The conference of the Italian Parliamentary Committee and the Federation for Human Rights on September 23, 2020, was held. The conference under the title of the Deterioration of Human Rights Iran’s Reign of Terror at Home and Abroad, was attended by Senator Lucio Malan, Vice President of the Italia Viva Party in the Senate and Senator Roberto Rampi, Vice President of the Italian Parliamentary Assembly at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Giulio Terzi Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy 2011-2013, Professor Antonio Stango President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights, and Ms. Elisabetta Zamparutti.
The conference called for forming an independent international commission to investigate the 1988 massacre and the need to reinstate all international sanctions against the clerical regime.
A report from this conference follows:
Professor Antonio Stango, President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights
Good evening and welcome to the International Conference on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran. We know that the situation in Iran has been difficult, especially in recent years. We also know that the annual session of the U.N. General Assembly began a few days ago. In the current international context, it is challenging for international organizations such as the United Nations to have a real impact on their core objectives. One of these goals is to defend fundamental freedoms and human rights. In this context, some governments have specific responsibilities. Today we will be joined by several influential members of the Italian Parliament and several prominent figures. At this time, Italy is one of the countries that can have an improvement plan in the U.N. General Assembly’s movement.
Along with England and France. Thus, democratic governments have a special responsibility to defend human rights around the world actively.
We know that the ultimate goal of the mullahs’ regime is to achieve an atomic bomb. We know that they finance terrorists. They provide material support to terrorist organizations to carry out terrorist acts in the Middle East as their proxies or in any way. In recent years, we have seen that the Iranian regime has even directly supported terrorist acts through its diplomats in several European capitals, from Paris to Tirana. The regime’s diplomats have been arrested in several European countries for plotting terrorist acts.
In terms of its human rights record, the Iranian regime has almost consistently been ranked among the worst human rights violators in the Freedom House’s annual index and other credible reports. The use of the death penalty is systematic, including for political reasons, such as the use of torture for forced confession. The complete lack of civil and political rights is well known, but in recent years far from seeing any severe progress in this area is increasingly deteriorating. We have witnessed.
Dozens of political prisoners mostly arrested during the recent wave of protests against the regime are on death row. Among them, many have been convicted of links to the MEK accused of being “enemies of God.” This is a behavioral feature of the Iranian regime.
A recent Amnesty International report entitled “Extensive Arrests, Disappearances, and Torture in Iran after the November 2019 Protests” emphasizes that the situation is dire. It should be noted that about 1,500 demonstrators were killed by regime militias on the streets of several cities in Iran during the uprising that month.
In fact, this is the same regime that executed 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, and we still want the United Nations to take consistent action against these crimes. This is a crime against humanity. Take action to investigate that crime. Failure to take appropriate measures will make the regime more courageous to continue its activities in a criminal manner and with impunity. They feel entirely immune to all crimes committed in violation of human rights.
There is no doubt that the Iranian regime seeks to destroy the entire resistance movement led by the Mojahedin -e- Khalq (MEK).
The international community must find a way to prevent the real threat to world peace and security resulting from the mullahs’ dictatorship. For this reason, I favor the “trigger mechanism” in the nuclear deal, which could automatically enforce U.N. sanctions against the Iranian regime that existed before 2015 in the event of a breach.
This is the starting point of our conference. And now, I would like to ask some prominent political figures to join us in these discussions.
Senator Lucio Malan, a prominent member of the Italian Senate and Vice President of the Italia Viva Party in the Senate
The Iranian regime is an international threat to global security because the regime supports international terrorism. We know what happened in Beirut. We know that the regime strongly funds the Hezbollah route, and even the Hezbollah leader says that the Iranian regime gave all his missiles.
Also, the Iranian regime regularly and daily violates human rights in the country. Thousands of political prisoners have been tortured. Many have been killed. Many have been arrested, and no one knows where they are. This is unacceptable.
All countries that have relations with the Iranian regime, whether diplomatic or economic, should ask the regime to answer these questions: Why do not release political prisoners? Why not respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? And if the regime does not answer these questions, which it will not, we must vigorously renew the sanctions.
I have asked the Italian government about several issues related to Iran. In most cases, the Italian government does not respond. They did not respond to human rights violations by the Iranian regime. They did not respond to the regime’s support for international terrorism. They answered me only once, and that was about the U.S. request for an arms embargo on the regime. But what did the Italian government say? They did not say whether they supported the extension or voted against it. They said nothing. This is unacceptable.
We must call on all democracies, the citizens of all democracies, to call on their governments to support freedom. Support democracy.
If we do not support democracy in Iran where there is no democracy; If we do not support human rights in Iran and in other countries that Iran intends to infiltrate through its terrorist and diplomatic ties, we have not supported freedom and democracy in our country. Let us stand by Iran. Let us stand by the movement led by Maryam Rajavi, this extraordinary woman and fighter. Let us stand by the thousands of political prisoners who are being tortured in prisons and whose families are being torn apart. Let us stand by them. Let us stand by freedom.
Senator Roberto Rampi, Vice-President of the Italian Parliamentary Assembly in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Thank you very much, and thank you all. Yes, I believe we are in an extraordinary moment in history, world history, and Iran’s history. We know very well how terrible Iran’s situation is in terms of human rights, political prisoners, the case of the death penalty, and the violence of the death penalty of children and young people.
And we know that everyone in the world and every nation in the world knows this. But I believe that today the world, and especially the United Nations and Italy, need to do more about this situation.
Two weeks ago, in the Italian Parliament, especially in the Senate, I had the opportunity to speak with the Secretary of State and other members of the State Department and speak at a plenary session of the Senate to discuss Italy’s position at the United Nations on I will ask about the situation of violence and torture and the human rights crisis in Iran and the sanctions. We believe that Italy and all European countries should be asked to take advantage of the sanctions we have against Iran.
I end with the idea that everyone who knows me knows very well. I believe that Iran is a vast country, a great country with a very long and ancient tradition and culture, about poetry and philosophy. A strong country that can be one of the most important countries in the world. Today’s Iranian regime is a big problem for the Iranian people, it is something that does not allow that country to be as great as possible, and it is also a very, very dangerous regime for all people around the world, because we know that with the money of the Iranian people to help The Iranian people are not being used in need, the Iranian regime is helping many terrorist organizations around the world.
So, we have to stop it. We must help the regime change democratically in Iran. We need to work more on this. And we really believe that this is the time to do it. Therefore, we call on the United Nations to do all it can. In particular, an international commission that can go to Iran and look at the human rights situation and the human rights violations taking place in Iran every day and every hour. Thank you very much.
Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi 2011-2013
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, dear members and friends of the NCRI, All people keen of promoting the Rule of Law, justice and Human Rights should applaud the Trump Administration for its steadfast leadership to ensure that Iran is held accountable for its many breaches of the Nuclear Agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran has enriched ten times more the quantity of Uranium than it was legally authorized. Many and vast violations of the International Law of Human Rights and human dignity continue to be perpetrated by the Mullahs. These breaches and violations needed indeed to trigger the snapback mechanism to reimpose all U.N. sanctions.
The world must recognize the Iranian regime for what it is: an extremist terrorist organization. Its behavior leaves no doubt that the international community must do more to force Tehran to end its malign actions.
Once again today, as it has been the case many times in recent history, we can say: The world is safer thanks to U.S. leadership. Sadly, other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council have manufactured a crisis that threatens to undermine the body’s authority severely. They are more fixated on the idea of the JCPOA than the reality of the Iranian threat on the ground.
The regime continues its reign of terror across the region and beyond. The global arms embargo is an absolute necessity in stifling Tehran’s ability to arm its international terror proxies, to trade advanced weapons with Russia and China, and by that trade earning vast amounts of money to expand corruption and terrorism.
The time has prioritized peace over profits and unifies a politically smart “coalition of the willing” behind the maximum pressure campaign. The time for deeply flawed deals is over. We must commit to an economic blockade of Iran. This is international security “must.”
The time has come to prioritize a solid defense of the Human rights of the Iranian people.
In these very hours, the time is now at the 75th Session of the U.N. General Assembly.
Navid Afkari hanged ten days ago. Iranian authorities tortured Navid for weeks. He described how for 50 days, he was beaten with sticks and batons on his arms, buttocks, and back in a smuggled letter. He
had a plastic bag placed over his head until he almost suffocated.
The Iranian regime is made of hangmen, executioners, and sadistic torturers. Navid’s brother and family have been suffering an immense amount of physical and psychological violence. Still, thousands of activists are being summoned and stand trials, particularly those arrested during the November 2019 protests.
Recent days saw many trials, tortures, executions of political prisoners again. They have been put in death rows of notorious prisons. The IRGC has set up a network of secret torture centers across Iran. In Shiraz, the city where Navid Afkari was tortured and executed, the secret torture center has been identified as Ebrat.
Concerning the wave of terror, the regime is spreading, 12,000 political prisoners, many of whom children or teenagers under the age of 18, were arrested following last November uprising. They were taken to Ebrat and other secret torture centers for brutal beatings and torture to force them to make false confessions.
We are horrified by the possibility that their fate may have been sealed. All decent people and Governments must react most forcefully: political prisoners must be freed now!
We are concerned for all of them; for cases such as those of Nazanin Tousi ,Yasamin Hanifeh Tabatabaii Sara Barzegar,Elaheh Jabbari ,Mojgan Kavousi, as we are for the lack of regime’s response to the critical conditions of Nasrin Soutedeh, the human rights defender who did undergo a long hunger strike to support the political prisoners, asking for their release.
We protest in the strongest possible terms that these are crimes against humanity. They are medieval tortures. The executions are continuing even as the international community leaders participate in the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
This is a scandalous failure of the international community’s which should hold the Iranian regime to account for these crimes and the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners.
We know that the U.N. recently sent an independent investigation mission to Venezuela. Their very scathing report accused the Maduro regime of human rights abuse and even of crimes against humanity.
While that action should be applauded, one could remain, nevertheless bemused, that no such action has been directed at the Iranian regime. The abuse of human rights is much worse than in Venezuela. The U.N. Secretary-General has received detailed reports from Amnesty International and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. Without further delay, SG Guterres should instruct an independent mission of investigation to visit political prisoners in Iran and demand their immediate release.
European Governments should instruct their ambassadors in Tehran to visit political prisoners and call for an end to torture and execution. Last but not least, I would like to recall that the (U.S.) On July 17, State Department called on the international community to conduct independent investigations into the 1988 massacre and provide accountability and justice. It said:
“July 19 marks the anniversary of the start of Iran’s so-called ‘Death Commissions.’ On the orders of Ayatollah Khomeini, these commissions reportedly forcibly disappeared and were extrajudicially executed, thousands of dissident political prisoners. The current head of the Iranian Judiciary and current Minister of Justice have both been identified as former members of these ‘Death Commissions.’ All Iranian officials who did commit human rights violations or abuses should be held accountable. The U.N. and the E.U. must call on the international community to conduct independent investigations and to provide accountability and justice for the victims of these horrendous violations of human rights organized by the Iranian regime.”
Ms. Elisabetta Zamparutti – Hands off Cain
The Association Hands off Cain tracks and documents serious human rights violations in Iran, and in particular, we documented and documented executions, the latter being exceptionally significant and very symbolic.
I am referring to Navid Afkari, who was executed on September 12, 2020. He was a very young boy, 27 years old, a wrestling champion, and a political prisoner. He was arrested during the 2018 protests and sentenced to death.
Undoubtedly, there are thousands of people detained in the prisons of the Iranian regime for political reasons. And we are aware of torture cases, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment that violates international standards. Actions that are also contrary to international conventions signed by Iran.
Therefore, we are aware of this regime’s nature, a terrorist regime, a corrupt regime, and an oppressive regime. And because of this, we pay close attention to those who are restricted and deprived of their liberty. And for this reason, we call for international research. We call for international monitoring of the situation of those deprived of their liberty in Iran.
We know that peace and security in the whole world, especially in the Middle East, can only be achieved if the regime changes, only if Iran’s regime changes and becomes a democratic country. We know how strong Iran’s resistance program is, and how strong its members’ faith is in having a free Iran. And we will continue to support the Iranian resistance. We also support President Maryam Rajavi.