Human rights in Iran: MEPs to assess the way forward
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Human rights in Iran: MEPs to assess the way forward

Due to the Iranian regime’s continued crackdown on opposition, MEPs will discuss what the EU can do to support a better future for Iranians, on Tuesday.

At the debate, organised by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Subcommittee on Human Rights together with its delegation for relations with Iran, MEPs and a range of Iranian guest speakers will assess the current human rights situation. They will also elaborate on ways for the EU to support the millions of Iranians, in particular women and civil society actors, who the hard-line Iranian regime continue to oppress.

WHEN: Tuesday 25 April at 10.00 CEST.

WHERE: Room 1G-3 in the European Parliament’s SPINELLI building in Brussels.

You can watch the meeting live here.

Several prominent MEPs working on Iran are expected to participate in the meeting, including Subcommittee on Human Rights Chair Udo Bullmann (S&D, Germany) and Chair of the Iran delegation, Cornelia Ernst (The Left, Germany). The following guest speakers will join them in the room:

Mansoureh Shojaee, women’s rights activist and writer;

Sattar Rahmani, a former teacher and political prisoner in Iran, who is an expert on the teachers‘ rights movement;

Mahdieh Golroo, journalist and women’s rights activist;

Hamed Esmaeilion, writer and activist;

Fatameh Karimi, women’s rights activist and President of Kurdistan human rights network France;

Ardeshir Amir Arjomand, senior advisor to presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

Later in the week, on Thursday 27 April, MEPs Cornelia Ernst and Subcommittee on Human Rights Vice-Chair Hannah Neumann (The Greens/EFA, Germany) will moderate two panels on Iran during a meeting of the European Parliament’s Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG), which will be opened by DEG Co-Chair Tomas Tobé (EPP, Sweden). This will be followed by a visit of a delegation from the Subcommittee on Human Rights to Geneva, Switzerland, on 26-28 April. MEPs will hold meetings with members of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s independent international fact-finding mission for Iran, as well as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the country and key stakeholders.


Ahead of Tuesday’s joint committee meeting, Foreign Affairs Committee Chair David McAllister (EPP, Germany) said: “Atrocious crimes are being committed in Iran, silencing dissent through violence. We must tailor our policy towards the success of the courageous women and men protesting for democracy and freedom and against the brutal mullah regime.”

Mr Bullmann said: “We do not only want to talk about the situation in Iran. We want to engage with people who can give us a first-hand account of the situation. Our panellists know what it means to take action openly and with conviction for their rights and freedom while facing the greatest danger. In close cooperation with the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Iran delegation of the European Parliament, we want to discuss with our guests what Europe can do to support women, life and freedom in this highly volatile moment in Iranian history. This is our conviction, this is our duty.”


Following the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on the popular protests that broke out in Iran after the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini at the hands of the country’s morality police last year, the European Parliament has repeatedly condemned the dire human rights situation in the country. You can read more here and here.