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250 lawmakers: 'Listen to the voice of Iranian people'

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On Saturday 12 September, 27-year-old Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestling champion who was arrested during the August 2018 protests, was killed by the Iranian regime in prison. In trumped up charges and with no evidence against him, they tortured Navid to force a confession. He shouted in court that he had been tortured and asked for any evidence against him, but they had none. Despite a mass online campaign led by Iranians themselves, which attracted support from the sporting world, world leaders and human rights organisations standing together to try to stop his execution, they killed him and forced his family to bury him in silence. He was denied due process, a fair trial and according to recent reports, severely tortured before his execution, writes Amir Seifi.

His killing has been receiving widespread coverage in the Media and condemnations internationally, with countries like Germany cancelling Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s planned visit that week.

According to a UN human rights experts statement, Navid was killed for his participation in the protests and it was done to send a message of fear to other protesters.

There are currently thousands of Navids in Iranian prisons for the crime of protesting a dictator. Amnesty International recently published a shocking report on the fate of protesters in prisons, which offers a much better understanding of what we are dealing with inside Iranian prisons. 

Navid’s brothers, 35-year-old Vahid and 29-year-old Habib have been sentenced to a total of 81 years and lashes on fabricated charges with confessions obtained under torture. Over the last months, Kurdish political prisoners Hedayat Abdullahpour, Diako Rasoulzadeh and Saber Sheikh-Abdullah as well as protester Mostafa Salehi were executed. However, massive campaigns to stop the execution of five protesters in Isfahan and three in Tehran have so far been successful through international pressure. There are reports that at least thirty protesters are currently on death row in Iran that the human rights organisations know of.

The regime of Ayatollahs’ horrendous human rights track record is well known to the world. In order to better understand the regime’s nature, it is crucial to realise that the repression, torture and the massacre of people in Iran and destruction of countries in the Middle East by it, and over four decades of warmongering policy and spread of terrorism globally are two sides of the same coin. The regime’s extreme violence is enabled by allowing it to obtain finance and arms.

The usual policy of appeasement from European countries has for decades sent a wrong message of weakness to the regime and a green light for it to continue its human rights violations, crimes against humanity and terrorism.

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Amidst the European Union’s traditional policy of betrayal of human rights and sacrificing innocent people’s lives for trade and economic relations through the policy of silence, appeasement and “diplomacy”, strong opposing views and demands are emerging from public and political figures calling for the halt of this broken and unfair policy.

A recent press release, by the British Committee for Iran Freedom, on September 22 revealed that more than 250 lawmakers from over 23 countries (mainly from European countries and some Arab countries), have supported a statement called ‘Listen to the Voice of Iranian People’ urging their respective governments to take necessary steps to implement all punitive measures against the Tehran regime, especially an arms embargo.

The statement reads, “The Iranian regime has actively been involved in war-mongering activities in the region. It is refusing to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the JCPOA and is clearly violating many clauses of the JCPOA and the Resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council including the degree of Uranium enrichment, its accumulation and the number of centrifuges.”

The Iranian people have repeatedly cried out in their street protests that they need their national wealth to be spent on the people’s welfare and basic public services particularly at present in confronting Covid-19. They do not need Uranium enrichment facilities; they do not favour ballistic missiles programs; they denounce expenditure of their money for war-mongering activities and meddling in the Middle East countries,” reads the statement.

The statement adds, “We support the call by the leader of the Iranian Resistance that the country does not need two armies. IRGC must be disbanded and the money allocated to the IRGC and its destructive programs must be spent to improve people’s life.”

Nelson Mandela, in his famous speech 'Our march to freedom is irreversible', (Cape Town, 11 February 1990) said:
"We call on the international community to continue the campaign to isolate the apartheid regime. To lift sanctions now would be to run the risk of aborting the process towards the complete eradication of apartheid."

Today, many parameters point to the fact that Iran has arrived at a historical crossroads and at a very decisive moment.

Here’s hoping that, after over four decades of leniency and appeasement towards the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Western governments eventually wake up and realise that there is an immediate need for a shift in their policies in the direction of showing solidarity with the Iranian people and standing up to a dangerous warmongering regime that sponsors terrorism and has actively been pursuing nuclear and missile technologies.

Amir Seifi is an EU citizen, currently resident in Ireland, and originally from Iran. He is an engineering manager and a human rights activist. Following the student uprising of 1999,  he had to leave Iran along with his family who have a long history as political activists and prisoners since my childhood years in Iran. 

All opinions expressed in the above article are those of the author alone, and do not reflect any opinions on the part of EU Reporter.

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EU Reporter publishes articles from a variety of outside sources which express a wide range of viewpoints. The positions taken in these articles are not necessarily those of EU Reporter.
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