Parallel to the Italian Prime Minister Renzi’s visit with the Iranian regime (Tuesday 12 April) during which the two countries are in ongoing negotiations on billions worth of contracts, Mr. Renzi must also be held accountable to his conscience, when put in respect of Iran’s poor record on human rights.
In an open letter addressed to the Italian Prime Minister Renzi, political prisoner Reza Akberi Monfared reminds Mr. Renzi of the appalling state of human rights violations and how the Iranian people suffer under the the mullah’s regime.
A fragile looking Mr. Akberi Monfared, pictured next to his letter which has been translated in French on the news site of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on Wednesday, explains his own experience.
As an example of human rights violations Mr. Akberi Monfared tells Mr. Renzi that four members of his family were killed, and he himself sent to prison. In Akberi Monfared’s own words – ‘this ruthless and inevitable regime martyred four members of my family for supporting the People’s Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI / MEK)’ – the main opposition group – without a chance to trial or access to a lawyer’.
Convicted by the regime and now a political prisoner, Mr. Akberi Monfared’s crime was to have spoken on the phone to a family member. He recounts in his letter that ‘I was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for the sole reason of having had two telephone conversations with my brother.’
On this barbaric way to run constitutional law, Mr. Akberi Monfared challenges the Italian Prime Minster to consider the current volume of human rights abuses ongoing under the Iran regime, adding the fact that under President Rouhani, who assumed office in 2013, ‘over 2300 people have been executed.’
This raises the question if such a high profile visit could possibly effect change on the human rights situation in Iran. In spite of hope, the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee, on human rights, consider that Prime Minster Renzi’s visit may only ‘encourage the mullahs regime to continue crimes.’
As Mr. Akberi Monfared points out in his letter to the Italian Prime Minister; this fundamentalist regime have shown time again that ‘given it’s nature, they will not and cannot cooperate with the rest of the world. The words “moderation” and “balance” ring hollow like empty slogans.’