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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 186th session
(Bangkok, 1 April 2010)

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/186/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 185th session (October 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 published in September 2006 by B'Tselem - the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories - entitled "Barred from Contact: Violation of the Right to Visit Palestinians Held in Israeli Prisons",

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",

Recalling that, according to information supplied in March 2009 by Palestinian sources, not only was Mr. Barghouti kept in solitary confinement from 2002 to 2004 but he has since been in an isolated department in Hadarim prison, where 120 political leaders are held in cells with three persons per room; visiting rights are irregular and only granted occasionally; for example, when his wife went to the prison on 25 March 2009, she 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 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 died in 2007 without having seen her son again,

Recalling also that in the past years several members of the Knesset have called for the release of Mr. Barghouti, such as 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) and, later, Guideon Ezra, member of Kadima; following Mr. Barghouti's election in August 2009 to Fatah's Central Committee, the Israeli Minister for Minority Affairs, Avishaï Braverman, expressed support for his release; in the context of the prisoner exchange negotiations, in November 2009, many newspaper articles reported the possibility of Mr. Barghouti's imminent release,

  1. Reaffirms its position that Mr. Barghouti's arrest and transfer to Israeli territory was in violation of international law; 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 failed to meet the fair-trial standards which Israel, as a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is bound to respect and that his guilt has therefore not been established;

  2. Consequently calls on the Israeli authorities to release him forthwith and points out that calls for his release have also come from within Israel, including from Knesset members;

  3. Remains deeply concerned at the extremely limited family visiting rights enjoyed by Mr. Barghouti and, more particularly, the arbitrariness of decisions authorizing or denying visits; 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 comply with those rules;

  4. Reiterates its long-standing wish to be granted permission to visit Mr. Barghouti;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the Israeli and Palestinian authorities and requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 123rd IPU Assembly (October 2010).
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