London, 20 Nov – A large rally was held at Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday 19th November 2016. There were Anglo-Iranian communities, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) supporters and human rights activists in attendance, protesting against the deteriorating human rights conditions, executions and public hangings.
The NCRI reported that Anglo-Iranian Associations from all over the UK were there to highlight the continuing abuses carried out by the Iranian regime. They used street performances and theatre to depict some events such as the 1988 massacre during which around 30,000 political prisoners were killed and buried in secret, mass graves on the order of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. Many of the prisoners who died during the massacre were activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK). Very worryingly, many of the officials who had major roles in the massacre are still in power in Iran today.
During the rally, activists emphasised that the Iranian regime has no popular support in the country and that the people want democracy. They called on the British government to “make any improvement of relations with Tehran contingent upon human rights improvement and to take concrete steps at the international level to hold the regime accountable for its appalling human rights record”. They also called on the government to urge the United Nations to start an independent inquiry into the massacre which should be designated as a crime against humanity.
The NCRI said: “MPs, prominent human rights activists and lawyers addressed the rally and supported the demands of protesters for prosecutions of the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre in an international tribunal and to halt public executions in Iran.”
Speakers said that the international community will have to get involved if the human rights situation in Iran is to improve. They pointed out that the UK and the EU need to work towards ending the impunity the human rights abusers in Iran currently have. Several speakers also mentioned the 10-point plan Mrs. Maryam Rajavi proposed with the aim of achieving a democratic Iran. Her proposal involves prohibiting the use of the death penalty, torture and many other degrading types of punishment.
Sir David Amess MP, the co-chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, said: “Your calls to the government today to act to stop the ongoing atrocities in Iran and bring the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre prosecution to justice have a strong support among many members of both Houses of parliament from all parties. This support is visible in two initiatives, a statement on Iran and an Early Day Motion, supported together by some 200 MPs and Peers concurring with your demands today, which I presented at a conference in the UK Parliament earlier this week.”
Mr Andrew Mackinley, former member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the UK Parliament, spoke on behalf of Mrs. Rajavi: “Your gathering is taking place at a time when a wave of protests by our countrymen has escalated in Tehran and other cities across the country … To contain the protests, [the ruling mullahs] have stepped up the executions. But where do Western governments and, specifically, the UK government stand in this confrontation?… After the nuclear agreement, while the mullahs’ human rights abuses in Iran and their genocide in the region have intensified, Western governments and companies must not expand their trade relations with the Iranian regime. … Doing business with the clerical regime in Iran, gives an open hand to the mullahs in suppression of the people of Iran, and in export of war and carnage to Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”
Regarding the resolution by the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, Hossein Abedini, from the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “The Iranian regime’s leaders, high ranking officials and incumbent judiciary officials are the main masterminds and perpetrators of human rights violations in Iran, particularly in the case of the 1988 massacre, the United Nations needs to launch an independent investigation committee to probe these violations and bring the perpetrators to justice.”