British Lawmakers urge UK government to side with Iran’s people
Cross-party politicians, lawyers, and women’s rights activists discussed women’s rights in Iran at a conference in the United Kingdom’s House of Commons on Tuesday, which was organized by the British Committee for Iran Freedom.
Kirsty Brimelow QC, former president of the Bar Human Rights Committee, chaired the conference.
In her opening remarks, she said: “I welcome everybody to this early celebration of [International Women’s Day] but with an emphasis on the situation of women in Iran from various perspectives. I come at this from a legal perspective and my work on Iran is in relation to the 1988 massacre and calling for an independent UN set-up inquiry into these mass executions.”
During the conference, panelists noted the alarming situation for women in Iran, which is deteriorating in the presidency of so-called “moderate” Hassan Rouhani, and the prominent role of women in both the recent protests and the historical freedom movement. They cited specifically the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which advocates for regime change and has women occupying over 50% of the top roles.
Baroness Boothroyd, the former Speaker of the House of Commons, said: “The UK Government [must] recognize and back the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people, their organized Resistance movement NCRI, and support Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point democratic platform as the viable alternative to the current religious dictatorship. Our message should simply be that we recognize that the problems in Iran have an Iranian solution and we proudly support it.”
Sir David Amess MP and Dr Matthew Offord MP also called for the UK Government to support the popular uprisings, Rajavi, and the NCRI.
The Rt Hon David Jones MP explained that the Iranian people’s boycott of the parliamentary election last Friday shows that they despise the regime and support the Iranian Resistance forces who called for the boycott.
He said: “[This was] a sign that the movement for democratic change in Iran is very much alive and deserve international recognition… the Iranian nation showed their desire for change and this is a reality that should be recognized by both the UK Government and the international community.”
Struan Stevenson, a former Member of the European Parliament and the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change condemned the EU for still supporting the Iran nuclear deal, even though the regime launched a violent crackdown on nationwide protests in November, killing over 1,500 people, wounding 5,000, and arresting 20,000.
Mary Glindon MP applauded the NCRI for working to advance women’s rights in Iran.
While Baroness Verma, former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Department for International Development and Chairwomen of UN Women UK, said: “Maryam Rajavi is an iconic figure for all of us and the Governments and ministers around the world should show the same courage and speak up for women’s rights not only in Iran but around the world.”
The panelists urged the British Government to demand the UN Secretary-General immediately dispatch an international fact-finding mission to Iran to investigate the killing of protesters and visit the Iranian prisons to meet those arrested during the protests and political prisoners.
They said that Britain should work with its international allies to pressure the regime for the immediate release of protesters, political prisoners, and dual nationals.