The European Parliament has called on the Iranian authorities to unconditionally release all arbitrarily jailed women’s rights defenders protesting against the hijab being compulsory, as well as all other human rights defenders, imprisoned and sentenced for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

A resolution tabled by the Conservative ECR group on ‘’the violent crackdown of the recent protests in Iran’’, adopted during the plenary session of the parliament in Strasbourg praises and supports the Iranian women human rights defenders ‘’who continue to stand up for their causes, despite the difficulties and personal repercussions they are facing.’’

Speaking for the ECR group on the plenary floor in Strasbourg, Anna Fotyga, a Polish MEP member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “Our voice raised timely to defend protesting Iranians is a matter of life or death for many imprisoned and still suffering insecurity. (…) I am a person of long-standing experience of protests against Communism. And I know how vital and how important our voice is for those suffering.”

Human rights organizations estimate that the regime has killed up to 1,500 protesters in the past few weeks and injured and arrested thousands more.

MEPs also demand that all EU-Iranian dual nationals, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (British), Ahmadreza Djalali (Swedish) and Kamran Ghaderi (Austrian), currently detained in Iranian prisons be immediately released, unless they are retried according to international standards.

The resolution urged the Iranian authorities ‘’to cooperate without further ado with EU member states’ embassies in Tehran in order to establish a comprehensive list of EU-Iranian dual nationals currently detained in the country, and to closely monitor each individual case.’’

The resolution was adopted by 608 votes in favour, 7 against and 46 abstentions.

“I applaud the ECR Group for this crucial initiative and all those MEPs from across the political spectrum who supported this motion to stand up for democracy and human rights in Iran,” commented Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, the Brussels-based EU Office of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

He added: “The protests that have erupted are to a large degree triggered by the fact that the regime isn’t investing in the welfare of its own people but instead has used its scarce resources to fund terror groups like Hezbollah, assist the Assad regime in ethnically cleansing Syria, and to export its brutal methods to the region.”

Source » ejpress