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Belgian Senate takes a firm position on Iran

Belgian SenateNCRI – In a resolution adopted unanimously in December 2005 by the Belgian Senate on the political situation in Iran and its relation with the European Union the Belgian government was urged to "Investigate within the framework of the EU whether it remains justified to maintain the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI) on the list of terrorist organizations, on the basis of the existing and revealed information." The full text of the resolution is as follows:
A. Considering the civil and political rights acknowledged by the International conventions to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party; recalling the obligation of all member states of the United Nations to promote and to protect human rights and fundamental liberties and to comply with their obligations under various international instruments in this area;
B. Taking into account the findings (January 12, 2004) of the United Nations Special Rapporteur (Ambeyi Ligabo) on freedom of opinion and expression, and particularly the deteriorating state of the freedom of expression in Iran a number of years and the non-compliance of Iranian law with the international Conventions to which Iran has adhered, especially the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights;
C. Considering resolution L 45 adopted on November 18, 2005 by the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly;
D. Deeply concerned about the abuses of human rights and fundamental liberties in the Islamic Republic of Iran, such as public executions, repressive and corporal punishments, arbitrary arrests, physical and psychological torture in jails, murders of opponents of the regime, political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, persecution and political discrimination against women, religious or ethnic minorities, and the suppression of freedom of expression and opinion;
E. Reminding that Iran is a multi-ethnic country where minorities represent nearly half of the population and where the rights of ethnic or religious minorities (especially concerning the situation of the Bahais and the Azeris) are violated;
F. Taking note of the resolutions of the European Parliament of January 13, 2005 (on torture in Iran), of October 13, 2005 and of November 17, 2005 on the Iranian President’s recent remarks;
G. Considering the conclusions of the European Council of December 15 and 16, 2005 in Brussels that “The European Council condemns unreservedly President Ahmadinejad’s call for the eradication of Israel and his denial of the Holocaust. […] The European Council is gravely concerned at Iran’s failure to build confidence that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. […] The European Council underlines that whether the EU’s long-term relationship with Iran improves or deteriorates will depend on progress on all issues of concern”;
H. Deploring the decline of the democratic process in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the deteriorating state of civil rights and political freedoms since the presidential elections in June 2005; considering that following these presidential elections and the parliamentary elections in February 2004, Iran has had a conservative leadership;
I. In view of the absence of a precise definition of terrorism, it must be avoided that Iranian opposition groups, because of their struggle against a regime that is responsible for systematic infringement of human rights, be considered as terrorists;
J. Considering that dialogue between the European Union and Iran on human rights was established in late 2002 on Iran’s request; that the Union’s presidency made an assessment of this dialogue in October 2004 and that the results recorded were considered as poor; underlining the importance of a continuous, intense and constructive dialogue on human rights in Iran between the European institutions and the decision-makers, the different political forces and the civil society in Iran; deploring the absence of meetings for this dialogue since the fourth session of June 14 and 15, 2004 in Tehran, during which the Iranian government undertook to reinforce respect for human rights and for a constitutional state;
The Senate invites the Belgian government to:
1. Firmly condemn the Iranian President and to convey to him its strongest protests following his continuous remarks calling for the destruction of Israel and denying the Holocaust committed during the Second World War, and recall its Ambassador in Tehran for consultations;
2. Remind the Iranian authorities that they must comply with the obligations which they freely entered into under the International Human Rights Instruments to which they adhered;
3. Impress upon Iranian authorities that they must put an end to executions and stonings, commute death penalty, primarily for minors, and abolish the death penalty in Iran;
4. Impress upon Iranian authorities that they must implement and maintain the statutory provisions banning torture;
5. Ask Iranian authorities to bring in domestic law the legislative measures necessary to implement the judiciary procedures assuring a transparent, fair and equitable trial;
6. Impress upon Iranian authorities that they must eliminate every form of discrimination motivated by religion or ethnicity;
7. Ask Iranian authorities to put an end to the restrictions on the freedom of expression and of opinion, to stop the harassment of political opponents, journalists, Internet users, and media censorship; ask Iranian authorities to respect the activities of human rights defenders;
8. Remind Iranian authorities that a legal framework must be taken to promote the full and complete exercising of the fundamental rights of Iranian women, and that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol be ratified and implemented–- despite the Guardian Council’s rejection;
9. Ensure that the ratification process of Iran’s membership of the International Criminal Court is completed;
10. Impress upon Iranian authorities that they must ratify and implement the United Nations conventions against terrorism and its funding;
11. Investigate within the framework of the EU whether it remains justified to maintain the PMOI on the list of terrorist organizations, on the basis of the existing and revealed information;
12. Promote at the European level the resumption of the EU-Iran negotiations on the nuclear file which have been frozen since August 2005; ask Iran to restore the international community’s full confidence concerning its nuclear program and to ratify the Additional Protocol of December 2003, to comply with its obligations relating to its adherence to the NPT and to meet the terms of the resolution (GOV/2004/90) adopted on November 29, 2004 by the Board of Governors of the IAEA;
13. Support the democratic forces which work inside and outside the country for the establishment  of a constitutional, democratic state respectful of human rights.