Maryam Rajavi at UEL meeting: Europe must make its relations with the Iranian regime contingent on the release of prisoners
Upon the invitation of Mr. Tiny Kox, chairman of the United European Left, Maryam Rajavi attended a meeting of this group during her visit to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
She elaborated on the Iranian uprising, the motives and demands of the protesters, the demands of the Iranian people for the release of those arrested, and answered questions of EC representatives.
The UEL meeting was presided by Mr. Tiny Kox. He thanked Maryam Rajavi for attending the meeting and reiterated his support for the Iranian Resistance. Maryam Rajavi told the meeting:
I have come here today to be the voice of those protesters who are presently in prison
and under torture.
It was wrongly thought in the past years that the working class and low-income masses form the regime’s base. Recent protests have put an end to this notion.
Iran is a rich country where 70% of its working population lives under the poverty line. Factory workers around the country have gone unpaid for months. Instead, the regime spends huge oil revenues and the assets unfrozen after the nuclear deal on wars and destruction in the region.
The mullahs have taken advantage of the nuclear deal to step up human rights abuses in Iran and fuel wars in the region. This is while one of the most popular slogans chanted by protesters was “Leave Syria, think of us.”
The protests that began over high prices quickly turned into political demands. The Iranian people know well that as long as this regime is in power, they will continue to suffer. The country’s wealth is in the hands of a small percentage of people. The wealth of Khamenei, alone, has been estimated at more than 95 billion dollars.
The message of the Iranian people’s uprising is very loud and clear: The time has come for regime change in Iran. Let me be clear: Regime change in Iran is the responsibility of the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance and no one else.
We reject both, a military intervention in Iran and the appeasement of the regime.
The recent protests have shown that the people of Iran want fundamental change. They want a true republic, an elected government that people freely choose and vote for.
Allow me to draw your attention to the situation of human rights in Iran, particularly since the beginning of protests.
Fifty of the protesters have been killed in the uprising, some in the streets and some in custody and under torture.
Unfortunately, however, Europe remains silent. I have not heard of any European government protesting the regime over the killing of protesters under torture. Why?
Over 8,000 people have been arrested for participating in the protests.
Where is the outrage expected to be seen in Europe? Where are the defenders of human rights to raise their voice in support of those suffering in Iranian prisons?
I have come here today to ask you to be the voice of those detainees who are being tortured to death.
I urge your group and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to strongly condemn the killing of protesters in prisons and urge all governments in Europe to take practical measures for the release of the prisoners.
Urge your governments to take action and condition their relations with the Iranian regime on the release of the detainees and other political prisoners.
I also ask you to urge the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to launch an inquiry committee to investigate the arbitrary arrests and the deaths of protesters in detention.
Ask your governments to side with the people of Iran in their righteous and legitimate struggle for a free Iran.
My demands and the demands of my compatriots are these: Immediate release of the prisoners of Iran uprising; freedom of speech and association; abolition of the suppression of women and the compulsory veil. Just now and today. After 39 years, enough is enough!
Thank you all.