European Parliament, Friends of a Free Iran (FoFI) – Iran: Urgent Call for Immediate Release of Prisoners of Conscience and Halt to Executions

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Iran: Urgent call for immediate release of prisoners of conscience and halt to executions
Iran: MEP Urgent call for immediate release of prisoners of conscience and halt to executions
European Parliament
Friends of a Free Iran (FoFI)
Statement
18 May 2020

 

Iran: Urgent call for immediate release of prisoners of conscience and halt to executions

Currently, the Covid19 fatalities in Iran has exceeded 42,000 deaths, while officials of Hassan Rouhani’s government are formally hiding the real numbers.

Despite the critical situation of the pandemic, Iran has continued to carry out executions of prisoners and still refuses to release prisoners, particularly prisoners of conscience as sanitary conditions have proven to be alarming and threatening.

In addition, the regime has launched a large-scale arrest of its opponents and has suppressed its democratic opposition, which reports daily on the situation of Corona in the country.

On 5 May 2020, the Judiciary in Iran announced that two elite university students, Messrs. Amir Hossein Moradi and Ali Younesi, had been arrested and imprisoned for having links with the Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The opposition has since disclosed the names and photographs of 18 others who have also been arrested on similar charges. They are mainly young Iranians seeking freedom and democracy in Iran.

We write to draw your attention to the ongoing human rights violations in Iran. We are gravely concerned over the ill-treatment and torture of those who have been arrested. Over the past two years, a large number of prisoners arrested in protests have been murdered while in custody. In almost all cases, Iranian authorities claimed that prisoners had committed suicide.

Messrs. Moradi and Younesi, students at Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology, were arrested without warrant on 10 April 2020. According to reports, Mr. Moradi disappeared on that day and Mr. Younesi was arrested and was taken home on the evening of the same day, with injuries and torture marks. The regime acknowledged the arrests following protests by students at the University.

Left, Ali Younesi and Right, Amir Hossein Moradi
Mr. Younesi had won the gold medal of the 12th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2018. Earlier, he had won the silver and gold medals of the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2016 and 2017. Mr. Moradi had won the Olympiad’s silver medal in 2017.

The judiciary spokesman Gholamreza Esmaili claimed, “They wanted to wreak havoc in the country, which was fortunately thwarted by the vigilance and timely action of our intelligence agents.”

In relation to the current wave of arrests and executions, we condemn the arrest of opponents, educated youth, elite students, and Iranian citizens for taking part in protests and for supporting the cause of freedom and urge for the immediate and unconditional release of these prisoners.

We urge the EU High Representative to call on Iran to secure the release of the detainees and to respect the rights of citizens to freedom of expression and freedom of association. Therefore, we request for a fact-finding mission to visit prisons and report on the conditions of detainees.

Silence and inaction are counterproductive and will be misconstrued by Iran as a greenlight from European Union vis-à-vis Tehran’s egregious human rights abuses. We reiterate our stated position that relations with Iran has to be conditioned to a halt to executions and clear progress on human rights.

Sincerely,

Petras Auštrevičius, MEP from Lithuania

Franc Bogovič, MEP from Slovenia

Cristian-Silviu BUŞOI, MEP from Romania

Ryszard Czarnecki, MEP from Poland

Francesca Donato, MEP from Italy

Anna Fotyga, MEP from Poland

Gianna Gancia, MEP from Italy

Rasa Juknevičienė, MEP from Lithuania

Andrius Kubilius, MEP from Lithuania

Ryszard Antoni Legutko, MEP from Poland

Marian-Jean Marinescu, MEP from Romania

Ljudmila Novak, MEP from Slovenia

Stanislav Polčák, MEP from Czech

Jiří Pospíšil, MEP from Czech

Petri Sarvamaa, MEP from Finland

Radosław Sikorski, MEP from Poland

Ivan Štefanec, MEP from Slovakia

Hermann Tertsch, MEP from Spain

Ruža Tomašić, MEP from Croatia

Romana Tomc, MEP from Slovenia

Veronika Vrecionová, MEP from Czech

Milan Zver, MEP from Slovenia

Friends of a Free Iran

Friends of a Free Iran (FoFI) is an informal intergroup in the European Parliament which was formed in 2003 and enjoys the active support of many MEPs from various political groups

The names and pictures of the 18 other prisoners follow:

Mohammad Reza Ashrafi Samani, Isfahan
Nahid Fat’halian, Tehran
Kamran Rezaeifar, Tehran
Sepehr Imam Jomeh, Tehran
Parastoo Mo’ini, Tehran
Zahra Safaei, Tehran
Forough Taghipour, Tehran
Marzieh Farsi, Tehran
Massoud Rad, Tehran
Bijan Kazemi, Kuhdasht
Mohammad Mehri, Qom
Somayeh Bidi, Karaj
Mohammad Hassani, Karaj
Rasool Hassanvand, Khorramabad
Gholam Ali Alipour, Amol
Mehran Gharabaghi, Behbahan
Majid Khademi, Behbahan
Saeed Rad, Semn

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