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European Parliament Urges Action Against Rising Executions in Iran, Advocates for International Sanctions and IRGC Designation

The European Parliament met in Strasbourg on February 7 and 8, where it passed a joint resolution condemning the increasing number of executions in Iran. The resolution particularly highlighted the execution of political prisoner Mohammad Ghobadlou on January 23, 2024.
European Parliament Members Statements in-Support of Iran Protests

The European Parliament met in Strasbourg on February 7 and 8, where it passed a joint resolution condemning the increasing number of executions in Iran. The resolution particularly highlighted the execution of political prisoner Mohammad Ghobadlou on January 23, 2024.

Backed by various groups within the European Parliament, the resolution called for international investigations into serious human rights violations committed by Iranian authorities. Additionally, it urged for the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

The resolution expressed concern over the high rate of executions, citing 800 reported cases in 2023 and 54 in January 2024 alone. It strongly criticized the unfair trials that often lead to the condemnation of individuals, including Ghobadlou.

Furthermore, the European Parliament demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all death row inmates and prisoners of conscience. Notably, it mentioned European citizens Ahmadreza Djalali and Johan Floderus. The resolution called for a new strategy from the European Union towards the Iranian regime, focusing on measures to counter its hostage diplomacy.

The European Parliament urged the European Council to advocate for the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. It also called for imposing further sanctions against individuals and entities involved in severe human rights abuses, including key figures of the Iranian regime.

Member states were urged to monitor trials according to EU guidelines on human rights defenders and to arrange visits to prisons holding political prisoners, including EU nationals. Additionally, member states were encouraged to initiate criminal investigations into individuals responsible for serious human rights violations, including those covered by international jurisdiction.

The resolution also supported the renewal of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran and the establishment of an independent international fact-finding mission during the upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The speeches from some MEPs are provided below:

MEP Guy Verhofstadt (former Belgian Prime Minister):

Today, I think, in all the debates that I have followed, is the only item where there is consensus on all groups here in the Parliament. That is our policy towards Iran is a complete failure. A complete failure. You see it every day. Executions. Iran is behind Hamas, the Houthis, Hezbollah, and the attacks against the military facilities of the US. The delivery of weapons continues, and they are ready today to make bombs, atomic bombs, and Iran. So, we absolutely need a new strategy and a new strategy based on three things. First, more massive sanctions until all hostages are released. That would be an approach. Secondly, recognition of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Tomorrow if possible. And lastly, recognize the opposition and the Resistance as the real representatives of the Iranian people and no longer the Mullahs.

 

MEP Stanislav Polčák:

At least 360 prisoners have been executed since 7 October 2023 – the start of the war, which is clearly sponsored by the Iranian regime. The head of the snake, which is in Tehran, needs to create an external crisis because they cannot face the Iranian people’s uprising against the regime. Executions are their tactic to silence.

Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, has come here to the European Parliament many times and said we must condition any relations with the Iranian regime. After all these executions, is it not time? Every day we hear the names of many people who have been executed by the regime. While the regime keeps on killing, is the EU going to decide to take strong action? When will it designate IRGC as a terrorist entity?

MEP Antonio López-Istúriz White, on behalf of the PPE Group:

First of all, thank you to the authors for this very timely resolution. Today we address yet the death of another, the assassination of another young man, an Iranian man who died at the hands of the tyranny of the regime of the Ayatollahs. It’s three every day that die in Iran, women, and children. It is also important to know that this is not only happening in Iran but also in the streets of Europe for people, against people that are fighting for democracy in Iran. A former member of the European Parliament and vice president of this house,Alejo Vidal Quadras, was shot in his face on the 9th of November in Madrid, Spain, Europe. This is happening here. The regime is trying to silence all those who speak the truth, those who denounce the atrocities and fight for a democratic future in Iran. Mr. Borrell, European governments no longer steady deals with the regime.

MEP Dorien Rookmaker, on behalf of the ECR Group:

Political prisoners in Evin Prison in Iran are on hunger strike against the death penalty every Tuesday. They hear our message from the European Parliament. And what is this message? The regime in Iran constantly violates human rights and democracy. And the Iranian people have the right to seek change through any legitimate form of resistance. The EU needs to support its resistance. How? By blacklisting the IRGC, the regime’s instrument of oppression. The regime executed recently Mohammad Ghobadlou, a courageous Iranian young man. And let’s not forget Mariam Akbari Monfared, a mother of three, who has been serving 15 years in prison and recently has been charged for three more years. I have to stop here because the list is too long. We all know the Iranian regime is the worst in the world. Over 870 executions were carried out in 2023 to silence the opposition. When is the EU speaking up?

MEP Francisco Guerreiro, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group:

The 23-year-old Mohammad Gobadloo was the ninth protester executed by the Iranian regime. At no time in the past three decades has the human rights situation been as grave as it is today under the presidency of Ebrahim Raisi, notoriously known for his role as a member of the Tehran Death Commission, which sent thousands of prisoners of conscience to the gallows for their support for democratic opposition. The current situation in Iran underscores the moral imperative for the international community to support the Iranian people in their struggle against tyranny. It is crucial to recognize and uphold their right to seek freedom, justice, and democratic government as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So, EU diplomacy must not foster a culture of impunity. A firm policy is needed, focusing on accountability through international courts and universal jurisdiction before we see another massacre in Iranian prisons. To conclude, may the future bring a free, democratic, and secular Iran.

MEP Susanna Ceccardi:

The hanging of Mohammad, a mentally disabled regime opponent, is another step in the Ayatollah’s infamy. But, with great honesty and deep sorrow, we must acknowledge that the ongoing death sentences handed down by the Iranian regime against young women and men, guilty only of demanding democracy, no longer make headlines in Europe. Likewise, the extermination of minorities, such as the Baluchis and Kurds, happening these days, goes unnoticed. European media systematically bury these news stories, covering them with pages and pages of alleged human rights violations in Hungary, Slovakia, and so on, because they are inconvenient for the globalist deep state.

On the other hand, despite our repeated calls for serious action, the European Union has chosen to pretend to sanction Iran, but it has not done so. We know that the Revolutionary Guard Corps, around which all the regime’s illegal businesses revolve and which is very active in Europe, has nearly 200,000 active members, yet the European Union has sanctioned only 216 of them. Isn’t it outrageous for the victims of those murderers and for our intelligence?

The only silver lining in this sad situation is that we must commend all those courageous men like Mohammad, who protest for women’s rights—they are the frontline of our values and they are still risking their lives.

Helena DallEU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli:

EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli denounced the recent execution of Mohammad Goubadlou. She highlighted that this execution is part of a disturbing pattern in Iran, signaling a sharp increase compared to previous years and targeting individuals from specific ethnic minorities.

Dalli emphasized that the use of the death penalty as a means to quell dissent underscores the alarming state of human rights in Iran. She stressed that fundamental rights, such as freedom of belief and expression, must be safeguarded at all times, both in private and in public spheres. Dalli reiterated the European Union’s call for Iran to uphold its international commitments under established international law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The European Commissioner for Equality underscored the imperative for the Iranian regime to ensure the full spectrum of human rights for all its citizens.

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