An open letter from the European Parliament in Strasbourg written on Tuesday draws attention to the increasing number of Iranian prisoners of conscience. It also expresses deep concern over human rights violations and executions.
The letter is addressed to EU High Representative and Vice-President of Commission Hon. Federica Mogherini and precedes her visit to the ruling regime in Tehran on Saturday. Its concerned author is Gérard Deprez MEP, who is Chair of the Friends of a Free Iran.
During the diplomatic visit Ms. Mogherini and seven other EU-commissioners will pick up on the the regime’s commitment to minimize production of its nuclear program. Mr. Deprez urged Ms. Mogherini to take the opportunity to ‘publicly speak out in Tehran’, about the situation of human rights in Iran.
The number of executions under the religious regime is the highest since 1989. The letter elaborates, based on last week’s Amnesty facts and figures, that at least 977 people have been hanged since the ‘moderate’ President Rouhani assumed office in 2013, and that Rouhani openly defends these executions as a ‘good law’.
The name of one of six Iranian prisoners of conscience who Mr. Deprez implores Ms. Mogherini to visit is Ayatollah Broujerdi, 57, a dissident cleric who advocates the separation of religion and state and was reportedly poisoned in Tehran’s notorious jail Evin by Iranian agents this week.
The letter also spotlights the increasing repression against women. It states that women’s rights activists are put behind bars for their peaceful campaigning, and that girls as young as 9 can now be married even to their step-father. One of the female prisoners of conscience listed is Ms. Narges Mohammadi, 43, a women right’s activist and journalist, mother of two young twins and in jail for her peaceful activities.
Mr. Deprez finds it incredulous, but also an opportunity, that ‘such a high level visit is taking place before witnessing any sign of human rights improvement from the Iranian side’. He reminds Ms. Mogherini as High Representative that ‘we believe you will do your best not to disappoint those who trusts you’ – those living under repression of the Iranian regime.