On Thursday 12 March, a conference was held at Palais de Nations, the U.N. Headquarters in Geneva, on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Iran.
Dr Alejo Vidal-Quadras, President of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) and former Vice-President of European Parliament (1999-2014) was the key-note speaker in the conference.
In his speech, Vidal-Quadras said: “Iran, under the so called moderate Rouhani, has executed many more prisoners than Ahmadinejad during the same period.
In fact, it is number one in the world for the highest number of executions per capita with 1300 or 1400 executions during Rouhani’s term.”
“Many Iranians including Kurds, Baluchis and Iranian-Arabs from the Khuzestan province are waiting to be executed. The religious minorities are repressed. Around 140 Baha’is are held in Iran’s prisons and their cemeteries have been destroyed. Those Iranians who have converted from Islam to Christianity have been brutally repressed by the authorities. This repression also targets the Sunni Muslims.
“In 2014, under President Rouhani the government announced or implemented discriminatory policies, including restricting the employment of women in coffee shops, certain restaurants, and other public spaces. There was a wave of acid attacks against women in September and October in Isfahan and some other cities. The target were women who did not fully obey the dress code of the Islamic republic or what authorities regard as ‘mal-veiling’.
“Rouhani has been recorded on TV in a response to a question about death sentences which he clearly replied that this is the rule of law and must be carried out and we must not interfere.
“We in the ISJ believe that the mandate of Mr. Ahmad Shaheed the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, must be extended. The Iranian regime has not allowed him to visit the country.
“If we really want a free Iran which would not be a regional trouble maker or a sponsor of exporting terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, we should insist on human rights and that any expansion of relationship with Iran must be conditioned to a clear progress in human rights. Iran should end the executions, free political prisoners, stop the repression of women and respect the rights and freedoms of the Iranian people.
“I am sure that if we force the mullahs to stop these public executions and stop these atrocities and the crack-down on the opposition, this regime will fall very soon. We need to be on the side of the Iranian people so they would feel that we are not going to abandon them.”