IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS Open Letter by European Parliamentarians to EU President of the Parliamentary Assembly

0
206

Honorable Rik Daems

President of the Parliamentary Assembly

Council of Europe, Avenue de l’Europe

F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France

January 25, 2021

Dear President,

We, the undersigned write to express our grave concerns on the situation of human rights in Iran. For four decades, the Iranian regime has been brutally oppressing its people and while they have been indiscriminate in stripping citizens of their every individual and social rights, women, youth and minorities have faced the most oppression.

In December 2020, the United Nations General Assembly condemned Iran for its gross violations of human rights for the 67th time. The European Union itself and human rights organisations like Amnesty International have continuously condemned Iran’s human rights abuses over the years.

We are also deeply concerned over the continued use of torture and ongoing execution of young protesters who took to the streets in the November 2019 protests calling for freedom in Iran.

The domestic policy of repression and exporting terrorism and fundamentalism abroad have been the foundation of Iran’s survival strategy for decades, with the latter having been supported by Iran’s embassies in Europe.

On July 1, 2018, German police arrested Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in

Vienna, in a joint operation between police, the judiciary and security services from Germany, France, and Belgium. Investigations revealed that as a senior Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agent, Assadi had plotted an attack on the annual gathering of Iran’s organised opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Villepinte, Paris, attended by 100,000 people according to press reports. He wanted to implement this plan together with three other Ministry of Intelligence agents who had received asylum and later granted citizenship in Belgium (Amir Saadouni, his wife, Nasimeh Naami and Mehrdad Arefani). While Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI’s president-elect was the target of the attack, the event was attended by international political figures, parliamentary delegations and personalities from Europe and around the world. If successful, it would have been the largest terrorist attack on European soil and essentially a massacre.

The Belgian National Security Service (VSSE) reported in February 2020 that, “The plans for the attack were developed in the name of Iran at the request of its leadership. Assadi didn’t initiate the plans himself.” The VSSE emphasized that Assadollah Assadi is an MOIS officer working under the diplomatic cover of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Vienna (Austria).

In another report, the VSSE stated that Assadi carried the explosive device on a commercial flight from Iran to Austria. He handed over the explosives to Amir Saadouni and Nasimeh Naami two days before the attack was to be carried out.

This undeniable evidence calls for a review of policy toward Iran in all areas. Europe must hold Javad Zarif accountable for his diplomat’s terrorist act.

The Iranian regime seeks to blackmail Western countries by using dual nationals as pawns in exchange for its terrorists in foreign jails.

While condemning any policy of appeasement and concessions to the Iranian regime, we call for serious and effective measures, including:

  • To condition any economic and trade relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran contingent on the improvement of the human rights situation in Iran and an end to the regime’s terrorism on European soil.

 

  • In accordance with a statement by the Council of the European Union dated April 29, 1997, agents and mercenaries of Iran’s intelligence services with diplomatic, journalistic, and economic cover should be tried, punished, and expelled, and centers with a religious or cultural cover promoting terrorism and fundamentalism should be closed. Granting asylum and citizenship to MOIS agents and mercenaries should be a red line.

 

We thank you in advance for considering our letter and look forward to hearing from you on this critical matter.

Yours sincerely,

Sophie AUCONIE, Member of Parliament – France

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Petra BAYR, Member of Parliament – Austria

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Margreet de Boer, Member of Senate – Netherlands

Member of Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights at PACE

Member of Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons at PACE

Karin BROUWERS, Member of Senate – Belgium

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Maurizio BUCCARELLA, Member of Senate – Italy

Member of Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights at PACE

Klotilda BUSHKA, Member of Parliament – Albania

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Member of Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

Laura CASTEL FORT, Member of Senate – Spain

Member of the Equality and non-Discrimination Committee at PACE

Constantinos EFSTATHIOU, Member of Parliament – Cyprus

Member of the national delegation at PACE

 Iván ESPINOSA DE LOS MONTEROS, Member of Parliament – Spain Member of the national delegation at PACE

 Bernard FOURNIER, Member of Senate – France

Member of Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) at PACE

Sir Roger GALE, Member of House of Commons – United Kingdom

Vice-President of the PACE

Chairperson of national delegation at PACE

Róisín GARVEY, Member of Senate – Ireland

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Full Member of Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination (since 15/09/2020)

Eglantina GJERMENI, Member of Parliament – Albania

Chairperson of Sub-Committee on Gender Equality

 Jean-Pierre GRIN, Member of the National Council – Switzerland

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Yves HEMEDINGER, Member of Parliament – France

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Emer HIGGINS, Member of Parliament – Ireland

Member of Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (since 15/09/2020)

Christoph HOFFMANN, Member of Parliament – Germany

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Maria JUFEREVA-SKURATOVSKI, Member of Parliament – Estonia

Chairperson of the national delegation at PACE

Christian KLINGER, Member of Senate – France

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Saša MAGAZINOVIĆ, Member of Parliament – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Vice-Chairperson of Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group since 27/01/2020

Javier MAROTO, Member of Senate – Spain

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Giuseppe Maria MORGANTI, Member of Parliament – San Marino Member of the national delegation at PACE

Barbara NOWACKA, Member of Parliament – Poland

Member of Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination at PACE Member of Sub-Committee on the Rights of Minorities at PACE Fiona O’LOUGHLIN, Member of Senate – Ireland

Chairperson of national delegation at PACE

Joseph O’REILLY, Member of Senate – Ireland

Vice-Chairperson of Group of the European People’s Party since 11/10/2018

Ria OOMEN-RUIJTEN, Member of Senate – Netherlands

VICE-Chairperson of national delegation at PACE

Ian PAISLEY, Member of House of Commons – United Kingdom

Member of the national delegation at PACE 

Thomas PRINGLE, Member of Parliament – Ireland

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Luís Leite Ramos, Member of Parliament – Portugal

Vice-Chair of Social Democratic Group at Portuguese Parliament and EPP Group at PACE

Chair of Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of PACE

Roberto RAMPI, Member of Senate – Italy

Secretary of the national delegation at PACE

Frédéric REISS, Member of Parliament – France

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Ingjerd Schou, Member of Parliament – Norway

Chairperson of national delegation at PACE

Vice-Chairperson of Group of the European People’s Party since 08/02/2018

Chairperson of Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs Fifth Vice President of the Storting

Tadeja ŠUŠTAR, Member of Parliament – Slovenia

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Bob van PAREREN, Member of Senate – Netherlands Substitute member at PACE

Egidijus VAREIKIS, Member of Parliament – Lithuania

Vice-President of the PACE from 27/01/2020 to 24/01/2021

Vice-Chairperson of Group of the European People’s Party from 11/10/2018 to 24/01/2021

Martin VICKERS, Member of House of Commons – United Kingdom

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Anna ZÁBORSKÁ, Member of Parliament – Slovakia

Chairperson of national delegation at PACE

Miroslav ŽIAK, Member of Parliament – Slovakia

Member of the national delegation at PACE

Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Member of Parliament – Lithuania

Chairperson of national delegation at PACE

Second Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

 

C.C: Honorable Charles Michel, President of the European Council

Honorable Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/VicePresident of EU Commission

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here