Mario Galea, Member of Parliament from Malta:
My area of expertise is Election observation and Election Monitoring and have led and participated in many election observation missions in emerging democracies across the world on behalf of the European Union, Commonwealth, United Nations and other international organisations. I would like to thank our hosts the National Council of Resistance of Iran led by Madam Maryam Rajavi. I thank you all for your relentless work.
Martin Luther King wisely said and I quote;
“The ultimate tragedy is not oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
And this is so true. There is still a deafening silence regarding the desperate situation in Iran where thousands of people are being arrested, tortured, executed and their only crime is for taking it to the streets protesting for Good Governance, Rule of Law, Democracy and Human Rights. As journalist James Snell rightly pointed out “When people protest against mass unemployment, corruption and blatant abuse of Human Rights and the protesters are being met with bullets the world must do more than “monitor the situation.”
We are here because we are truly worried about the unfolding situation in Iran. We are here because we do not want to be accomplice with the brutal regime of Iran. We are here to send a strong message of solidarity to the brave people of Iran. We are here to send a bold message of condemnation and denouncement to the corrupt barbarous Iranian Regime. We are here to make a loud bold statement because we know that silence means consent. But we are also here to send a strong appeal to our governments to put pressure on the Iranian regime to stop imprisoning, torturing and killing innocent people. We urge EU to tell very strongly to the regime that the world is watching you and what you are doing are crimes against humanity which are sanctioned under international law. One day justice will prevail and you will be held accountable for your criminal actions.
The regime of Iran is not only a serious threat to the people of Iran but also a serious threat to the entire world because we know that this regime is an active state sponsor of terrorism. So our world will not be safe as long as this regime prevails. There is no democracy without human rights and there are no human rights without democracy.
Democracy is not a privilege extended to the people from those who oppress them but a basic Human Right. In fact the right of the every citizen to vote through secret ballot and to be elected at periodic genuine democratic elections are internationally recognized human rights. Freedom of expression, freedom of affiliation and association, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, freedom of press and the right to protest are all basic human rights which the people of Iran are being unjustly denied.
On behalf of the Nationalist Party of Malta, my colleague Herman Schiavone who joins me for this conference and on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition in Malta Dr Adrian Delia I salute the people of Iran who found the courage to take it to the streets to protest against their regime. The brutal methods deployed by the Iranian Regime against these peaceful protesters are horrific. But my humble message to the people of Iran is that they are executing you, torturing you, imprisoning you and shoot at you not because they are courageous and mightier than you but because they are terrified of you. They know that this is the beginning of their end. As former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill rightly pointed out “You see dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their solders and the truncheons and guns of their police ... yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts stirring at home and abroad and because these thoughts and words are forbidden by the tyrants, they are even more powerful and this terrifies the tyrant. Even a little mouse of free thought will drive the tyrant into panic.”
Yes, you can oppress the people for some time but not for all of the time. To National Resistance Movement of Iran and to the people of Iran protesting in the streets and in Universities of Iran I say you are true heroes. Your fight for democracy, human rights and rule of law in Iran is indeed commendable. As the great Nelson Mandela once said and I quote “I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over fear. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” and this is precisely what the Iranians protesting in Iran are doing.
My message and I am sure that all of us who have gathered here share it with me, to the people of Iran is that we are with you. You are not alone and we will never leave you alone. Your fight is our fight. We will not rest and we shall continue to be with you through thick and thin until you win and it is not matter of if you win but when you will win. I feel confident that you will eventually win and legitimately get your country back from this evil regime and have the government of your choice through a genuine democratic election.
Then and only then we will rest our case.