For immediate release
Friday 7 December 2012
The recent rise of numbers of executions in Iran is truly appalling and alarming. According to opposition accounts only between 22 October and 14 November, in less than a month, 100 people were executed. This is far higher than any other period in recent years. Amnesty International has raised alarm and pleaded to the Iranian government to halt executions, to no avail.
Iran has today the highest execution rate in the world, per capita. Last month, Mr Sattar Behesthi, a young worker and blogger was killed under torture eight days after he was arrested from his home. His ‘crime’ was that he had criticized the regime on his blog. Sakharov Prize winner Ms Nasrin Sotoudeh was on hunger strike for 49 days in prison. Many other women political prisoners have gone on hunger strike in protest to inhuman and humiliating prison conditions.
On November 27 of 2012, the Third Committee of the United Nations passed a resolution expressing its concerns in regard to systematic violation of human rights in Iran. The resolution has pointed out to the execution of minors, arbitrary arrests, torture and execution of individuals accused of being “Mohareb”, meaning the enemy of god, sexual assaults on the prisoners, political prisoners in particular, banning and outlawing public gatherings and freedom of speech, even via the internet, severe discrimination against the women and minorities and the lack of independence in the judicial system of the country.
Despite the worries of the international community in regard to the above mentioned matters, the Iranian regime, has ignored all such concerns and has banned the entry of the special human rights representative of the United Nations and other individuals and organizations to the country.
Many of the political prisoners in the regime’s prisons are held just because their relatives are members of the opposition PMOI who are in Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq. The regime’s judicial system has sentenced several of these individuals to death for having provided financial help to the PMOI.
In light with the upcoming International Human Rights Day, 10 December, we call upon the Belgian government to:
– Condemn the recent rise human rights violations by the Iranian regime especially the alarming rise in the number of executions.
– In cooperation with the European Union, implement broader sanctions against the Iranian regime and call for the referral of the case of Iran’s human rights violations to the General Assembly of the United Nations for condemnation of the Iranian leaders for their direct role in killing innocent people which should be categorized as crimes against humanity.
Senator Dirk Claes (CD&V), Leader of Flemish Christian Democratic Group in Belgian Senate.
President of Belgian Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran
Senator Nele Lijnen (Open VLD), Chair of Equal Rights Committee in Belgian Senate