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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 187th session
(Geneva, 6 October 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/187/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 186th session (April 2010),

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) and entitled “Barred from Contact: Violation of the Right to Visit Palestinians Held in Israeli Prisons”,

Recalling the following: Mr. Barghouti was arrested on 15 April 2002 in Ramallah by the Israeli Defence Forces and transferred to a detention facility in Israel; he was sentenced in June 2004 to five life sentences and two 20-year prison terms; in his report on Mr. Barghouti’s trial, Mr. Foreman concluded that “the numerous breaches of international law make it impossible to conclude that Mr. Barghouti was given a fair trial”; those breaches include, inter alia, the use of torture; 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; visiting rights are irregular and only granted occasionally; Mr. Barghouti’s 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 seeing her son again,

Noting that, in its concluding observations on the third periodic report of Israel under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),* the Human Rights Committee recommended that Israel should incorporate into its legislation the crime of torture, that it should ensure that all alleged cases of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by law enforcement officials are thoroughly and promptly investigated by an independent authority and that those found guilty are punished with sentences commensurate with the gravity of the offence, and that compensation is provided to the victims or their families; that, moreover, it recommended that all persons under its jurisdiction and effective control be afforded the full enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Covenant,

  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 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 Mr. Barghouti 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 the 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";

  4. Regrets the absence of any official reply; believes that the Israeli Knesset’s oversight function extends also to the Israeli Prison Service and its treatment of Palestinian prisoners and that the Knesset should therefore be concerned by reports indicating that such prisoners are not being treated in line with Israel’s obligations under international law, as the United Nations Human Rights Committee spelt them out in its concluding observations referred to above; reiterates its wish to receive the Knesset’s comments on this point;

  5. Wishes to ascertain Mr. Barghouti’s current conditions of detention, with respect in particular to the frequency of visits and his access to medical care;

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

  7. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent Israeli and Palestinian authorities;

  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 124th IPU Assembly (April 2011).

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