To: Mr. Josep Borrell Fontelles (The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission)
I am writing this open letter to you on behalf of the International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights (IOPHR). The IOPHR is an active independent not-for-profit organisation and think tank based in the United Kingdom, with members spanning across the world. Far from any political or religious inclinations, our first and urgent aim is the protection of human rights and democratic values within societies. You can find more information on our website: https://preservehumanrights.org
As you might be aware the IOPHR has repeatedly stressed the need to put the issue of human rights in Iran, as the main priority in any type of interaction with Iran. As through various letters and statements, this organisation has shown that the solution to all of the problems and difficulties with the ruling system of Iran, and its relationship with the international community is dependent on a definitive and fundamental solution to the problem of human rights in Iran. This is because the issue of human rights in Iran represents the first embankment of resistance against the ambitions, adventurous expansionism of the ruling system in Iran!
Therefore, putting the issue of human rights as a priority is not only an obligation of the international community, in terms of defending human dignity and values, but also it is the means of protecting the security of the international community by thwarting the attacks and adventurous behaviour of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Unfortunately, despite the neglect of this justified and fundamental request, the passage of time and events have proved the validity of the opinion of the IOPHR and other human rights organisation in this regards. As events have indeed shown that without a complete solution to the human rights problem in Iran, which guarantees the establishment of human rights of Iranians at the highest levels of political management in Iranian society, no stable agreement with the current ruling system of Iran is possible or conceivable.
In this letter, IOPHR once again, outlines the list of some of the very bitter, but true facts concerning the system ruling Iran, and why it should not be considered a legitimate source of representation of Iranian people, and why the Iranian regime lacks the necessary qualifications to for any type of legitimate diplomatic relations with other countries.
Based on the below list of points, the IOPHR once again strongly requests that, as soon as possible, the foreign policy apparatus of the European Union reduce its level of diplomatic relations with the ruling regime of Iran to the lowest possible level, and send a clear, unified and strong message about the dissatisfaction of the European Union against the Iranian regime. Furthermore, the European governments should send the innumerable cases of continuous violation of the rights of Iranian citizens by the ruling system of Iran to the UN International Human Rights Council for immediate attention.
Below are some of the tragedies that have recently occurred in Iran, which the world, especially the European Union, should not remain silent and indifferent towards:
1. According to the reports of various authorities, including the head of Iran’s medical system, Ms. Mahsa Amini was beaten and murdered by the Iranian security forces.
2. After Ms. Amini’s murder, many other cases of teenage murders by the Iranian regime have sadly occurred, such as the murder of 16-year-old Nika Shakrami, 16-year-old Sarina Esmailzadeh, 15-year-old Asri Panahi, and many other murders such as 33-year-old Ghazaleh Chalavi, all of which have occurred in the same manner as Mahsa Amini’s murder.
3. Assembling and holding peaceful and unarmed demonstrations is allowed according to Article 27 of the current Iranian constitution and does not require obtainment of a permit, but nevertheless according to field reports and published films, almost all legal and peaceful demonstrations and gatherings by the Iranian people during the past month have been faced with violent assaults by armed Iranian security forces. Where thousands of protestors have been dragged to the ground and bloodied, resulting in the murder of 200 to 300 Iranian citizens due to direct firing of the security forces on the defenceless demonstrators. Regarding the number of injured people from these attacks, sadly there are no accurate and reliable statistics. What is certain is that tens of thousands of people have been arrested in the past month, many of whom were injured and need immediate medical assistance. However, according to the reports that have leaked from inside the prisons, almost no healthcare service is provided to the injured detainees. Therefore, it is expected that with the deaths of the wounded, the number of victims of the attacks by government forces will be more than a thousand!
4. The Iranian security forces continue to severely suppress religious and ethnic diversity through the implementation of the “Al-Nasr Bal Raab”(suppression by extreme cruelty) policy. As on Friday, 30th September armed Iranian security forces attack on defenceless Sunni and Jamaat worshipers in the city of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province in the southeast of Iran. According to the official confirmation of the Friday imam of this city, Maulana Abdul Hamid, at least 91 people have been killed and more than 300 people have been injured, from this attack. Many of the victims of this attack were shot in the back of the head by direct fire from the helicopter belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Also, according to the Friday prayer Imam of Zahedan, as a result of this attack many people have suffered spinal cord injuries, limb amputation and lifelong disabilities. According to some informed sources, the worshipers planned to hold a peaceful demonstration after the Friday prayer, in order to protest the non-prosecution of an IRGC officer who had raped a 15-year-old Baloch girl. Sadly, the women and girls of Baluchistan have always been the victims of organized sexual assaults and sexual attacks by the agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and thus far no court has been held to deal with any of this systematic organized crime. This is just yet another example of human rights violations and dirty politics of “Al-Nasr al-Raab” (suppression by extreme cruelty) by the Islamic Republic system against religious and ethnic diversity. It is obvious that these aggressions were carried out with the permission and support of the government, and with the aim of ethnically humiliating the Baloch citizens.
5. The system of the Islamic Republic, is based on dogma and superstition, and thus has a long-standing grudge and fundamental enmity with universities. This is why the Iranian security forces have committed various attacks on universities and dormitories, and have beaten and murdered a large number of innocent students. In recent protests, these types of attacks have only increased, as according to the published news, many universities across the country have been attacked by the Iranian security forces, resulting in the arrest, injury and even murder of many students. One of the most prominent instances of such an attack is the 2nd October brutal attack on Sharif University of Technology in Tehran by plain-clothed security forces. As a result of the attack, a large number of student were beaten and the armed assault of the security forces on the students resulted in unknown number injures and arrests. According to some independent news agencies, including HARNA, at least 30 to 40 students were arrested and taken to an unknown location, after which the security forces attacked the students’ dormitory and even the university parking lot, and after closing all the entrances and exits of the parking lot, they started to openly shoot the students. Moreover, tear gas attack on the students also produced some chemical pollutants that led to the injury of students sheltering in the parking lot of the university.
6. The invasion of the security forces is not limited to universities, as even elementary schools have been brutally attacked by the forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. In this regard, alarming reports indicate a widespread attack schools by the Iranian security forces, especially girls’ schools. Of special note is the recent brutal attack of the security forces on the Sadr Girls’ Conservatory located on Karoun Street in Tehran on October 4th. According to published reports, the confrontation between the school officials and some students, who were forcefully searched caused some of the girls to have seizures. According to the witnesses, the school officials forcefully strip searched the girls, to make sure that they did not have mobile devices with them! All of which met with strong resistance from the students. The non-compliance of the students to this illegal and unjustified requests of the school officials to strip and search the girls led to the presence of security forces in the school. According to reports, as a result of the attack by the security forces, a female student suffered a seizure and another student was taken to the hospital by ambulance “due to a head injury”. Also, in a similar case, the attack of the security forces on the Shahid girls’ school in Ardabil city led to the death of a fifteen-year-old girl named Asra Panahi. According to eyewitnesses, on 12th October in the city of Ardabil, the attack occurred after a number of students of Shahid Girls’ High School protested against being forced to perform a governmental anthem and started to chant “Death to the dictator” and other anti-government slogans. As a result, the security forces raided this school and assaulted the students, including Asra Panahi, and arrested a large number of students. Asra Panahi, a 15-year-old teenage girl, was seriously injured during this attack and unfortunately died in the hospital. In total, as result of this attack, an unknown number of female students have been arrested, some of whom were injured, and many more were expelled from school. According to the reports of independent institutions, the arrests and detentions of students were on “massive” scale. Also administrators and teaching staff of the school were put under severe pressure by the security forces to identify and hand over the protesting students. Moreover, according to the documented and illustrated report of the teachers’ union, the security forces used ambulances without license plates in arresting and transporting students. All of which makes it very difficult and even impossible for the parents of the students to follow up the cases of their children and to know their exact whereabouts. These actions of the security forces violate all the rights of the children in the Convention dated 2009 on the rights of the child, which Iran is also one of the signatories, especially paragraph 2 of the Article 6, which states: “The countries that are parties to the Convention shall ensure the creation of maximum facilities for the survival and development of the child.” The government’s unbridled violence against helpless Iranian children caused the Iranian Association for the Protection of Children and Adolescents to ask the Iranian government to recognize the “right to survival” of children and to protect this right. The Association for the Protection of Children and Adolescents also condemned the attack in its statement and declared: “The government must be made responsible in cases of child abuse in general and must arrest and punish the perpetrators in the recent unrest at schools, who have used violence, abuse, and even murdered innocent children, and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes with an appropriate punishment.”
7. The ruling regime in Iran has for decades violated the human rights of Iranian citizens in all aspects. Some of which include the oppression of religious, ideological, ethnic and gender diversity, the violation of the rights of workers, as well as arresting and detaining and torturing students, exerting pressure on newspapers and journalists, putting pressure on Sufis, and destroying their places of worship and murdering their leaders, and arresting union leaders and disbanding of unions, arrest and execution of athletes and artists, arrest, torture and murder of environmental activists, and exerting pressure on lawyers for doing their job. These violations even include taking hostages of dual nationals, and innocent tourists with the aim of extorting money from the western parties, as well as arresting and detaining doctors and specialists and many others. The Iranian regime has now turned to killing helpless Iranian children by shooting them directly. Unfortunately, according to official reports, more than 33 children have been killed as a result of directed shots to the head and chest of the victims by the security forces! Moreover, according to the official statement of the commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the average age of those arrested in the past 40 days was 15 years! Many of these children have been arrested and sent to unknown locations just for refusing to sing the sickening song “Salaam Farmandeh” which is a song created in praise of the narcissistic, sadistic and sick leader of this anti-human system, Ali Khamenei. Sadly, there are even very disturbing published reports of sexual abuse of detained children by the Iranian security forces.
Dear Mr. Burrell, these are only small samples of the daily crimes that the ruling system of Iran commits against its citizens. These days, Iranian citizens are experiencing the darkest days of their lives, the days when innocent young children are killed by the direct fire from government agents!
The citizens of Iran have proven that they do not want this government, and thus the Islamic Republic system currently lacks any popular base, and from this point of view it lack any true legitimacy.
Furthermore, considering that the Islamic Republic system relies on its false international legitimacy due to committing the above mentioned crimes, the IOPHR adamantly requests that the European Union, through a justified, rational and legal manner, change its recognition of Iran’s government from “de jure” to “de facto” and subsequently terminate all diplomatic visas issued to the agents of this regime in all member countries, until the day a free referendum under the supervision of international institutions including the European Union representatives is conducted in Iran, and thus its people are allowed to freely choose their own government.
The IOPHR also strongly requests that the crimes of the Islamic Republic regime, including the massacre of one hundred Baloch worshipers, be recognized as a crime against humanity, and in this regard, an international fact-finding commission be set up to investigate this tragedy and other tragedies that have occurred in the past few weeks.
In conclusion, the IOPHR invites you and all the politicians and leaders of free and progressive countries to stand on the right side of history by supporting the free will of the Iranian people.
The International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights
London, Brussels, Berlin, Toronto, Washington
30th October 2022