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MEP Gérard Deprez, Chair of the Friends of a Free Iran Inter-Parliamentary group speaking at a meeting on the occasion of the World Day Against Death Penalty, October 10, 2018
The 10th of October was the 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty. To mark the occasion, Friends of a Free Iran issued a press statement expressing their concern over the current use of capital punishment in Iran.
A Violent and Barbaric Regime
The clerical regime carries out more executions per capita than any other regime or government on earth. The mullahs’ regime accounted for more than half of all the executions in the world in 2017.
In 2018 so far, the regime has executed more than 230 Iranian citizens, among them, were political prisoners, women, and juvenile offenders.
In just a month of September alone, Friends of a Free Iran report, 33 Iranians were hanged, including nine political prisoners, whose only crime was disagreeing with the hard-line, dogmatic ideology of the clerical regime.
Remembering 1988 Massacre of MEK Activists
2018’s World Day Against the Death Penalty holds a special significance. It marks the 30th anniversary of one of the darkest chapters of Iran’s history.
In the summer of 1988, the regime rounded up more than 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition, the majority of which came from the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). The men and women were detained, then executed on the orders of the regime’s leadership.
The most difficult part for the families of the victims, as well as MEK members today, is that those responsible for the crimes have escaped punishment. Many hold senior positions in Rouhani’s cabinet today.
The Friends of a Free Iran press release mentions Rouhani’s Justice Minister, Alireza Avaei. Avaei played a central role in the 1988 massacre. He was a member of the “death squad” that ordered and carried out many of the arrests and executions that summer.
Friends of a Free Iran also took the opportunity to denounce the Iranian regime’s engagement in state-sponsored terrorism. 2018 has seen the clerical regime plot two plots on European soil against the MEK, both of which were foiled in the late stages.
In June, an Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material. The pair were going to attack the MEK’s Grand Gathering event in Paris with an explosive-laden vehicle.
The terrorist plots, according to Friends of a Free Iran, represent the violent nature of the clerical regime. Its statement condemned the regime for “attacking its own people inside Iran and… planning terrorism on the [sic] European soil”.
Friends of a Free Iran lamented the silence from the European community. It urged the European heads of state to take a harder approach towards Iran.
The statement read, “we must tell Iran that any acts of terror in Europe is absolutely unacceptable and will have serious consequences”, adding, “we are disappointed that our European governments and the EU [are] still trying to be nice with this brutal regime”.
Finally, the statement implored the international community to “be on the side of the people of Iran and not with the mullahs”. Only then can Iran make progress on human rights.