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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 189th session
(Bern, 19 October 2011)

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/189/11(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 188th session (April 2011),

Also referring 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 centre in Israel; on 20 May 2004, Tel Aviv District Court convicted him on one murder charge relating to attacks that killed five Israelis, on one account of attempted murder relating to a planned car bomb attack and of membership in a terrorist organization, and sentenced him to five life sentences and two 20‑year prison terms; Mr. Barghouti did not lodge an appeal because he does not recognize Israeli jurisdiction; in his comprehensive report on Mr. Barghouti’s trial, Mr. Foreman stated that "the numerous breaches of international law make it impossible to conclude that Mr. Barghouti was given a fair trial"; those breaches include the use of torture,

Recalling 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 incorporate in its legislation the crime of torture, that it should ensure that all alleged cases of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by law enforcement officials are thoroughly and promptly investigated by an independent authority, 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 full enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Covenant,

Considering that, according to the terms of the Israel-Hamas brokered prisoner exchange, on 16 October 2011 Israel published a list of 477 Palestinian prisoners to be released in a first stage in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured in 2006 during a cross-border attack on Israeli military installations; noting that those to be released include many convicted of plotting suicide bombings inside buses and restaurants, such as Ahlam Tamimi sentenced to 16 life sentences, but that Mr. Barghouti is not on the list; recalling that several members of the Knesset have in the past called for his release, such as MK Amir Peretz in March 2008 and Guideon Ezra, member of Kadima later on and that, following Mr. Barghouti’s election in August 2009 to Fatah’s Central Committee, the then Israeli Minister for Minority Affairs, Avishaï Braverman, expressed support for his release,

  1. Reaffirms its position that Mr. Barghouti’s arrest and transfer to Israeli territory was in violation of international law; also 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 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 as a result Mr. Barghouti’s guilt has not been established;

  2. Deeply regrets that Mr. Barghouti is not on the list of the Palestinian prisoners to be released, and reiterates its call for his immediate release;

  3. Also regrets the absence of any official response regarding the conditions under which Mr. Barghouti is currently held, in particular as regards his family visiting rights and the access to medical care afforded him; reiterates its wish to ascertain those conditions;

  4. Considers that the many national and international reports denouncing the conditions of detention of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails should be of concern to the Knesset; reaffirms that the Knesset is not only fully entitled to but should exercise its oversight function of the Israeli prison service with regard not only to Israeli but also to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and so ensure that all persons under Israel’s jurisdiction and effective control are afforded full enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);

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

  6. Requests the Secretary General to forward this resolution to the Speaker of the Knesset and to the competent governmental and administrative authorities, and to seek from them the requested information;

  7. Requests the Committeeto continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held during the 126th IPU Assembly (March/April 2012).

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