On Tuesday March 6, a meeting was held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on “After the popular uprising of 2017-2018”. The meeting was organized by five NGOs that hold consultative status of the United Nations: France Libertes- Foundation of Danielle Mitterand, Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, MRAP, Women’s Human Rights International Association (WHRIA) and International Educational Development (IED). It was moderated by Dr. Hanifeh Khayyeri, PhD Policy advisor and Strategic advisor as well as Alliance for Public Awareness Board of Advisor.
Speakers talked about the new prospects that have risen in the aftermath of the uprising which erupted in December 2017 and went on to 2018, and discussed how this development was going to impact the democratic change in Iran.
Giulio Terzi, former Italian foreign minister focused on suppressing Iran protests and killing and torturing the protestors, and while addressing the United Nations said: “It would be unacceptable for the United Nations Human Rights Council to remain silent on the true human rights situation in Iran. It would also be a shame for the European Union and all democratic countries because the perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable and brought to justice as it must happen with those who masterminded and carried out the 1988 mass executions, a massacre whose perpetrators are still enjoying complete impunity…The same people who are responsible for continuing today’s atrocities with exactly the same cruelty, the same determination, the same criminal mindset and behavior that they have shown over the past thirty years in different capacities as prosecutors in Iran.”
He then demanded the High Commissioner for Human Rights to take action with regards to the followings:
1) A firm condemnation of the killing of protesters in custody and to hold the perpetrators accountable.
2) To start, to initiate, a fact-finding mission to investigate the 1988 massacre.
3) A firm statement condemning the 1988 massacre and stress the accountability of the perpetrators. ”
Referring to the impunity of the criminals ruling Iran, Taher Boumedra, former Chief of the Human Rights Section of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) stated: “We call upon the Secretary General of the United Nations to stop those who are well known violators of human rights to come into the council and obstruct the whole system of the United Nations… Sooner or later if the UN fails in its mission the civil societies will follow the situation and will address the jurisdictions capable of stopping these people and putting an end to the impunity.”
Gerry Horkan, member of the Irish Senate, highlighted the duties of the international community with regards to human rights violations carried out by the regime in Iran protests by saying: “As Iranian people are risking their lives to bring about freedom and democracy in Iran, the west must stand with them. We must stand on the right side of history. The international community can do that by first continuing to monitor the appalling human rights situation in Iran, as we have mentioned earlier. And secondly to end the impunity enjoyed by the regime officials. Translating this to concrete actions and policies, it means that the international community should renew and extend the mandate of the UN special rapporteur for Iran and immediately appoint that special rapporteur. This should be followed by independent investigation by the UN into the death of detained protestors under torture and the situation of thousands more detainees in jail who are threatened by executions only because they exercised the right to freedom of expression and assembly by participating in the recent protest…. And in the meantime the human right abusers identified in this process should be named and shamed and penalised with punitive measures to make it clear to the mullahs that the world is watching and they will have to answer for their crimes sooner rather than later.”
Nicola Ciraci, member of the Italian Parliament talked about the worsening situation of human rights under Rouhani and said:
For years, we have been told that a moderate faction from within the regime is on rise, we have been told that the reformers are getting the upper hand, especially since Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013.
Well, five years later, the number of executions has reached unprecedented levels with at least 3500 executions. Human rights situation has gotten worst in many areas. And on top of all that, the mass arrests since the protests began in the country in December and killing of detained protesters under torture prove that the regime has neither the intention nor the capacity to end its repression. But the Iranian people already know that as they chanted, “reformers, hard-liners, the game is over” and “Down with Dictator” during the protests.
He ended his speech by saying: “We should not leave the Iranian people to their fate as the regime is confronting them with paramilitary force, bullets, mass arrests and intimidation. So my message to the EU and its member states is, “the time has come to stand with the Iranian people because the day, when they destroy the roots of fundamentalism in Iran, freedom, equality and democracy will make a leap forward all across the world.”
Struan Stevenson a former member of the European Parliament who is known as a coordinator of the campaign for a change in Iran elaborated on the reactions of the Iranian regime to the uprising calling it “their usual time honored fashion sending in the regime’s Gestapo, the IRGC, who gunned down dozens in the streets and arrested over 8000 protesters at least 16 of whom have so far been tortured to death in prison.” He also touched on the poverty, rising inflation and massive unemployment particularly among the young that has erupted into the uprising. He then went further to criticize the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, as a leading appeaser of the mullahs often visiting Tehran to pay homage to the theocratic dictatorship. Struan Stevenson said: “She has always remained silent on the question of human rights and the repression of women however. It took her 5 days to issue a statement about the uprising, which was not even critical of the regime and as such was counterproductive.”
Mr. Stevenson urged the international community to demand the release of thousands of protesters arrested during the recent uprisings and issue strong warning against any torture or execution of these prisoners. He also called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment together with other relevant Rapporteurs in the UN to speak out strongly and publicly against the torture and killing under torture of the detainees in Iran.
Parviz Khazai, an Iranian former ambassador and the NCRI representative in Scandinavia who is also a member of International Association of Jurists in Norway described the new method of killings which was carried out by the regime in these protests and stated: “The method of liquidating the people in the prison was also something very unprecedented, because they have used execution and torture before, and now they are using a sort of suiciding them, killing them, and then giving them some medicine, and they make them crazy, and take some video of them in the toilets, and then when they are totally, utterly unconscious, they kill them and they say they have committed a suicide. This is a new crime that has been committed; this is something that has to be taken into consideration; that they kill people and then pretend they have committed suicide.”
He then referred to the question of justice and how the Iranian resistance is playing a role in this regard. He said: “Mrs Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI President-elect, has called everyone to identify and find the criminals one by one for a future court of justice à la Nuremberg.”
Simin Nouri, President of the Iranian Women’s Association in France, was the last speaker who touched the key role played by women in the recent uprising and said: “AFIF supports Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan for tomorrow’s Iran, including item 5 on women’s right to freely choose what they want to wear, which states: “We believe in complete gender equality in political, social and economic arenas. We are also committed to equal participation of women in political leadership. Any form of discrimination against women will be abolished. They will enjoy the right to freely choose their clothing. They are free in marriage, divorce, education and employment.”
The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran at a meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on January 24, 2018 called on the international community to adopt effective measures to force the Iranian regime to stop the suppression of women and abolish the compulsory veil.
The suffering of women and girls in Iran has been ignored for far too long. It is time for all international bodies to condemn the practices of Tehran’s misogynist dictatorship and take urgent action to ensure the release of protesters recently arrested and all political prisoners, many of whom are on hunger strike and others without access to medical care in the mullahs’ prisons.”