Rajavi calls on Europe to pull up Iran for repression
Maryam Rajavi, the elected president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, has criticized the European Union's silence and failure to respond to the brutal repression of the Iranian regime, which has led to mass detention of thousands of unarmed protesters and the torture of scores of demonstrators. Such a lack of response has reflected on Europe’s total disregard for its basic obligations toward humankind and its disrespect for the European Convention on Human Rights, she said during an official visit to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.
Several political groups had invited the prominent Iranian opposition leader to attend their meetings, including the key political groups at the Council, the European People's Party, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, and the united European left. Rajavi also met and held talks with several senior officials of the Council.
In her remarks, Rajavi urged the Council of Europe and the member states to adopt decisive measures and binding resolutions to force the ruling clerical dictatorship in Iran to release the protestors, respect freedom of expression and assembly, and put an end to repression.
Rajavi said, "Thirty-nine years of bloodshed, brutality and discrimination against women are enough. The international community, particularly Europe, must end their silence and inaction." She stressed, “The expression of concern is not enough. The lack of action in Europe sends a false signal to the brutal dictatorship in Iran that it can continue its crimes against the Iranian people without punishment."
Rajavi's call to the European institution comes on the heels of the popular uprising that began on December 28 and has shaken the Iranian regime. The protests are reported to have rapidly spread across 142 cities in 31 Iranian provinces.
In his January 9 speech, Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei blamed the Iranian opposition leaders for the uprising. He accused them of having prepared for the unrest for several months.
Rajavi said that the security forces had fired at dozens of protesters and arrested at least 8,000 people. "Every day, we come across news of prisoners who have died from torture, but the regime claims they had committed suicide while in custody. A number of young people are missing and their families have no idea where they are. The mass arrests, firing at unarmed protesters, and torture of prisoners to death are clear-cut examples of crimes against humanity.”
Rajavi called for forming an international commission of inquiry to investigate the deaths, detention, the disappearance of Iranian protesters and those killed in prisons. The regime must be forced to allow the delegation to visit prisons in Iran and talk to detainees and their families.
She described the situation in Iran as "a barrel of gunpowder" and stressed that protests continue throughout the country. Rajavi stressed that the regime is doomed to collapse and that the Iranian people are determined to continue their struggle to overthrow the clerical dictatorship. She urged the Council of Europe to stand by the Iranian people and hold the regime accountable for firing at protesters and torturing them to death.
Rajavi reiterated that the popular Iranian uprising has stripped the ruling fascists of its legitimacy, leaving it without any future. Investment in this regime is destined to fail. All diplomatic and economic relations with the Iranian regime must be cut off. Iran's rulers must face full-fledged sanctions due to their long history of crimes and humanity. Any dealings with this regime will only strengthen its killing machine and encourage it to export terrorism, she said.