Motion for Resolution: European Parliament resolution on Iran, the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh

Jan 20, 20110 comments

The European Parliament, –   having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran, notably those concerning human rights, and in particular those of 10 February 2010 and 8 September 2010, –   having regard to Rule 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure, A.  whereas Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, was sentenced to 11 years in jail on charges of “acting against national security”, not wearing hejab (Islamic dress) during a videotaped message, and “propaganda against the regime”; whereas she was also banned from practicing law and travelling for 20 year; B.   whereas Sotoudeh, a mother of two children, was arrested on 4 September 2010, held for long periods in solitary confinement, denied contact with her family and lawyer and came close to death after hunger strike to protest her prison conditions and violations of due process; C.   whereas Sotoudeh has reportedly been tortured in prison in order to force her to confess to crimes, D.   whereas UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navy Pillay expressed concern about Nasrin Sotoudeh’s case on 23 November 2010, stating that the case was part of a much broader crackdown, and that the situation of human rights defenders in Iran was growing more and more difficult; E.   whereas Sotoudeh´s sentence is part of a systematic assault on the human rights lawyers and activists in Iran, which includes the sentencing on 7 January 2011 of Shiva Nazarahari, co-founder of Committee of Human Rights Reporters and a prominent activist, to four years in prison and 74 lashes and the sentencing on 30 October 2010 of a prominent lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh to nine years in prison and a ten year ban from practicing law; whereas other human rights defenders facing imminent prosecution in Iran are Mohammad Oliyafar, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Abdolfattah Soltani and Houtan Kian; F.   whereas forced confessions, the torture and ill-treatment of prisoners, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, clandestine detention, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, physical abuse, including sexual violence, and impunity for State agents continue to be widespread in Iran, giving rise to serious doubts as to the fairness and transparency of the judicial process in that country, 1.  Considers that the sentence of Nasrin Sotoudeh is of a political nature, aimed at taking one of Iran’s leading human rights defenders out of practice; calls on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Nasrin Sotoudeh; 2. Believes that the sentence of Nasrin Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders and human rights lawyers, shows the Islamic Republic’s complete disregard for norms of justice established by the international community to protect human rights; 3. Calls on the HR/VP Catherine Ashton to demand the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh and to urge the Iranian government to end its persecution of human rights defenders at the negotiations of five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany with Iran in Istanbul on 21-22 January 4. Expresses its support and solidarity with Iran’s human rights defenders who have been prosecuted and/or arrested due to their human rights activities; 5. Calls for the immediate release, in addition to Nasrin Sotoudeh, of the Iranian human rights defenders Shiva Nazarahari, Mohammad Seifzadeh, Mohammad Oliyafar, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Abdolfattah Soltani and Houtan Kiani; 6. Calls on the Islamic Republic of Iran to adhere to the standards set-forth by the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, which states that lawyers must be allowed to carry out their work “without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference” and recognizes that lawyers are entitled to freedom of expression, including “the right to take part in public discussion of matters concerning the law, the administration of justice and the promotion and protection of human rights; 7. Deeply deplores the lack of fairness and transparency in the judicial process in Iran and calls on the Iranian authorities to guarantee a fair and open appeal procedure; appeals to the head of the Iranian Judiciary Sadegh Larijani to establish an independent commission to examine the prosecution of human rights lawyers and to hold accountable all officials who have participated in illegal procedures; 8. Calls on the Iranian authorities to grant the Red Crescent access to all prisoners and to allow international human rights organisations to monitor the situation in the country; 9.  Calls on the Commission and Council to devise additional measures in the context of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights in order actively to protect Iranian human rights defenders, and encourages the Member States to support the European Shelter City Programme; 10.  Calls for the re-establishment of a UN mandate for a Special Rapporteur to investigate human rights abuses and encourage accountability for those perpetrating human rights violations in Iran; 11.  Calls for the existing list of individuals and organisations subject to the EU travel ban and the freezing of assets to be extended to include those who are responsible for violations of human rights, repression and curtailment of freedom in Iran; 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, the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the President of the Iranian Supreme Court and the Government and Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Original: