Marietje Schaake: Last week an unprecedented attack was launched on political prisoners in Evin prison Tehran. Labelled ‘Black Thursday’ witnesses speak of the worst attacks in 20 years. High Representative Ashton should condemn these attacks, as well as the many on going human rights abuses in Iran.

 

By Marietje Schaake MEP

Last week an unprecedented attack was launched on political prisoners in Evin prison Tehran. Labelled ‘Black Thursday’ witnesses speak of the worst attacks in 20 years. High Representative Ashton should condemn these attacks, as well as the many on going human rights abuses in Iran.

At this moment, Rayhaneh Jabbari is scheduled to be hanged, for killing a man that raped and abused her. The justice system, led by the judiciary, needs reform to reflect the basic rights of Iranian people. It would be welcomed if the Rouhani government would condemn the recent attacks and would seek respect for people’s basic rights.

While the international community, as well as the Rouhani government, wish to focus on the nuclear deal first and foremost, the population in Iran is systematically repressed and rightfully looks to Europe to make sure they are not forgotten. Despite repression, Iranians remain vocal against abuses. In the towns of Noor and Nishabour, contrary to state law and practice, the victim’s families chose forgiveness, saving the lives of two accused that were about to be hanged.

To more broadly address the death penalty, Sakharov Prize Winner Nasrin Soutoudeh has supported the LEGAM project, which seeks to gradually end capital punishment.

These and other citizen initiatives in Iran, and with support of diaspora in Europe, deserve our support and attention. Instead of turning inward and focusing on our own elections, we must make sure the EU continues to be outspoken against the abuses of the rights of political prisoners and ordinary citizens.