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)

As you might be aware, the IOPHR has repeatedly stressed the need to put the issue of human rights in Iran, as the primary priority in any type of interaction with Iran. As through various letters and statements, this association 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 and the 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 is the means of protecting the security of the international community by thwarting the attacks and reckless behaviour of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

As it has been pointed out many times, very alarming news has been published regarding the  leaders of the Islamic Republic regime using rape and sexual harassment as means of creating terror with the sole aim of suppressing the Iranian people’s demands.

The authenticity of this news has been confirmed by very reliable sources such as Reverend Maulana Abdul Hameed, Imam of the respected congregation of Zahedan, Mrs. Narges Mohammadi, an activist with a history of human rights, as well as numerous public reports and the victims themselves.

During the past few years, such reports have also been published by some of the highest-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic, such as Mehdi Karroubi, the former Speaker of the Islamic Council and a candidate for the ninth and tenth presidential terms, as well as by the late Ayatollah Montazeri, one of the former high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic.

Unfortunately, these published reports indicate that the cases of rape and sexual assault in Iran’s prisons and detention centres are widespread and the victims include men, women, and even teenagers and children!

In one of the most infamous cases, one of the recent victims named Armita Abbasizadeh, a 20-year-old girl, who is one of the detainees, captured after the recent nationwide protests, after a week of torture and sexual assault by the forces of the Islamic Republic, was rushed to Imam Ali Karaj Hospital while bleeding profusely. After the initial examination by doctors, clinical evidence including internal bleeding, symptoms of multiple anal rape and vaginal rupture were observed and recorded by the doctors at the hospital.

In another abhorrent case, which has been confirmed by reliable Western newspapers, a fourteen-year-old girl died due to lacerations and bleeding caused by repeated sexual assaults by the security forces.

Moreover, according to the latest confirmed reports, in recent days in Sistan and Baluchistan province in the southeast of Iran, at least seven children aged between twelve and fifteen years old have been brutally raped by the security agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

All of these cases, which are considered clear examples of crimes against humanity, have occurred while the European foreign policy apparatus, which is basically the executor of the policies of the European Commission, still insists unjustifiably on continuing negotiations and interactions with a regime that has not even the slightest regard for human values. By now it should be clear to all that the Iranian regime not only does not respect any fundamental rights of human beings, but also does not respect its international obligations.

Given all these evidence, a reasonable question that can be raised in this regard is whether the unwarranted and unjustified insistence of the European Union’s foreign policy apparatus on the continuation of political and diplomatic interaction with such a criminal regime, does not itself imply a legal responsibility for the members of the Union!

Furthermore, given the authenticity of all these cases (which have been reported and confirmed by reliable domestic sources, and even published by international authorities such as Amnesty International, as well as reliable international media such as the New York Times and CNN) the IOPHR would like to request that the European Commission appoints a special and independent commission in order to investigate these reports. Also until the publication of the results of this commission, EU should immediately cease all political and diplomatic interaction and negotiations with the corrupt regime ruling Iran!

It should also be obvious that the European Commission’s response and stance on the issue of sexual assault on Iranian children by the agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be seen by the international community and all those globally interested in upholding human rights, as a real test of commitment of the European Commission towards upholding the values of human rights, especially the rights of children. 

The International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights

London, Brussels, Berlin, Toronto, Washington

3rd January 2023

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