German Dignitaries Show Support for the NCRI and MEK Action Against the Death Penalty in Iran
On Thursday 8 of October 2020 the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the coalition of Iranian pro-democracy groups, held a conference, that was part-online and part open event in front of the German Parliamentary buildings, to highlight the Iranian regime’s repeated use of the death penalty, calling on Europe to take a firm stance against this crime. The keynote speaker of the conference was Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI President-elect.
Participants of the event, which included dozens of German MPs and dignitaries, denounced the regime for their heinous human rights violations. They also expressed their expectation that the European Union supports the Iranian people by ending its failed policy of appeasement, which the regime has taken advantage of, and the democratic opposition movement, The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), as it continues its endeavors to create freedom, democracy, and human rights in Iran.
Christian Zimmermann, Editor of the Human Rights Newsletter (Human Rights Center)
Christian Zimmermann, the Editor of the Human Rights Newsletter from the Human Rights Centre, noted the overwhelming number of executions carried out by the Iranian regime:
“142 countries have abolished the death penalty. According to Amnesty International reports, Iran is the leading executioner per capita. Most human rights activists agree the death penalty doesn’t have a purpose.”
Maliheh Malek supporter of the Iranian resistance (PMOI / MEK Iran), and women’s rights activist
Supporter and women’s rights activist, Maliheh Malek, discussed the martyr Navid Afkari, who was executed last month for participating in the 2018 protests against the regime:
“The death of Navid is painful for all of us but showed the faceoff between justice and crime. On one side was human rights and democracy, all the people who stood up by his side, and on the other was regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and criminal regime officials who executed him.
The mullahs might be able to slaughter our heroes, but they will pay a heavy price. Navid has become a symbol for all people who stand up for freedom.
We want justice, the regime must be sanctioned for its human rights abuses. The United Nations Security Council must restore resolutions against the regime or else the regime will continue its crimes. As we near the anniversary of the November 2019 protests, we pay homage to 1,500 protesters killed by Iranian security forces and express solidarity with those who still linger in prisons.”
The message of Prof. Rita Suessmuth, German Federal Parliament Speaker (1988-1998)
Former German Federal Parliamentary Speaker, Professor Rita Suessmuth, discussed the hope for the future which is carried forward by the Iranian opposition, the NCRI:
“The hope for something better is increasing. The meaning of resistance is to fight for something better. I learned about the resistance in Iran through the people of Ashraf. They are led by Madam Rajavi, who has a ten-point plan for Iran that abolishes the death penalty and fights for the equality of men and women. Ashraf 3 represents a society that nourishes equality.
We learned again and again about the extent of negative propaganda against this movement. This is a peaceful and resilient solidarity movement. It is noticeable how effective this movement is. Ashraf 3 is a community built with the help of Maryam Rajavi. Without a doubt, this movement is a thorn in the side of the regime and we hope they succeed.”
Maryam Rajavi the President-elect of the NCRI
The NCRI President-elect and keynote speaker of the conference, Maryam Rajavi, addressed the need for international governments to step in and take action against the murderous regime:
“The World Day Against the Death Penalty challenges the world community over its policy towards the murderers ruling Iran. The embarrassing question posed to the world’s powers and governments are why they are not taking any action towards the ocean of blood flowing in Iran.
Is Khamenei’s cold-blooded murder of more than 1,500 people during the November 2019 uprising, not a crime against humanity? Is the killing of dozens of minors and teenagers not a flagrant violation of the Iranian people’s right to life? Then, why are you sitting idle?
The Iranian people’s desire is this: Form an international fact-finding mission; examine the ample documents, footages and evidence of these crimes, particularly the 1988 massacre and the November 2019 bloodbath; send the dossier on these major crimes to the UN Security Council. All elements are there for the prosecution of the bloodthirsty mullah at the helm and other leaders of the clerical regime.
Investigate what happened to our people in Mahshahr, Shiraz, in cities in the south and west of Tehran, or in the impoverished suburbs of Kermanshah. Look and see. Before your eyes are one of the most horrific crimes in the 21st Century. The clerical regime had no scruples about killing children and teenagers only 13 or 14 years old.
(The Iranian Resistance) struggles for an Iran where the death penalty is abolished and freedom, democracy, justice reign supreme. Our people urge the international community to compel the clerical regime to free all detained protesters and all political prisoners.”
Prof. Norbert Lammert, German Federal Parliament Speaker (2005-2017) and Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation
Former German Federal Parliamentary Speaker and Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Professor Norbert Lammert, drew attention to human rights as an international issue that must be safeguarded on a global scale:
The execution of Navid Afkari and Mostafa Salehi led to international outrage and focus on this regime. This regime is criminalizing any kind of resistance and prosecuting political dissidents. During last year’s national protests, we saw thousands of detentions. Even the parliament and Interior Ministry have admitted to the high number of people who have been killed and detained.
Human rights are a commitment of any civilized state. The systemic violation of human rights in Iran is not a matter of domestic policy. If the government can’t protect its citizens and their human rights, then other governments have a responsibility to protect their human rights.”
Maryam Manouchehrian of the Iranian community in Germany
Member of the Iranian community in Germany, Maryam Manouchehrian, discussed the need for government support to revoke the execution of the political prisoners who are currently facing the death penalty in Iran:
“Everyone here today is the voice of Navid Afkari and all freedom fighters who were executed by the Iranian regime. We and our resistance fight for the abolishment of the death penalty and freedom in Iran. The third article of Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan is the abolishment of the death penalty. The regime uses executions to maintain its power. The regime executed 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 because they raised their voice for freedom. Why haven’t regime officials been tried for their crimes?
Dozens of political prisoners are waiting for their execution. We ask the German parliament to support an initiative that calls for the revoking of the execution of political prisoners. The Iranian people are asking the international community and the German government to stop executions in Iran.”
Martin Patzelt, member of the German Bundestag and reporter of the Human Rights Commission on Iran
Member of the German parliament and report of the Human Rights Commission on Iran, Martin Patzelt, highlighted the necessity of a unified approach in supporting the democratic opposition to the regime, the NCRI:
What we need is unity…I’m committed to supporting you and I will talk to my colleagues in the German Parliament about this issue. Human rights are in the German constitution. The mullahs use violence to maintain their dictatorship.
What would be good for Iran? The NCRI has hoped for many years to see a free Iran, and this is why we stand with you and support your ten-point program. The future of Iran must be democratic. The NCRI wants to rebuild Iran. The NCRI favours freedom of religion.”
The message of Dr. Christian Stäblein, Bishop of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg
The Bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, Dr. Christian Staeblein, showed his support for the human rights of the Iran people and the abolishment of the death penalty in Iran:
What is happening in Iran is unimaginable: torture, sexual violence, mock executions, and death sentences.
You have me by your side in your call for the death penalty to be abolished. You know that I am at your side in my work for an Iran in which it is possible that all people can express their opinion, regardless of religion, skin color, sexual identity, or ethnicity.
You will know that I am at your side when it comes to protesting loudly against human rights violations when it comes to guaranteeing and defending the dignity of every human being.
In our thoughts and with our prayers we are with those who are wrongly in prison, to all who do not know what happened to their loved ones, who are grieving. May they find the strength to endure injustice.”
Leo Dautzenberg, a former member of the German Bundestag
A former member of the German parliament, Leo Dautzenberg, spoke of the brutal and criminal use of torture that political prisoners are subjected to in Iran:
“Shocking videos show how agents of the regime are torturing activists in public. Obviously, if they are not afraid of doing this in public, they are also committing these crimes in prisons. We want to be the voice of the people of Iran. We want to be the voice of Mostafa Salehi, the father of two kids who was executed for taking part in protests. Others were sentenced to death for taking part in the 2019 protests.
We want to be the voice of elite students who are being tortured in prisons right now. We want to be the voice of other political prisoners, 12,000 who have been arrested in protests in the past years. They are the symbol of freedom and show how powerless the regime of Iran is.
Those who try to pretend there is no alternative to Iran are liars. There is a solution: It is you, the people here. You are a solution for the future of Iran and I support you.”
The Shojai family, whom 12 members of their loved ones have been executed
The Shojai family, whom 12 members of their family have been executed by the regime recounted the brave sacrifice their loved ones made for a free and democratic future in Iran:
Twelve of my family members, who were members of the MEK, were killed by the regime. My children died in hopes that their sacrifice will pave the way for new generations of Iran. The regime’s incompetence has killed many of my compatriots.
The mullahs only understand the language of force and they’re afraid of the people. We believe that the path of our children was just and the blood that was shed for the freedom of Iran is bearing fruit now. I salute Iranian Resistance leader Massoud Rajavi.
Hermann-Josef Scharf, Vice President of the Christian Democrat Party in the Saarland State Assembly
Vice President of the Christian Democrat Party in the Saarland State Assembly, Hermann-Josef Scharf, stated the requirement of the EU and UN to impose all sanctions and necessary actions to support the NCRI:
“The mullahs’ regime is evil and against humanity. But words are not going to be enough. The EU and the UN have the means to use sanctions against human rights violations. All these mechanisms must be used. The regime murders because it is weak, and we must use all the pressure we can against it. The regime is also spreading propaganda to remove attention from the Iranian Resistance.
This is a democratic and responsible alternative to the current regime in Iran. They want a republic based on democracy, free elections, equality of men and women. Madam Rajavi is the living example of tolerant Islam and freedom for all Iranians.”
Michał Kamiński, Polish MP and former Chair of the ECR group in the European Parliament (2009-2011)
Polish MP and former Chair of the ECR group in the European Parliament, Michal Kamiński, drew attention to how the Iranian opposition differs to the former Shah rule and current theocratic regime:
“It’s so important to repeat today the very important part of Madam Rajavi’s program for the new Iran, which is stated in the ten-point-plan, that there is strong opposition against the death penalty. One thing which is obviously connecting the current regime of the mullahs with the previous regime of the Shah and that is the death penalty is used widely against political opponents.
I am so happy that our friends from Iran are very clear about it, that future democratic Iran will not repeat the policies of previous regimes. And the new free and democratic Iran will be free of the death penalty.”
Detlef Wagner, Deputy Mayor of Berlin
The Deputy Mayor of Berlin, Detlef Wagner, called attention to acts of terrorism committed by the regime both in Iran and internationally:
“Is it wrong to say I want to be free? Is it wrong to go to the street and say the mullahs are taking away my dignity? The mullahs are killing people. What are they doing? They have killed and tortured not only in their country but also elsewhere. They killed Iranian dissidents in my own district in the Mykonos restaurant.
In 2018 more than 100,000 people attended an event in Paris to protest the regime and I was shocked to hear that a man linked to the regime tried to bomb the event. While the mullahs’ regime exists, I will attend every event and call for the overthrow of this regime.”
Dr. Christoph Ploss, German MP and President of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany in Hamburg
German MP and President of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany in Hamburg, Dr Christoph Ploss, affirmed his support for the abolishment of the death penalty in Iran:
You are all right to say that the international community must no longer tolerate this. And that is why I am happy to promise you my support as a member of the parliament.
Together with my colleagues, I will try to have an impact in Iran, we must do everything we can so that this inhuman practice of execution finally comes to an end and that the prisoners are freed.
What we have seen with Navid Afkari must not be repeated under any circumstances. And if the Iranian terrorist regime of the mullahs does not finally turn around and end this practice, then I believe the international community will have to take even tougher measures against the Iranian regime.
Thomas Nord, German MP
German MP Thomas Nord showed his support for the NCRI and a free and democratic Iran:
The terror in Iran has not reduced. Many people have been executed because of their protests against the mullah’s regime and because they stood up for democracy in Iran.
There are many people in Germany who support the overthrow of the regime. We know they use terror in Iran and in Europe. They try to discredit the NCRI. We will not stop our support for the NCRI. Their path is right and we must resist against the mullahs. We must also support the people in Iran and show our solidarity with them.”
Dr. Fritz Flegentreu, German MP
German MP Dr. Fritz Flegentreu asserted the denouncement of the regime and its brutality:
“The execution of Navid Afkari has shown how inhuman the regime of Iran is. We will never accept this brutal act. We must be very strong in our approach to Iran. We must never accept them.”
Christoph De Vries, German MP
German MP Christoph De Vries emphasized the need to hold the regime accountable for their crimes in Iran and internationally:
“What we have seen in Iran since 1988 to date is an ongoing crime against humanity. I condemn this practice of execution by the regime that from my point of view, a very clear sign of the weakness of this dictatorship, and these crimes must have ramifications for the regime in Iran. The regime’s leaders must also be held accountable for their crimes, impunity is not an option and here the West must not look the other way.
The Iranian mullahs preach and spread fundamentalism and persecute dissidents. One example is the so-called Islamic center in Hamburg. I tell you that has nothing to do with Islam and with religious freedom. This is a threat to internal security in Germany that we will not tolerate. It is indicative that there was a funeral service for the terrorist Qassem Soleimani, who is known worldwide for terrorist attacks and killings and is responsible.”
Klaus-Dieter Gröhler, German MP
German MP Klaus-Dieter Gröhler called attention to Germany’s role in supporting the Iranian people and their struggle for democratic freedom:
People in Iran are not living in freedom. They have been suppressed by the mullahs for 40 years. They are still carrying out executions. Germans must not look away while people are being tortured and executed. The people of Iran have the right to live in freedom and a democratic future.
Sebastian Brehm, German MP
German MP Sebastian Brehm discussed the need to ensure the safety of Iran’s current political prisoners and support the human rights of the Iranian people:
“We want to draw attention that the people who are on death row must be freed and the death penalty in Iran must be abolished. We remember Navid Afkari and Mostafa Salehi. We are with you and fight against human rights abuses.
The regime is forcing prisoners to confess through torture. We in the German Parliament will make it clear that we will not accept this. Let’s fight together for freedom in Iran.”
Christiane Gerhardt, musician
A musician showed her support for the opposition movement by performing at the conference:
“This movement is not just about removing the regime. It encompasses democracy toward the future. They give rights to women and give them a strong voice, something that has been neglected in the past decades and centuries.
I hope this movement will be successful. I wish for you and the people of Iran and Ashraf 3 all the success.”
Reza Mohammadi of the Iranian community in Germany
Member of the Iranian community in Germany, Reza Mohammadi, highlighted the necessity of the separation of religion and state in Iran:
“The mullahs’ regime is desperate and tries to resort to religion as a means to suppress freedom and extend its power. The founders of the MEK said from the beginning that the real line is drawn not between religions but between tyrants and the people.
The key problem of the people of Iran is the Islamic fundamentalism that the mullahs represent. The regime tries to divert attention from the people’s protests. Navid Afkari became a symbol and showed who is on the side of the people. Those who remained silent in face of his execution disgraced themselves.
On the eve of the World Day Against Death Penalty, we commit ourselves to the struggle to end executions and the end of the rule of the mullahs.”
NCRI member Bahram Mavedat, member of Iran’s national football team in the 1978 World Cup
NCRI member and former member of Iran’s national football team, Bahram Mavedat, paid his respects to Navid Afkari and all of the martyrs or the resistance movement:
“Hail to the national hero Navid Afkari. I salute all martyrs who were tortured and killed in the mullahs’ prisons. This dictatorship has only been against athletes. It represents misogyny and repression. However,in the face of this regime have been athletes who stood up for freedom. Navid Afkari was an example who gave his life for freedom.
Today we commemorate the death of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 and 1,500 people who were killed in the 2019 uprising. It is the duty of us athletes to show strength and use all our means to be the voice of those who died. We must support the resistance units.
The German government must use all means to call for justice with clarity. Those who committed the crimes must be brought to justice. They must do all they can to stop executions in Iran.”