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09 Dec 2023

Human Rights Day Speech – Netherlands

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Human Rights Day Speech – Netherlands

Maryam Rajavi: To restore and uphold human rights in Iran

Tomorrow marks December 10, Human Rights Day. Seventy-five years ago, this day witnessed the introduction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On this historic occasion, I extend my heartfelt salutes to the champions of freedom and human rights in Iran and worldwide and to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend this universal value.

The world’s first human rights charter is believed to have originated in Iran, declared by Cyrus the Great in 538 BC. He established a government free from fear and want, releasing people from hardship, returning the homeless to their homes and lands, breaking the yoke of tyrants, relieving their burdens, and providing them with happiness.

One execution every six hours

Today, our country, Iran, is under the rule of a regime whose hallmarks are executions and massacres, systematically violating every principle outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In November alone, at least 120 prisoners were executed nationwide, averaging one execution every six hours. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has exposed that more than 5,000 individuals remain on death row in Khamenei’s prisons.

An ominous and catastrophic war has escalated in the Middle East in recent weeks, a conflict sponsored by the mullahs’ regime. With international attention to this conflict, the regime has escalated both covert and overt executions in Iran.

Since the onset of the Middle East conflict on October 7, the mullahs have executed at least 225 prisoners in Iran, including political prisoners and brave protesters from recent years.

The regime executed Milad Zohrevand, a protester detained in 2022, and Ali Saber, a supporter of the PMOI/MEK, on November 23 and 25. Additionally, two political prisoners, Hani Albu-Shahbazi, 32, from Shadegan (Khuzestan), and Ayoub Karimi from Mahabad (Kurdistan), were executed on November 28 and 29. Kamran Rezaii, 33, one of the pioneers of the November 2019 uprising in Shiraz, was executed on November 30.

I pay tribute to these heroes who displayed unwavering strength until their last moments.

A long list of human rights abuses in Iran

Dear friends,

The clerical regime’s vast repression machinery encompasses a long list of abuses, including the usurpation of people’s sovereignty, hindering free elections, prohibiting freedom of religion and belief, violating freedom of speech, assembly, and political parties, as well as dismantling labor unions and other non-governmental syndicates and organizations.

The most pervasive realm of human rights violations involves the continuous and institutionalized suppression of women, including acts of violence and discrimination, imposition of compulsory veiling, and the tragic murder of young women for improper veiling, exemplified by cases of Zhina Amini, Armita Geravand, and numerous other innocent women and girls facing similar fates.

Ethnic groups and followers of diverse faiths also face an inhumane policy marked by the double oppression of various ethnic nationalities, the tragic massacres of our Baluch, Kurd, and Arab compatriots, and the implementation of an extensive system of religious compulsions.

Political opponents, particularly the PMOI/MEK, are not just subjected to human rights violations; they are systematically deprived of all their fundamental rights, including instances such as the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and the denial of fair trials and due process.

The streets of cities across Iran still bear the scars of past uprisings, with the bloodshed of 1,500 individuals during the November 2019 uprising and 750 deaths from last year’s protests. The blinding of hundreds of protesters by pellet guns stands as a stark symbol of the regime’s unforgiving brutality.

Amnesty International recently released a report detailing harrowing accounts from 12 women, 7 children, and 26 men who were brutally tortured and subjected to rape by Revolutionary Guards and interrogators during last year’s uprising.

This disturbing report reveals that Khamenei’s intelligence and security forces perpetrated sexual assaults, group rape, and other forms of sexual violence against detained protesters. Concurrently, the regime has mobilized its full power in a relentless and ruthless campaign targeting the PMOI/MEK as part of its political suppression.

Sham trials in absentia

In recent months, the mullahs’ Judiciary has sparked significant controversy by announcing trials in absentia for 104 members of the PMOI/MEK. They have already disclosed the expected verdicts of these sham trials, vowing to act “decisively and firmly.”

These dramatic actions reflect the regime’s outcry against the expanding network of Resistance Units, the inspiring nature of their activities, and the growing credibility of the Iranian Resistance. As they suggest, the mullahs fear the potential alignment of the younger generation with the Mojahedin.

In recent months, a prominent international movement has emerged to prosecute the regime’s leaders for crimes against humanity. Notably, 124 former world leaders have pledged their support to bring those responsible for the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners before justice and the law. Now, the mullahs are showing desperate reactions.

As you may know, the clerical regime shamefully avoided accepting international jurists and lawyers representing the Iranian Resistance. From the outset, Massoud Rajavi (the leader of the Iranian Resistance) foresaw the regime’s evasion and retreat, stating, “My lawyers are among the 80 million Iranians in the People’s Front, particularly the rebels and Resistance Units, the Baluch and Arab youths, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and the descendants of Sattar Khan, Mirza Kuchik Khan, and Mossadeq across the nation.”

As you know, Massoud has reiterated many times: “Whenever there is an impartial international court adhering to recognized legal and judicial principles and standards, we say to the mullahs’ regime: please come to the court, you are welcome to the court.”

Let me tell the mullahs that tens of thousands faced summary trials lasting only minutes, leading to the execution of countless PMOI members. However, these actions failed to halt or dismantle the movement, let alone these mock trials.

The Iranian people and their Resistance have endured some of the world’s most horrifying suppressions, yet they emerge more resolute and spirited than ever. Their determination is unwavering, and they will undoubtedly overthrow the mullahs’ regime.

The need to refer the dossier of the regime’s human rights abuses to the Security Council

Dear friends,

The mullahs unabashedly commit any crime against the people of Iran, confident in the inaction of Western governments.

Hasn’t the UN condemned this regime 70 times for its human rights violations? Isn’t it the top record holder for executions worldwide? Haven’t human rights jurists and institutions, including Amnesty International, accused this regime of committing crimes against humanity?

So, how can Western governments pay no heed to the regime’s ongoing crimes against the Iranian people?

Raisi has been directly involved in torture and executions since the beginning of the mullahs’ regime. As a member of the Death Commission, he bears responsibility for the execution of thousands of political prisoners during the 1988 massacre. His active involvement in the brutal crackdown on protesters during the November 2019 and 2022 uprisings further underscores his role in human rights violations.

Under him and the clerical regime, millions of Iranians have sought asylum in other countries due to the rampant executions, torture, and imprisonment in Iran. His track record spans over four decades of perpetuating crimes against humanity.

There are discussions of his attendance at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva. His participation would tarnish the reputation of the United Nations, undermine human rights, and mock the sacred right to asylum. It would encourage further executions, torture, aggression, warmongering, and terrorism.

Rather than participating in this forum, Raisi must be held accountable for the atrocities of the past 44 years. Justice demands that he face accountability for the deaths, carnage, and aggression under his watch.

It is time for the West to abandon its policy of “feeding crocodiles,” which has guided its political approach for the past four decades. Western governments should pivot their political and economic relations with the regime to a condition: an immediate halt to torture and the execution of prisoners and an end to the suppression of protesters.

They ought to present the extensive dossier of human rights violations in Iran to the UN Security Council and arrange for the prosecution of Ali Khamenei, Ebrahim Raisi, and other regime leaders.

The clerical regime’s assault on Iranian society stands as a universal violation of human rights

Dear friends,

The clerical regime’s assault on Iranian society stands as a universal violation of human rights. This aggression directly correlates with the regime’s warmongering across the Middle East, fostering global insecurity through its acts of terrorism and advancement of missile and nuclear programs.

The ongoing and harrowing conflict in the Middle East has unveiled to the world that the religious fascist regime ruling Iran is the head of the snake, the central source of perpetuating war and terrorism in the region, posing the primary threat to global peace and security.

Instead, we propose a solution composed of four essential actions:

  • the terrorist designation of the IRGC,
  • activation of the snapback mechanism in Security Council Resolution 2231,
  • placing the regime under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter,
  • and recognizing the Iranian people’s struggle to overthrow the regime, along with the courageous fight of the rebellious Iranian youth against the terrorist IRGC.

Fellow compatriots,

Human Rights Day stands as a day of disgrace for the mullahs’ religious dictatorship, the worst enemy of humanity. Simultaneously, it serves as a day of pride and honor for the Iranian people and Resistance in their enduring struggle against religious despotism spanning over four decades. Despite sacrificing 120,000 of their best children in this quest for freedom, including the tragic massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, they stood resolute and unwavering in their resistance.

Yes, as the late great martyr for Iran’s human rights, Prof. Kazem Rajavi, said, this Resistance has inscribed the history of human rights in Iran with its own blood. Descriptions of the barbarity and savagery of Khomeini, Khamenei, and their IRGC against the people of Iran, Iranian women, the rebels who struggle against the regime, and the PMOI/MEK cannot be summarized even in hundreds of books.

Western governments have chosen to appease the regime despite so much atrocity.

However, the Iranian Resistance aims to restore and uphold human rights in the country. It has been leading a campaign to seek justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre and all those executed in Iran. This effort is an integral part of the ongoing struggle to overthrow the mullahs’ regime by Resistance Units and the Iranian people’s uprising. Undoubtedly, the aspiration for a free Iran and the establishment of a society free from want, torture, and executions will ultimately come to fruition.

I thank you all very much.

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

The President-elect of the NCRI for the period to transfer sovereignty to the people of Iran

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