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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 182nd session
(Cape Town, 18 April 2008)

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/182/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 181st session (October 2007),

Referring also to the expert report on Mr. Barghouti's trial by Mr. Simon Foreman (CL/177/11(a)-R.2),

Recalling that Mr. Barghouti was sentenced on 6 June 2004 by the Tel Aviv District Court, whose jurisdiction he did not recognize, to five life sentences and two 20-year prison terms, which he is currently serving in an Israeli prison,

Recalling its consistent wish for Mr. Barghouti to be paid a private visit, which has been denied by the Israeli authorities on the grounds that such a visit would be seen as an inspection of Israeli practices in jails and that it could therefore not be authorized; noting in this respect that the Prison Authority has recently denied a request by members of Gush Shalom to visit Mr. Barghouti, claiming that “security” prisoners can only meet with immediate family members, lawyers, Knesset members and the Red Cross; that Gush Shalom has lodged an appeal against that decision with the Supreme Court and asked the court to invalidate Article 15A (e) of the Prison Service Regulations, which imposes severe restrictions on the right of security prisoners to receive visits, arguing that under Israeli law all prisoners are allowed visits from friends as well as family members; noting that it appears from the press release issued by Gush Shalom in this respect that, on numerous occasions, the authorities have in the past allowed Palestinian friends and political associates of Mr. Barghouti to visit him and even allowed Al Jazeera and Al Arabyia TV crews to interview him in prison,

Considering that at the meeting of IPU President Casini and the Secretary General with the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs during their visit to Israel in early February 2008, the Minister stated that such a visit could be arranged,

Noting lastly that there have been calls from within Israel for the release of Mr. Barghouti, most recently by MK Amir Peretz in March 2008 when he stated that Mr. Barghouti could be a key element in attaining stability and assuming responsibility of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA),

  1. Reaffirms, in the light of the compelling legal arguments put forward in Mr. Foreman's report, on which the Israeli authorities have not provided observations, that Mr. Barghouti's trial did not meet the fair trial standards which Israel, as a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is bound to respect;

  2. Reaffirms further, in the light of the expert report, that Mr. Barghouti was transferred to Israel in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Oslo Accords; consequently once again urges the Israeli authorities to transfer Mr. Barghouti to the custody of the Palestinian authorities;

  3. Regrets that nothing has so far come of the favourable attitude of the Israeli Foreign Minister towards the visit of a Committee member to Mr. Barghouti and looks forward to her early reply in this respect;

  4. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 119th Assembly of the IPU (Geneva, October 2008).
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