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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 185th session
(Geneva, 21 October 2009)

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/185/11(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 184th session (April 2009),

Referring also to Mr. Simon Foreman’s expert report on Mr. Barghouti's trial (CL/177/11(a)-R.2), and to the study of B’Tselem - the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories - entitled “Barred from Contact” on violations of the right to visit Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, published in September 2006,

Recalling that Mr. Barghouti was arrested on 15 April 2002 in Ramallah by the Israeli Defence Forces and transferred to a detention facility in Israel, and that he was sentenced in June 2004 to five life sentences and two 20-year prison terms; recalling also that in his report Mr. Foreman concluded that “the numerous breaches of international law make it impossible to conclude that Mr. Barghouti was given a fair trial”,

Considering that Mr. Barghouti was kept in solitary confinement from 2002 to 2004 and that, according to his wife, he has since then been kept in an isolated department in the Hadarim prison where 120 political leaders are held in cells with three persons per room; visiting rights are not regular and are only granted from time to time; for example, she went to the prison on 25 March 2009 but was denied the visit; the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) bus which took her there was attacked and stoned by supporters of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured in June 2006 in a cross-border attack on military installations; her children - three sons aged 23, 20 and 19 and one 22-year-old daughter - are not allowed to visit their father; even Mr. Barghouti's mother was not allowed to visit him and she died in 2007 without having seen her son again,

  1. Reaffirms, in the light of Mr. Foreman’s report, that Mr. Barghouti was transferred to Israel in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Oslo Accords; consequently once again urges the Israeli authorities to hand Mr. Barghouti over immediately to the Palestinian authorities;

  2. Reaffirms further, 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 (ICCPR), is bound to respect and that his guilt has therefore not been established;

  3. Deplores the extremely limited family visiting rights enjoyed by Mr. Barghouti and, in particular, the arbitrariness of decisions authorizing or denying visits; is particularly dismayed that his mother was not allowed to visit him and that she died in 2007 without having seen her son again;

  4. Recalls that Article 37 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners stipulates that "prisoners shall be allowed … to communicate with their family and reputable friends at regular intervals, both by correspondence and by receiving visits"; calls on Israel to conform to those rules;

  5. Reiterates its long-standing wish for the Committee to be granted permission for a private visit to Mr. Barghouti and hopes that such a visit can be arranged in the near future; recalls that television crews have obtained authorization to visit him and considers that Committee members fall into the category of reputable friends and that consequently, in conformity with the Minimum Standard Rules referred to above, permission to visit should be granted them;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 122nd IPU Assembly (March-April 2010).
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