iran; demands the immediate and unconditional release of all EU-Iranian dual nationals, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Ahmadreza Djalali, Kamal Ahmady, Kamran Ghaderi, Massud Mossaheb and Morad Tahbaz, who are currently detained in Iranian prisons, unless they are retried in accordance with international standards; denounces the continuing practice of imprisonment of EU-Iranian dual nationals by the Iranian judiciary following unfair trials;

6. Urges the Iranian authorities to cooperate without further ado with EU Member State embassies in Tehran in order to enable the establishment of a comprehensive list of EU-Iranian dual nationals currently being detained in Iranian prisons, and to closely monitor each individual case, given that citizens’ security and protection of their fundamental rights are of the highest importance for the EU;

7. Urges the Iranian authorities to revise the legal provisions which discriminate against women, in particular those relating to their personal status; welcomes the introduction in the Iranian Parliament of the draft law on the protection of women against violence and stresses the need for comprehensive legislation to specifically define and criminalise all forms of gender-based violence against women;

8. Calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure that women are allowed access to all stadiums, without discrimination or risk of persecution;

9. 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 under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

10. Calls on the Iranian Parliament to amend the national security crime laws that are regularly used to prosecute human rights defenders, journalists, environmental and trade union activists and members of religious and ethnic minorities, and which contravene the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Iran;

11. Condemns the continuous practice of intentionally denying medical care to prisoners; deplores the systematic torture in Iranian prisons and calls for the immediate cessation of all forms of torture and ill-treatment of all detainees; condemns the practice of denying access to phonecalls and family visits for detainees;

12. Urges the Iranian authorities to ensure the unreserved and full implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Iran is a signatory; urges Iran to adhere to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women;

13. Notes the amendments to the drug trafficking law, which should reduce the number of death sentences;

14. Strongly condemns the use of the death penalty, including its use against juvenile offenders; calls on the Iranian authorities to introduce an immediate moratorium as a fundamental step towards its abolition;

15. Calls on Iran to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, including by allowing him to enter the country;

16. Encourages strong coordination among EU embassies accredited in Tehran; urges all Member States with a diplomatic presence in Tehran to use the mechanisms envisaged in the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders to support and protect these individuals, in particular women’s rights defenders and EU dual nationals, including through public statements, diplomatic démarches, the monitoring of trials and prison visits;

17. Calls for the EU, including the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to continue raising human rights concerns with the Iranian authorities in bilateral and multilateral fora and to use all planned engagements with the Iranian authorities for that purpose, in particular in the context of the EU-Iran High Level Political Dialogue;

18. Calls on the EEAS to report back on the actions taken regarding Parliament’s previous resolutions on Iran;

19. 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.



Last updated: 19 September 2019
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