They also call for an investigation into the 1988 massacre of the PMOI/MEK
Following the uprising last December and early January 2018 in Iran, a seminar on the human rights situation in Iran was held in Geneva on Tuesday, March 6, attended by many prominent political and human rights figures, including the coordinator of the “Change Campaign in Iran”, Struan Stevenson.
Stevenson, a former member of the European Parliament, explained that the anti-regime protests across 142 Iranian cities were being painted by the Regime as the work of outside forces, including the Paris-based opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). This led to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling French President Emmanuel Macron to ask him to take action against the MEK, but luckily Macron did not.
Stevenson did, however, criticize the response to the protests from the majority of European leaders, including EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, accusing her of turning a blind eye to the crimes committed by the Iranian regime against Iranian dissidents and citizens in favour of increased trade.
He pointed out that this is the same Regime that spends billions of Iranian wealth to support Bashar al-Assad in Syria, sectarian militias in Iraq, the Houthi terrorist cell in Yemen, and the Lebanese Hezbollah.
Irish senator Gerry Horkan expressed his horror that the EU’s Human Rights Council had recently allowed the Iranian Justice Minister Seyyed Alireza Avaei, who is on the EU watchlist for human rights abuses and was a member of the infamous Death Commissions during the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mainly members of the MEK.
Horkan said: “The world saw the barbaric and highly arbitrary handling of this regime with peaceful protestors during demonstrations in Iran. Immunity enjoyed by officials of the Iranian regime in international forums, especially with regard to human rights.
Horkan was joined in this condemnation by former Italian foreign minister Julio Terzi, who made a call for the United Nations and the Human Rights Council to create an independent international commission to investigate the 1988 massacre and remove immunity for the persecutors.
Otherwise, he warned that the Iranian Regime would only do so again, with the over 8,000 protesters currently stuck in Iranian jails facing the death penalty. Over 50 protesters have already been slain in the street by Regime authorities and at least 12 have died under torture in prison.
Another person who has made this connection is the former head of the United Nations Office of Human Rights in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Dr. Tahar Boumedra, who wrote of his concerns.
During his speech, Boumedra paid tribute to Asma Jahangir, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, who died last month, shortly after documenting information about the 1988 Massacre
Italian Parliament member Akkad Nikola Serassi also paid tribute to Jahangir and advised the UN to renew the mandate and immediately appoint a new special rapporteur to continue her work.
In his closing remarks, Pervez Khazai, a member of the International Association of Jurists in Norway and representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in the Nordic countries, thanked these distinguished international figures for their efforts to defend human rights in Iran, in particular the rights of citizens opposed to the mullahs’ regime.
A group of non-governmental organizations, including, organized the seminar, chaired by Hanifa Khairi:
• France Liberte (the Daniel Mitterrand Foundation)
• The International Association for Human Rights of Women
• The Radical Anti-Violence Party
• The World Anti-Racism and Friendship of Peoples (CARAC)
• The World Association for the Development of Education