The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, representing 47 countries, has issued a statement with the support of 110 representatives. They express their solidarity with the Iranian people’s quest for freedom and democracy during the nationwide uprising in Iran. Furthermore, the European representatives urge the Albanian government to ensure the protection of fundamental rights for the Iranian opposition, specifically the members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) residing in Ashraf 3. This call highlights the importance of protecting the rights of the Iranian opposition in Albania.
The full statement of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe follows:
We, the undersigned, declare the following:
We express our solidarity with the Iranian youth, women, and girls, who, in September 2022, courageously initiated protests across the nation, demanding freedom. These protests resounded as a call for change, an end to oppression and the establishment of a democratic governing system.
We denounce the violent suppression of these protests, resulting in over 750 fatalities, tens of thousands of arrests, and an increased number of executions.
The Iranian regime, in addition to internal suppression, employs disinformation, terrorism and cyberattacks to silence Iranian dissidents beyond its borders. Aggressive behaviour towards Albania and the 2,500 Iranian dissidents belonging to the opposition PMOI residing in Ashraf III, including cyberattack threats and spread of disinformation, must be unequivocally condemned by all European governments.
We strongly urge Albania to safeguard Ashraf residents’ fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and assembly, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In his letter to Vice-President of European Parliament in April 2016, the Albanian Prime Minister confirmed that “Albania is fully engaged and committed to ensure for the Iranian refugees all rights stipulated in the 1951 Geneva Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights and international law.”
Europe cannot compromise on the values enshrined in those conventions, most notably, freedom of expression and assembly.