European Lawmakers Voice Support for Iranian Uprising
197 European lawmakers signed a statement on Monday, March 20th,2018, in support of the Iranian people’s uprising for democratic change. The signatories come from across the political spectrum, with members of all political groups in the European Parliament represented. Several Vice-Presidents of the parliament and Committee and Delegation Chairs were among the signers.
The statement comes as a response to the nationwide uprising in Iran, which began on December 28, 2017 and lasted for almost two weeks before being suppressed by the ruling regime. The people of Iran, particularly the nation’s young people, demonstrated in favor of regime change, chanting “Down with the dictator!” “Down with Khamenei!” and “Down with Rouhani!”
Thousands of demonstrators calling for a free and democratic Iran and an end to fundamentalist rule were arrested. 14 protesters have since died after being tortured, leading Amnesty International to call for an investigation into the deaths of those in custody.
Many of the leaders and officials within the regime have talked about the role MEK, has played in organizing the protests and fomenting dissent against the ruling regime. The AFP reported that on January 2, Rhouhani asked French President Emmanuel Macron to take action against the Iranian opposition, which is based in Paris, accusing them of causing the protests. On January 9, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, said that the MEK has organized the uprising and implicitly threatened to execute the protesters. A judiciary official called for the execution of demonstrators, saying that they are “waging war against God.”
The statement released today condemns the use of force against demonstrators and calls on the European Union to create measures to compel the regime to release prisoners who were arrested in the uprising, “uphold freedom of expression and association,” and end the repression of women, particularly the compulsory Hijab. It also calls on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate Iran’s prisons and political prisoners, focusing in particular on those arrested during the recent uprising and those who died in detention.
The statement is critical of the European Union for its silence toward human rights violations in Iran and urges the EU to take decisive action. The statement is being released on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.