British MPs concerned over Iranian regime’s crackdown on teachers and activistsPublished by International Liberty Association on June 1, 2016
Members of both Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom have spoken out against the crackdown against teachers and union activists by the mullahs’ regime in Iran.
The all- party British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) in a May 26 statement said it is “extremely concerned” over the recent arrest and detention, under fraudulent national security charges, of teacher activists in Iran for their peaceful political activism to fight for their improved livelihood.
The British lawmakers in particular condemned the harsh sentences against Jafar Azimzadeh, Mahmoud Beheshti Langaroudi, and Ismail Abdi who have been sentenced to long prison terms, merely for their peaceful activities to secure better wages and living-conditions for Iranian teachers and workers.
“We warn that these prisoners of conscience are in a serious health condition due to their hunger strike in protest to their unjust sentences along with the Iranian authorities’ ill-treatment and harassment of their families, fellow teachers, workers, and union members,” the BPCIF said in its statement.
“The notion that advocacy and peaceful activities meant to improve the livelihood of Iranian teachers and workers constitute acts against national security is not only ridiculous but appalling. Such a claim by the Iranian authorities can only be interpreted as silencing legitimate demands and social dissents under the pretext of national security.”
These repressive measures coincide with a recent warning by a group of United Nations Human Rights experts “that over a dozen political prisoners in Iran, including some prominent human rights defenders are at risk of death in detention due to their worsening health conditions and the continued refusal by the Iranian authorities to provide them with medical treatment.” The Iranian authorities’ rationale for withholding treatment to these prisoners is unacceptable especially since these prisoners “allegedly have been arrested, detained and convicted purely for their peaceful exercise of their fundamental freedoms and rights.”
The UK Parliamentarians joined the UN experts in reiterating the situation of political prisoners and activists.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom BPCIF called for the immediate release of political prisoners in Iran.
It urged the UK government and the relevant UN bodies to condemn the Iranian regime’s extensive use of national security charges to silence legitimate opposition and popular dissent. “This in turn will pressure the Iranian authorities to release all political prisoners and respect the Iranian people’s right to freedom of expression, assembly, and peaceful protests.”