Dear Mr. Josep Borrell Fontelles,

I am writing to you on the behalf of the International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights (IOPHR).  IOPHR is an active independent non-for-profit organisation, and think tank based in the United Kingdom, with members spanning across European Union and North America. IOPHR is a non-political and non-religious organisation, with the primary aim of protecting human rights, and democratic values within societies. You can find more information on our organisation on our website:

The aim of this letter, is to once again highlight the astonishing inhumane actions of the Iranian regime against its own citizens, and ask for your assistance in this matter. As sadly, we find ourselves in the unfortunate position that human rights violations in Iran have increased at an unprecedented rate since the beginning of this year.

During the past month and a half, more than forty-five people have been executed in Iran, which is the highest execution rate in the world to date. In one shocking case, the lifeless body of an innocent woman, Ms. Esmaeili, who after witnessing the execution of 16 men before her eyes suffered a heart attack and died before being executed, and was left hanging for several minutes.

In addition to the high rate of death sentences in Iran, regrettably, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary killings of prisoners of conscience in Iranian prisons continue to be carried out with vigour.

In the most recent case, the lifeless body of a prisoner of conscience named Mr. Behnam Mahjoubi, who was killed by poisoning through overdose at Evin Prison Medical Centre in Tehran, was transferred to an out-of-prison hospital, only for his family being told a week later that Mr Mahjoubi was dead.  

Furthermore, given that the 33-year-old Mr Mahjoubi had been poisoned in the medical ward of Evin Prison, where access to medicine is not possible except through prison doctors, Behnam Mahjoubi’s family demanded an autopsy, and an official forensic report in accordance with their legal rights.

However, the Iranian authorities not only refused the legal right of Mr Mahjoubi’s family for an autopsy, but instead hurriedly buried Mr Mahjoubi’s body without an autopsy, and without determining the cause of death. All of which was in violation of the request of his family, and against Iranian laws, all in order to hide the secrets of Mr Mahjoubi’s extrajudicial murder, inside Evin prison.

Consequently, IOPHR expresses its grave concerns over the dangerous conditions of prisoners of conscience currently being held in Iranian prisons, and calls on you to use the maximum facilities available to you, as the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in order to put pressure on the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure the safety and health of these prisoners.

It should also be noted that the initial denials, and lies of the officials of the Islamic Republic after the news of Mr. Behnam Mahjoubi’s death in prison, and subsequent confirmation of Mr. Mahjoubi’s death, under pressure from the media and public opinion, is reminiscence of the initial lies and denials of the officials of the Iranian regime after the deliberate downing of Ukraine Flight 752 in January last year. Which the Iranian regime was only forced to admit through international and public pressure placed on them.

Moreover, IOPHR would also like to draw the attention of EU officials to the above, as well as other cases of Iranian regime’s lying and denial, including its denial of its role in the recent terrorist bombings, and the killing of innocent European citizens. All these events are proofs of the unchangeable principles and the long-term strategy of the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and undeniable evidence for deceitfulness of the Iranian regime. Especially, as the Iranian regime lacks the necessary legitimacy and ability to be trustful, and a reliable member of the international community.

Accordingly, IOPHR urges that all political and diplomatic interactions, as well as economic trade with the current regime of Iran be suspended until such time one can be assured that the Iranian regime will live up to its obligations to the international community, as well to its own citizens, by upholding all of their human and legal rights.

Furthermore, IOPHR also calls for the issue of “human rights” to be given a central place in all future diplomatic negotiations with Iran, and to pay close attention to the issue of advancement of human rights standards in Iran. So that the Iranian regime will be compelled to comply with all international conventions in this regard, which will in turn, no doubt also be beneficial to the security issues around the world, especially within EU member states.

Thank you in advance for your constructive attention to this matter, as it has a direct bearing on world security, especially within Europe.

The International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights (IOPHR)

London, Brussels, Berlin, Toronto, Washington

24 February 2021

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