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Politics

European Parliament Condemns Iran Protest Crackdowns

October 6, 2022
Akhtar Safi
2 min read
The European Parliament on Thursday strongly condemned the Iranian government for the repression of its citizens and urged the European Union (EU) to sanction officials involved in the crackdown against the protesters
The European Parliament on Thursday strongly condemned the Iranian government for the repression of its citizens and urged the European Union (EU) to sanction officials involved in the crackdown against the protesters

The European Parliament on Thursday strongly condemned the Iranian government for the repression of its citizens and urged the European Union (EU) to sanction officials involved in the crackdown against the protesters. 

It has also condemned in the "strongest" term the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini “following her violent arrest, abuse and ill-treatment" by Iran's morality police and called on the government to allow for an “impartial and effective investigation.”

The text in Parliament was adopted by a show of hands with no official record of how many voted in favour.

However, Cornelia Ernst, chair of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iran, said the “vast majority” voted for the resolution. 

"Our full solidarity goes out to all the courageous protestors, in particular our Iranian sisters," Ernst said in a statement after the vote.

“Human rights are not negotiable. The longing for a free and democratic Iran is gripping more and more people in Iran. The European Parliament stands by their side,” Ernst said.

The resolution also “supports the peaceful protest movement across the country,” and asks the Iranian authorities to release protesters who have been arrested and drop all charges against them.

Numerous people including activists, lawyers and journalists and students have so far been arrested by Iran’s security and intelligence agencies and moved to unknown locations. Concerns are high about the fate of arrested people as the Iranian government has had a long history of mistreating inmates through physical and psychological torture.

"While expressing its strong support for the peaceful protest movement in Iran, and in particular the young women leading and participating in the demonstrations,” the European body said in a statement, “Parliament strongly condemns the widespread and disproportionate use of force by Iranian security forces against the crowds, which has so far resulted in many casualties.”

“The EU must sanction Iranian officials involved in the regime’s repression,” the statement said.

"MEPs [Members of European Parliament] also call on the country’s authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and drop any charges against anyone who has been imprisoned solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, as well as all other human rights defenders,” the statement added.

The European Parliament further called on the United Nations, and its Human Rights Council, to initiate an investigation into recent events in Iran. It has also urged EU member states with a diplomatic presence in the country to coordinate their actions to protect human rights defenders, "in particular women’s rights defenders, and EU-Iranian dual nationals."

The new round of anti-government protests was sparked by the death in police custody of Amini who was arrested for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly and violating the country's strict dress code.

Iranian women have been required to wear the hijab in public since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but president Ebrahim Raisi signed an order on 15 August to enforce the country’s dress code law with a new list of restrictions.

More than 130 people have so far been killed in the protests, according to human rights groups.

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