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Belgian Committee of Parliamentarians and Mayors Express Concern on Human Rights in Iran

Oct 21
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The Media Express

By Siavosh Hosseini

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The international community has expressed growing concern about the human rights abuses and violations being reported within Iran. These issues have grown as the regime feels the pressure to create real change within its government and its treatment of its people.

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One group that is speaking out is the Belgian Committee of Parliamentarians and Mayors for a Democratic Iran. The group held a meeting on October 17, focused on human rights in Iran. Many of the speakers were from different political parties, but all strongly condemned the human rights violations during the first term of Hassan Rouhani, the current president of Iran.

“We formed the Belgian Committee of Parliamentarians and Mayors for a Democratic Iran. Our aim was to focus on democratic change in Iran,” said Dirk Claes, Mayor of Rotselaar.

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Dirk Claes, Mayor of Rotselaar / Credit: The Media Express

Another source of concern is the recent visit by Federica Mogherini, who visited Iran on behalf on the European Union, but ignored the larger issues of women’s rights and human rights issues.

“I am deeply disappointed by the attitude of EU and specially Federica Mogherini, who ignores repression against women in Iran,” said Els Van Hoof, Member of the Belgian Federal Parliament.

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Els Van Hoof, Member of the Belgian Federal Parliament / Credit: The Media Express

The recent policy change by the U.S. administration has also received support, particularly with the terrorist designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The group noted that doing business with the IRGC and Iran is going to have serious consequences in terms of sanctions by the United States. European companies need to be aware that entering the Iranian marketplace could mean closing the doors to the U.S.

“Our people expect governments to put European values first instead of doing trade and business with the Iranian regime,” said Firouz Mahvi, a member of the NCRI.

Additionally, there is support for the Iranian resistance, the face of which is the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). This group has received international recognition as a viable alternative to the Iranian regime and its mullahs.

“We have to support the Iranian opposition to be able to achieve a regime change in Iran and I encourage my colleagues to join us in this campaign,” said Nele Lijnen, Member of the Belgian Federal Parliament.

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Nele Lijnen, Member of the Belgian Federal Parliament / Credit: The Media Express

The group also emphasized that Rouhani has defended the executions and has expressed his support for the IRGC, which has been the main tool of repression inside Iran and has recently been blacklisted by the U.S. government for its terrorist activities in the region.

Belgian politicians also expressed their support for the Iranian democratic opposition, led by Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI. They also emphasized that Rajavi’s campaign to seek justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly from the opposition PMOI/MEK, has shaken Iran and has become an international issue.

David Clarinval, Leader of the Parliamentary group of the Liberal French speaking MR party in the Parliament brought the important of supporting the Iranian Resistance for democracy in Iran by mentioning, “I think our government and the EU should recognize and start formal relations with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)”. 

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David Clarinval, Leader of the Parliamentary group of the Liberal French speaking MR party

 

The Iranian Resistance role turned to one of the focal point of this meeting discussion. “I really believe Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi is the symbol of anti-fundamentalism today,” said An Capoen, Member of the Belgian Federal Parliament.

 

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An Capoen, Member of the Belgian Federal Parliament / Credit: The Media Express

The meeting was chaired by Els Van Hoof, a member of the Belgian Parliament from the Christian Democratic Party.

 

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