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Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 177th session (Geneva, 19th October 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/177/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 176th session (April 2005),

Taking account of the letter from the Diplomatic Advisor to the Speaker of the Knesset, dated 6 October 2005,

Recalling the following:

  • 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 judgement, since he does not recognize Israeli jurisdiction;

  • In his expert report on Mr. Barghouti's trial, Mr. Simon Foreman concluded that "the numerous breaches of international law … make it impossible to conclude that Mr. Barghouti was given a fair trial". Neither the authorities nor the sources have submitted observations on the report;

  • According to the Israeli Prison Service, Mr. Barghouti has continuously been held in restricted prison wings since information was received from security sources that he had directed terrorist acts from inside prison. The statistics provided by the Israeli Prison Service regarding visits show Mr. Barghouti's visiting rights to be extremely restricted,
Considering that, in response to its request that the Committee be allowed to send one or two of its members to visit Mr. Barghouti in prison, the Diplomatic Advisor to the Speaker stated that no such visit could be permitted for the reason previously given, namely that such a visit would be seen as an inspection of Israeli prison practices,
  1. Thanks the Diplomatic Advisor to the Speaker of the Knesset for his letter;

  2. Reaffirms, 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 urges 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. Fails to understand how persons held in restricted prison wings in Israel are able to direct terrorist attacks from inside prison;

  5. Remains concerned at the very restricted number of visits Mr. Barghouti may receive, in particular from his family, and would appreciate receiving information as to the legislation governing the conditions of detention of prisoners serving life sentences;

  6. Regrets the Speaker's refusal to authorize the visit of a Committee member to Mr. Barghouti; points out that it requested a private visit, which cannot be construed as an inspection of Israeli prison practices; sincerely hopes therefore that this decision will be reviewed, and requests the Secretary General to raise this matter once again with the Israeli authorities;

  7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held during the 114th IPU Assembly (May 2006).

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