Mission for Establishment of Human  Rights


European Parliament Strongly Condemns Recent Wave of Executions in Iran

European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2007 on Iran

The European Parliament,

   having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran , notably those concerning human rights,

   having regard to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to all of which Iran is a party,

   having regard to the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue,

   having regard to the statement by its President on the stoning to death of a man in Iran and the EU Presidency Statement and the statement by Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on the stoning to death of Mr Jafar Kiani,

   having regard to the Declarations by the Presidency on behalf of the EU of 25 May 2007 and 3 August 2007 concerning the death sentence imposed on Sian Paymard, the death sentences imposed on Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolvahed "Hiva" Botimar, the imminent execution of Mr Behnam Zare and the death sentence imposed on Mr Ali Mahin Torabi,

   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the exercise of civil rights and political freedoms has deteriorated in the last two years, notably since the presidential elections of June 2005, despite the fact that Iran has undertaken to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms under the various international instruments in this field,

B.   whereas the number of executions in Iran, including those of minors and homosexuals, often carried out in public by hanging or stoning, has dramatically increased, bringing the number of executions recorded since the start of 2007 to at least 244(1) , a number which exceeds the 177 executions recorded in 2006,

C.   whereas the UN General Assembly, during its 62nd session in 2007, will vote on a resolution calling for a global moratorium on executions, to be introduced as a step towards the abolition of the death penalty,

D.   whereas recently, for the first time, journalists Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolvahed Botimar have been sentenced to death,

E.   whereas the practice of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners, solitary confinement, clandestine detention, the application of cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment and impunity for state agents continue to be widespread,

F.   whereas a growing number of intellectuals are being detained and whereas recently the wave of repression has been extended to persons having dual nationality, who face the severest charges of collaboration with foreign powers or espionage,

G.   whereas several activists belonging to the women's rights movement are being or have been prosecuted for their involvement in the 'one million signatures' campaign, which seeks to obtain the repeal of laws that discriminate against women and which plans to submit those one million signatures to the National Parliament (Majlis),

H.   whereas Iran is still not a party to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

I.   whereas in June 2007 the Iranian authorities cracked down on two student organisations in Tehran; whereas this resulted in arrests, although a number of the students were subsequently released on bail; whereas, in addition, the Alumni Association of Iran was closed down, in violation of Iranian law and international human rights standards on freedom of association,

J.   whereas the introduction of procedural guidelines for publication by the Ministry of Culture and the Islamic Guidance has been followed by reinforced censorship, and whereas journalists are increasingly harassed and imprisoned, while at the same time media outlets are being regularly closed by the authorities,

K.   whereas the repression of the trade union movement has increased, with arrests of its renowned leaders such as Mansour Osanlou, president of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTBC), and his deputy, Ebrahim Madadi, as well as Mahmoud Salehi, former President of the Bakery Workers' Union,

L.   whereas minorities are increasingly discriminated against and harassed due to their religious or ethnic background, notably in the border regions (Kurdistan, Khuzestan, Sistan-Baluchistan, Azerbaijan), and whereas this includes continued detention and the sentencing to death of some of their members,

M.   whereas members of the religious community of the Baha'is cannot exercise their faith, are exposed to severe persecution and deprived of virtually all civil rights (e.g. property rights, access to higher education), and whereas their religious sites are being vandalised,

N.   whereas Iranian asylum-seekers who have been sent back to Iran by third countries run severe risks of persecution, as shown by the recent case of Rasool Ali Mezrea, a member of the Al Ahwaz Liberation Organisation, who is threatened with execution after having been forcibly returned from Syria, despite his status as a recognised UNHCR refugee,

1.  Expresses its deep concern about the deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran during recent years; appeals to the Iranian authorities to honour their obligations in accordance with international human rights standards and instruments ratified by Iran, by promoting universal values and granting all persons the right to exercise their civil rights and political freedoms;

2.  Strongly condemns the execution by stoning of Mr Jafar Kiani on 5 July 2007 in the village of Aghche-kand (Qazvin Province) and calls on the Iranian authorities to implement their declared moratorium on stoning; demands that the Islamic Penal Code of Iran be reformed in order to abolish stoning;

3.  Is deeply concerned about the dramatic increase in the repression of civil-society movements in Iran over the past year; calls on the Iranian authorities to put an end to harsh repression against women's rights defenders, activists of the 'one million signatures' campaign, student movements, minority rights defenders, intellectuals, teachers, journalists, web loggers and trade unionists;

4.  Reminds the Government of Iran of its obligations, as a signatory to the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to safeguard fundamental human rights, notably freedom of opinion, and calls for the release of all prisoners of conscience;

5.  Is appalled at the spiralling numbers of executions recorded, many of those executed having undergone unfair trials;

6.  Calls on Iran to fully respect its Code of Criminal Procedure and to grant the right to a fair trial to all individuals, particularly by allowing them to have access to a lawyer from the beginning of the judicial process; urges that adequate medical assistance be unconditionally provided to those prisoners who are in poor health;

7.  Strongly condemns the death sentences and executions in Iran, in particular those imposed and/or carried out on juvenile offenders and minors, and urges the Iranian authorities to respect internationally recognised legal safeguards with regard to minors, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;

8.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to put into practice the ban on torture which was announced by the Head of the Judiciary in April 2004;

9.  Calls on the Iranian Parliament to amend the Iranian Press Law and the Penal Code to bring them into line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and notably to repeal all criminal provisions dealing with the peaceful expression of opinions, including in the press;

10.  Requests that the numerous press organs which have been closed down or censored be allowed to function under established rules of freedom of the press;

11.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to accelerate the process of investigation into the suspicious deaths and killings of intellectuals and political activists, and to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice;

12.  Appeals to the members of the Majlis to urgently amend the Penal Code in order to transform the moratorium on stoning into a definitive ban, and to adopt legislation outlawing the execution of juvenile offenders and the imposition of the death penalty for homosexual acts or adultery;

13.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to implement all required safeguards in capital cases and to limit the scope of crimes punishable by death, as a first step towards the total abolition of the death penalty; calls on the people of Iran to support the campaign entitled 'Stop the Death Penalty: the World Decides' initiated by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) and other non-governmental organisations;

14.  Calls on the authorities to respect internationally recognised legal safeguards with regard to persons belonging to religious minorities, officially recognised or otherwise; condemns the current disrespect of minority rights and calls for minorities to be able to exercise all rights granted by the Iranian Constitution and international law; further calls on the authorities to eliminate all forms of discrimination on religious or ethnic grounds or against persons belonging to minorities, such as Kurds, Azeris, Arabs, Baluchis and Baha'is; calls in particular for the de facto ban on practising the Baha'i faith to be lifted;

15.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, notably the journalists Emaddedin Baghi, Ako Kurdnasab, Ejlal Ghavami, Mohammad Sadegh Kaboudvand, Said Matinpour, Adnan Hassanpour, Abdolvahed Botimar, Kaveh Javanmard and Mohammad Hassan Fallahieh, the unionists Mansour Osanlou, Ebrahim Madadi and Mahmoud Salehi,and the students Ehsan Mansouri, Majid Tavakoli and Ahmad Ghassaban;

16.  Urges the United Nations General Assembly to vote on a resolution explicitly and decisively condemning the violation of fundamental human rights in Iran and to adopt urgent measures to halt the recent wave of executions in Iran ;

17.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to closely monitor developments in Iran and also to raise concrete cases of human rights abuses; calls on the Council and the Commission to report on the monitoring of the situation in Iran ;

18.  Proposes to restart the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue, which has been interrupted since June 2004;

19.  Reaffirms its support for all those organisations and individuals in Iran that pursue dialogue in their struggle for democratic rights;

20.  Calls on the Commission to do its best to support civil society, academic, socio-economic and cultural exchanges between Europe and Iran in the interests of an open dialogue, notably through the new Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights;

21.  Calls on the EU Member States to refrain from expulsions of Iranian asylum-seekers, including those persecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation, and calls on Greece not to return Mohammad Hassan Talebi, Mohammad Hossein Jaafari and Vahid Shokoohi Nia to Iran ;

22.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative for the CFSP, the governments and parliaments of the Member States , the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council, the Head of the State Supreme Court of Iran and the Government and Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

P.O. Box 2037
P.V.P., CA 90274

Tel: (310) 377-4590
Fax: (310) 377-3103
E-mail: mehr@mehr.org
URL: http://mehr.org