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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 194th session
(Geneva, 20 March 2014)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Marwan Barghouti, an incumbent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and to the resolution it adopted at its 193rd session (October 2013),

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

Taking into consideration the information provided at the hearing that the Committee held on 18 March 2014 with members of the Palestinian delegation to the 130th IPU Assembly (Geneva, March 2014),

Recalling the following on file regarding Mr. Barghouti’s situation:

  • He 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 count of murder relating to attacks that killed five Israelis, on one count of attempted murder relating to a planned car bomb attack and on one count of membership of 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 included the use of torture;

  • According to his letter of 6 January 2013, the Diplomatic Advisor to the Knesset stated that: “Mr. Barghouti was detained in ‘Hadarim’ prison. He was held in a regular cell with other inmates, without any separation or isolation. Mr. Barghouti is entitled to and, in fact, receives regular visits from his family, the last of which was on 4 December 2012”,
Considering that Palestinian parliamentarians have repeatedly requested the Israeli authorities to be allowed to meet Mr. Barghouti in prison, but that any such requests have been refused on security grounds; according to the Palestinian delegation, Mr. Barghouti’s family members were sometimes able, sometimes not, to see him in prison,

Recalling that, under the terms of the Israel/Hamas-brokered prisoner exchange, Israel released 477 Palestinian prisoners on 18 October 2011 and another 550 Palestinian prisoners during December 2011, and that those released included prisoners convicted of plotting suicide bombings inside buses and restaurants such as Ms. Ahlam Tamimi, who had been sentenced to 16 life sentences, but not Mr. Barghouti; recalling also that several members of the Knesset have in the past called for Mr. Barghouti’s release, including Mr. Amir Peretz in March 2008 and later Mr. Guideon Ezra, a member of Kadima, and that, following Mr. Barghouti’s election in August 2009 to Fatah’s Central Committee, the then Israeli Minister for Minority Affairs, Mr. Avishaï Braverman, expressed support for his release,

Considering that Israel released 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners every day on 13 August, 30 October and 30 December 2013, as part of a United States-brokered deal allowing the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; the individuals form the first three of four groups of Palestinian prisoners detained before 1993, totalling 104 individuals, who should be released, as approved by the Israeli Cabinet, at staged intervals within nine months, assuming that progress is made in the negotiations,

  1. Deplores the absence of any indication that, unlike for other Palestinian prisoners, an end to Mr. Barghouti’s prolonged detention is in sight; 

  2. Reaffirms its views that Mr. Barghouti’s conviction is the result of a trial which, in the light of the compelling legal arguments put forward in Mr. Foreman’s report (on which the Israeli authorities have never provided their observations), did not meet the fair-trial standards which Israel, as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is bound to respect, and therefore did not establish Mr. Barghouti’s guilt;

  3. Reiterates, therefore, its call for his swift release; sincerely hopes that the Israeli authorities will give serious consideration to this call;

  4. Would appreciate receiving, in the meantime, new official information on his current conditions of detention, in particular his family visiting rights, along with information on the extent to which he has access to medical care;

  5. Regrets that the Israeli authorities have continued to deny fellow Palestinian parliamentarians interested in enquiring about Mr. Barghouti’s situation an opportunity to see him in prison; sincerely hopes that the Israeli authorities will reconsider their decision; reiterates its own long-standing wish to be granted permission to visit Mr. Barghouti; sincerely hopes that the authorities will respond favourably and facilitate such a visit;

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

  7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report back to it in due course.

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