French parliamentarians respond to Iranian political prisoners' call against executions
The Iranian flag flies in front of the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, March 6, 2023. REUTERS - LEONHARD FOEGER
Text by: Nicolas Feldmann Follow
In a letter sent from Evin prison, six political detainees call on the international community to stop "mass executions". They were heard by French parliamentarians.
This Thursday, May 11 at 11am, in support of an appeal by the prisoners of Evin, about fifty French parliamentarians simultaneously published on their social networks a message to call on the Iranian government to stop executions by the Iranian regime.
"At the call of the political prisoners of Evin, I solemnly ask @Iran_GOV for an immediate end to the mass executions of opponents in #Iran. The struggle continues for the universal abolition of the death penalty. #StopExecutionsInIran #FrenchMP4Iran #FemmeVieLiberte »
At the call of the political prisoners of Evin, I solemnly ask to @Iran_GOV the immediate end of the mass executions of opponents in #Iran. The struggle continues for the universal abolition of the death penalty.#StopExecutionsInIran#FrenchMP4Iran#FemmeVieLiberte pic.twitter.com/qIj7sayxsQ
— Leo Walter (@LeoWalter04) May 11, 2023
"Be our voice"
The idea is to give visibility to Iranians sentenced to death, says Léo Walter, French MP (Nupes) of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. There is a slogan of the Iranian protesters which is "be our voice", so we try to be because they are not heard. "says the parliamentarian who is also the symbolic godfather of Amin Mehdi Shokrollahi, a 17-year-old Iranian who faces execution after his arrest during protests triggered by the death in custody in September of the young Mahsa Amini.
In a letter sent on 8 May from Evin prison, six political detainees – including Nargess Mohammadi, one of three Iranian journalists awarded the UNESCO Press Freedom Prize – appealed "to the international community (...) to exert maximum pressure against the Islamic Republic and put an end to these state crimes." "We, the political prisoners of Evin," they write, "condemn the executions committed by the dictatorship and demand that they be stopped immediately."
On 8 May, two atheist activists were hanged after being sentenced to death on the charge of "blasphemy" for criticizing religious superstitions on their Telegram channel. Two days earlier, an Iranian-Swedish activist from Iran's Arab minority, charged with separatism, was also hanged.
After a relative lull, the Iranian authorities are once again carrying out a wave of mass executions of political dissidents, deplores Chirrine Ardakani, lawyer and member of Iran Justice, who initiated this action with four other collectives. The prisoners of Evin are seeking the support of political leaders of all stripes to maintain a balance of power with the regime in Tehran."
According to the UN, at least 209 people have been executed since 1 January, mostly for drug-related offences. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, expressed concern on 9 May in a statement about the "appallingly high number" of executions this year, which amounts to more than ten per week.
>> READ ALSO: Iran: more than ten people are executed each week, denounces the UN
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