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Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 176th session (Manila, 8th April 2005)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Marwan Barghouti, an incumbent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/176/13(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 175th session (October 2004),

Taking account of the letter from the Diplomatic Adviser to the Speaker of the Knesset, dated 29 March 2005, and the attached information provided by the Israeli Prison Service,

Recalling that Mr. Barghouti was arrested in April 2002 in Ramallah by the Israeli Armed Forces and transferred to a detention facility in Israel; on 6 June 2004, the Tel Aviv District Court found him guilty of murder, attempted murder and hostile terrorist activities and sentenced him to five life sentences and two 20 year prison terms; Mr. Barghouti has not appealed against the judgment as he does not recognise Israeli jurisdiction,

Recalling that, in his expert report on Mr. Barghouti's trial that the Committee had commissioned, Mr. Simon Foreman concluded that "the numerous breaches of international law… make it impossible to conclude that Mr. Barghouti was given a fair trial"; noting that neither the authorities nor the sources have submitted observations on the report,

Considering that, according to the Israeli Prison Service, Mr. Barghouti was held until recently in the segregated wing of the Ohalei Keddar prison; on 5 January 2005 he was moved to the restricted wing in the Eshel prison, and on 21 February 2005 to the restricted wing in the Hadarim prison; he has been held in restricted wings following information from security sources that he had directed terrorist acts from inside prison; noting that, according to figures provided, Mr. Barghouti has since the beginning of this year received six visits of family members (one in January, two in February and three in March), one visit from a member of the Palestinian Authority, two visits by two members of the Knesset, five visits of his lawyers and one visit by a member of parliament and a lawyer from abroad; noting also that, according to the same statistics, he did not receive any visit from family members in 2004, but did receive one visit by a member of the Palestinian Authority, one visit by a member of the Knesset and 21 visits by his lawyers,

Noting that, as a result of the recent election of a new President of the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli authorities have indicated their willingness to re-establish, to a certain extent, talks and cooperation with the Palestinian authorities,

  1. Thanks the Speaker of the Knesset and his Diplomatic Adviser for the information provided;

  2. Can but reaffirm, in the light of the stringent legal arguments put forward in Mr. Foreman’s report, that Mr. Barghouti’s trial did not meet the standards of fair trial which Israel, as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is bound to respect;

  3. Reaffirms further, in the light of the report, that Mr. Barghouti’s transfer to Israel was in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Oslo Accords, and consequently appeals once again to the Israeli authorities to transfer Mr. Barghouti to the custody of the Palestinian authorities with a view to his being tried by them in accordance with international law;

  4. Notes with concern that, in 2004, Mr. Barghouti did not receive any visits from family members, and regrets that he was deprived of family contact for one year;

  5. Notes also that Mr. Barghouti has been held in restricted or high-security prison sections throughout his detention, and would be interested to receive information as to how he might have directed terrorist attacks from such a location;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to inquire into the possibility of sending two Committee members to Israel for the purpose of a private meeting with Mr. Barghouti;

  7. Requests the Secretary General to inform the Israeli parliamentary authorities accordingly;

  8. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 113th IPU Assembly (October 2005).

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