The Belgian Lawmakers, Condemned the Human Rights Violations in Iran

Belgian Lawmakers urge European governments to conditions relations with Iran to a halt to executions and progress on human rights

On Tuesday 17 October 2017, the Belgian Committee of Parliamentarians and Mayors for a Democratic Iran, held a meeting in the Belgian Federal Parliament on the situation of human rights in Iran.

Several members of parliament and senators from different political parties spoke in this meeting which was chaired by Ms Els Van Hoof, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Belgian Parliament from the Christian Democratic Party.

The Belgian lawmakers strongly condemned the human rights violations during the first term of Hassan Rouhani and called on the European countries to condition their relations with Iran to a suspension of executions and a clear progress on human rights and the situation of women.

They emphasized that Rouhani has defended the executions and has expressed his support for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which controls most of the Iranian economy, has been the main tool of repression inside Iran and has recently been black-listed by the US government for its terrorist activities in the region. His foreign minister, Javad Zarif who is regarded as a so called “moderate”, expressed his full support last week for the Revolutionary Guards. MPs called on the EU to also black-list the IRGC.

Belgian politicians expressed their support for the Iranian democratic opposition, led by Mrs Maryam Rajavi and emphasized that her campaign to seek justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly from the opposition PMOI/MEK, has shaken Iran and has now become an international issue. They called for an independent investigation to prosecute those responsible.

 

Rouhani replaced his justice minister who was member of the ‘death committee’ in Tehran during the 1988 massacre with Alireza Avai. The new minister Avai ,who was member of the death committee in southern Iran, is also on the EU black list for human rights violations since 2011.
So with those kind of figures in the cabinet of this “moderate” president, we can firmly say that this is the same regime as 30 years ago, only with a different appearance that is more suitable for the west to deal with.

The speakers expressed their deep disappointment of the current attitude of the EU and especially the High Representative Federica Mogherini as she ignores repression against women in Iran and even went to Tehran to take part in the inauguration ceremony of Rouhani. Such a policy of closing the eyes to human rights violations and the repression of women in Iran is an embarrassment and cannot be justified because EU wants to do business with Iran. This silence by EU’s foreign policy chief, is extremely damaging for the reputation of Europe and is in the benefit of the theocratic state of the mullahs who get encouraged to carry on their repressive rule.

 

We as Belgian politicians should remind our government to put human rights first and that this regime in Tehran is not a democratically elected government. It is a religious dictatorship. So we should at least insist that any expansion of relationship with this regime must be conditioned to a suspension of executions and a clear progress on human rights and situation of women.

Dirk Claes, Mayor of Rotselaar, Chair of Belgian Committee of Parliamentarians and Mayors for a Democratic Iran