Online Conference held under title, “Iran’s Ongoing Crimes Against Humanity, EU’s political and moral obligations”. The online event was on October 7, 2020. Dozens of members of the European Parliament attended and spoke at the conference.
MEPs made their remarks in order to condemn the horrific human rights violations witnessed on a daily basis across Iran. In addition, MEPs called on the European Union to fulfill its moral and political obligations in the face of human rights violations in Iran. They called for a firm policy by the European Union against the mullah regime in Iran. Also, they pointed out, It is high time to stand alongside the Iranian people and support their justified aspirations for a free, democratic, and non-nuclear Iran.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran(NCRI), was the keynote speaker at this conference. Her message welcomed as a democratic solution to Iran’s future. Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan has widespread support from the majority of MEPs for a long time.
Alessandra Moretti, MEP from Italy
To discuss with you such a crucial and important issue, in the Stockholm declaration drafted by Amnesty International in 1977, we read, “When the state uses its power to end the life of a human being, it is likely that no other right is emulated. The state cannot give live, it should not presume to take it away.” More than 40 years have passed, and in Iran, the violation of basic human rights and crimes against humanity have not stopped, the same violations and crimes that have been condemned by the United Nations 66 times.
The situation in Iran is catastrophic. Iran is the first country for executions in the world. In 2019, there have been 251 death sentences that we know of, accounted for 38% of all executions in the world. Among these, we cannot forget the great number of minors and women who were sent to death. We cannot forget that last year, 13 of these capital sentences were executed in public. We cannot forget the reasons that lead to the conviction of many innocent people.
We cannot forget the iniquity of the trials and the illegality of the detentions. We cannot forget that many prisoners were not allowed to meet with the families and with the lawyers before being killed. We cannot forget that men, women, and children have been tortured and persecuted.
We cannot forget what happened to the 30,000 political prisoners who were massacred in 1988 and the fact that the perpetrators have not been punished yet. We cannot forget the death of the 1,500 Pacific protesters that this past November we’re fighting for their freedom.
We cannot forget the recent and terrible execution of the Iranian wrestling champion, Navid Afkari as we cannot forget the sacrifices made by many young women who lost their lives trying to obtain what we consider basic rights. I want to remind you the recent passing of Sahar Khodayari who set herself on fire in front of the court that wanted to punish her for entering a football stadium of the death of who was sentenced to 33 years of reclusion and 158 lashes as she was fighting against the death penalty. We should not forget convicted to for the same reason and forced in a cell even when presenting severe common symptoms. We cannot and we must not forget.
Need I remind you of the conditions in which women have to live. They are not allowed to do things that we, in Europe, take for granted. Girls cannot sing or dance, cannot ride a bicycle, cannot choose how to dress and whether were they young or not.
They cannot travel along, and they cannot go to the stadium if not only recently to see the matches of the national team. They cannot choose whom to marry and when. In the Penal Code, violence against women for gender motives, domestic abuse, and coercive and early weddings are not recognized as crimes. During 108 women have been executed and many have been sentenced to the long reclusion in prison in which there is no respect of the individual and systematic trinity is perpetrated on a daily basis.
Our fight for the death penalty abolition is not only concerned with the savings of life, based on the strong belief that the right to the life and the respect for human dignity should be universal, but it has to do also with the terrible conditions in which prisoners have to live. Women are forced to stay in overcrowded prisons being subject to ill treatments and with scarce access to health care and medical treatments, a condition that has been even worsened now due to the recent COVID outbreak.
On this matter, I want to highlight the firm position we took in July when some members of the European Parliament and I presented a letter to the Vice President of the European Commission, Joseph Borrell, asking for an immediate change in the child’s conditions and for the release of the prisoner especially they are rightfully committed human rights defenders. Nonetheless, we will keep following with this close attention how the situation develops and we want the rest until the prisoners are respected.
As I’ve already said, we cannot forget, and we won’t. Europe cannot accept such cruelties and violations of the rights we long fought for and on which our society is founded. The impurity of the perpetrators of such offenses is not tolerable and thus, I respectfully call on the High Representative to change it. EU can do more in the fight for human rights of the Iranian people. It should initiate an independent fact finding mission into these crimes. I declare my full support for the viable democratic identity for fundamental change. And I support Madame Rajavi‘s 10-point plan for a free and democratic Iran. Thank you very much.