In the course of her visit to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on January 24, 2018, Maryam Rajavi attended an official meeting of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), where she elaborated on the developments in Iran uprising, the need for international measures to secure the release of those arrested during the protests, and answered questions posed by members of the EC Parliamentary Assembly. In her remarks to the meeting, Maryam Rajavi said:
It is a pleasure to be here and have the chance to address this meeting. I have come here today to be the voice of those protesters who are presently in prison and under torture. The Iranian people took to the streets, demanding the basic rights and needs they have been denied for years.
They cried-out, loud and clear, that they are tired of the moderate-hardliner game. They said they do not want a clerical regime. They said they want a republic based on separation of religion and state. They want a democratic system where people have the right to elect their representatives, a system where the government is accountable to the people.
The recent protests highlighted a number of realities:
• That the Iranian society is in a volatile state.
• That the Iranian people want the religious regime changed.
Their message to the outside world is loud and clear: There is no moderate in the regime.
The Iranian regime is rotten to the core. It is more fragile and vulnerable than ever before.
Regime change by the Iranian people, and I stress by the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance, is necessary and within reach.
During the protests, 50 were killed by the regime’s repressive forces. 8,000 more were arrested. Can you imagine 8,000 being arrested in less than two weeks, just for exercising their right to express their opinion?
At least ten protesters have been killed in prison under torture. Many have been reported missing.
The International Community must not remain silent. Expressing concern is not enough. Europe’s inaction sends a wrong signal to the brutal dictatorship in Iran.
The Iranian people want to know where does Europe stand and what will they do in this regard? Will they continue the same as before? If not, what are the practical steps they are going to take? The people of Iran ask, where is the Europe of human rights, freedom, democracy and the rule of law?
I have come here today to seek your support for the release of imprisoned protesters. I ask your group and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to strongly condemn the killing of protesters in prisons and urge all governments in Europe to take practical measures to have the prisoners released. Urge the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to launch an inquiry committee to investigate the arbitrary arrests and deaths of protesters in detention.
My demands and the demands of the Iranian people are clear: Immediate release of the prisoners of the uprising, freedom of speech and association, abolition of women’s suppression and compulsory veil, just now and today. After 39 years, enough is enough!
We are determined to bring freedom, democracy and the rule of law to our country. For years, Iran’s main opposition had been designated as terrorist at the behest of the clerical regime, but the courts in Europe and the United States rejected this allegation and the PMOI won.
We rely on the Iranian people’s Resistance and uprising to bring about change in Iran. We have rejected foreign intervention.
What we want from other governments, and particularly Europe, is to condition their relations with the Iranian regime on end to torture and executions.
Today, my message is simple: Stand with the Iranian people in their quest for freedom. Urge your governments to adopt a decisive policy.
Change in Iran is essential to peace and tranquility in the region, and peace and security in the world.