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EP sends tough message to Iran on human rights


08 Sep 2010


Social Europe & Jobs

In a hard-hitting resolution adopted today by virtual unanimity (one vote against) the European Parliament sent a strong message to the Iranian authorities that the state of human rights in Iran is deplorable. The text specifically appeals for clemency for the Iranian women (Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Zahra Bahrami) facing the death penalty.

The resolution lists its serious concerns from harassment of opposition politicians, to persecution of religious minorities, civil rights defenders and the abuses of the judicial system which lacks both objectivity and transparency.

Marietje Schaake (D66, Netherlands), a strong campaigner on human rights in Iran was one of the leaders of the initiative in condemning Iran.

"The cases of these two women should be a wake up call to Catherine Ashton that the EU needs to deal urgently with the situation of human rights in Iran."

"Recently, all attention has been focused on sanctions and the nuclear problem. That is a missed opportunity. There is a generation of outspoken Iranians who wish to see a free Iran, where fundamental freedoms are respected. Iran has enormous potential, with a young, highly educated population. This potential should be fostered, but needs a foundation for rights and freedoms to flourish."

Frédérique Ries (MR, Belgium) also spoke out against the actions of the Iranian regime:

"Faced by the weight of stoning from obscurantists, the weight of the words of democratic politicians from around the world is now calling for the life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani to be spared. Her face has come to represent the fight for rights of women and of all the victims of oppression in Iran."

For more information, please contact:

Neil Corlett: +33-3-88 17 41 67 or +32-478-78 22 84