BRUSSELS, August 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Following the publication of a 94-page report by Amnesty International on 2nd August 2017, "Caught in a web of repression: Iran's human rights defenders under attack" (https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/2017-08/Iran%20HRD%20report.pdf?H8bShop765Jqt8yeFVE91EJ37avGEnFM), the Friends of a Free Iran in the European Parliament once again call on the EU and European governments to predicate their relationships with Iran on halting executions and improvement in human rights and women rights.
"The Iranian authorities have waged a 'vicious' crackdown on human rights defenders since Hassan Rouhani became president, demonising and imprisoning activists who dare to stand up for people's rights," Amnesty International said.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the crackdown targeting activists from key battlegrounds for human rights in Iran, including anti-death penalty campaigners, women's rights activists, trade unionists, minority rights activists and human rights lawyers.
Amnesty is calling on the EU to speak out in the strongest terms against the persecution of human rights defenders in the country and insists, "the EU, must not stay silent over the outrageous treatment of human rights defenders in Iran. Instead of appeasing Iranian officials, the EU should forcefully call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those jailed for their peaceful human rights activism and for an end to the misuse of the justice system to silence activists."
Friends of a Free Iran in the European Parliament (FOFI) is also alarmed of the reports on 101 executions carried out in Iran in July 2017, which include two women, dozens of youngsters and two public hangings.
Hassan Rouhani has proven not to be a moderate. Over 3,000 were hanged during his first term in office. In July, 265 members of the European Parliament signed a joint declaration, calling on the EU and European governments to predicate their ties with Iran on improvements in the situation of human rights.
In these circumstances, we are deeply concerned that the European Union's Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini will travel to Tehran on August 5 to attend the inauguration of Rouhani's 2nd term.
Such a visit will only embolden the mullahs to continue their repressive actions against the Iranian people, with EU's blessing. It will also send a wrong message to the people of Iran who look at Europe to defend their rights.
Gérard Deprez, MEP
Chair, Friends of a Free Iran
Friends of a Free Iran (FoFI) is an informal group in the European Parliament which was formed in 2003 and enjoys the active support of many MEPs from various political groups
Chair: Gérard DEPREZ (ALDE)
Vice-Chairs : Tunne KELAM (EPP), Louis MICHEL (ALDE), Ryszard CZARNECKI EP Vice-President, Eduard KUKAN (EPP), Jan ZAHRADIL (ECR), José BOVÉ (Greens), Marian HARKIN (ALDE)
Members of the Board: Jarosław WAŁĘSA (EPP), Emma McCLARKIN (ECR), Beatriz Becerra (ALDE), Jude KIRTON-DARLING (S&D), Richard ASHWORTH (ECR), Stanislav POLČÁK (EPP), Svetoslav MALINOV (EPP), Julie WARD (S&D), Rina Ronja KARI (GUE/NGL), Petri SARVAMAA (EPP),Tadeusz ZWIEFKA (EPP)
SOURCE Friends of a Free Iran, European Parliament