Obtained from a press release- Friends of a Free Iran – European Parliament - Brussels - 10 October 2018
On the 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty, Gérard Deprez, Member of European Parliament and Chair of Friends of a Free Iran, issues a statement, in which he expressed “deep concern over the executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Friends of a Free Iran (FoFI) is an informal group in the European Parliament which was formed in 2003 and enjoys the support of many MEPs from various political groups.
“Iran at the moment has the highest number of executions in the world per capita,” Deprez warns, adding that according to Amnesty International, more than half of all recorded executions in the world in 2017 took place in Iran.
According to the regime’s own authorities and state-run media, more than 230 people have been executed in Iran since the beginning of the year, Deprez reminds. The real figures are usually much higher, the Iranian resistance has reported. “Only in the month of September 33 people were hanged including 9 political prisoners,” he says. This includes the execution of three Kurdish political prisoners, whom the Iranian regime executed despite their dubious sentencing process and international calls to halt the executions.
Deprez also reminds that this year marks the 30th anniversary of 1988 massacre, a crime against humanity in which the Iranian regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners in the span of a few months. Most of the victims were tied to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
“None of those criminals who were responsible for that crime against humanity have gone to court. In fact, many of them are holding top positions in the Iranian regime,” Deprez writes. This includes Rouhani’s current and former Ministers of Justice, Alireza Avaii and Mostafa Pourmohammadi. Both were members of the “death commissions,” groups of clerics that circulated prisons and sentenced political prisoners to death in short, minutes-length trials.
“We are also deeply concerned of several terrorist plots by Iran against the opposition, particularly the involvement of an Iranian diplomat to try to bomb a big gathering of NCRI in Paris in June 2018,” Deprez writes. European authorities tracked and foiled the terrorist plot, which was directed by Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian regime diplomat based in Vienna. German authorities arrested Assadi, and recently a German court gave the verdict to hand him over to Belgian authorities, where he will be tried for his involvement for his involvement in the terrorist plot.
The French government has also raised concern over the regime’s embassies and diplomats being involved in espionage and terrorism and recently decided to freeze the assets of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
At least two more of the regime’s terrorist plots were discovered and foiled this year, one in Albania, where thousands of MEK members reside, and another in the U.S., where the regime’s agents were spying on and planning against the supporters and members of the MEK and the NCRI.
However, more needs to be done. “Sadly, the EU has kept silence. This silence only encourages the mullahs,” Deprez warned. “So in this situation that the Iranian regime is attacking its own people inside Iran and is also planning terrorism on the European soil, we have to take a hard line on Iran.”
This is a point that other European politicians have raised in a recent conference in Brussels, Belgium, where they called on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to assume a firmer stance toward Tehran’s export of terrorism.
“We must tell Iran that any acts of terror in Europe is absolutely unacceptable and will have serious consequences,” Deprez said. “We are disappointed that our European governments and the EU, still try to be nice with this brutal regime with a hope of moderation!”
In circumstances where people across Iran continue to hold widespread protest and are calling for regime change to establish a democratic state, Deprez reminds that Europe must stand on the side of the people and not with the mullahs. “This is a religious dictatorship and not a normal state,” he writes.
“We must tell our European governments and the EU, that any expansion of relations with Iran must be conditioned to stopping the executions, and to a clear progress on human rights and women rights,” Deprez recommends.