Excerpts of the speech of Tonio Borg, Former Deputy Prime Minister & European Commissioner for Health & Food Safety From Malta, at the Free Iran 2022, is as follows:
Iran, a country full of culture, history, and tradition, deserves better. You overthrow of a dictatorial monarchy in 1979 has not led to a free democratic era, but to another dictatorial regime, extremist in its view ignoring any separation between religion and state, a clerical regime perhaps unique in this region, which has trampled on human rights.
Indeed, the regime holds the world record for executions, particularly of women and youth. Denouncing these human rights violations is not interference in the domestic affairs of Iran. Now, the condemnation of the 1988 massacre of 30000 political prisoners is not an interference in domestic affairs.
It is upholding the right of all civilized nations to hold to account all those responsible, including president Raisi for their crimes, which are indeed crimes against humanity. Which is why I support the open letter signed by distinguished personalities and NGOs to the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the …
Now it is usual for dictatorships to brand any protest or voice of dissent as unpatriotic and to explain the shortcomings of the regime on what they call foreign interference. How convenient. For it is not only political and civil rights which are being suppressed in this imprisoned camp, with hundreds of protesters shot dead just because they protested, but also their economic and social rights.
The mullahs are squandering the country’s wealth, supporting terrorism in other regions. The crackdown against civil society, the brutal and violent nature of this … are evidence of the weakness, not the strength, the weakness of the regime. They want on executions in one case, 56 executions in ten days, reveals lack of respect, even for the most basic human rights, like the right to life.
These repressive measures will not weaken opposition, but strengthen the opposition movement, which in recent years has managed to organize mass protests for regime change.
We in the Western world should, by facts and deeds, support the opposition forces, not for any utilitarian or pragmatic reason, but because it is the right thing to do. This is our moral responsibility. Let us not fail in our duty. Thank you.