Panell on Worsening Human Rights Situation in IranPublished by International Liberty on January 7, 2016
An Iranian human rights group in France, CSDHI, hosted an online conference on Wednesday January 6 in which it was announced that Iranians plan to hold a major rally against the presence of the mullahs’ president Hassan Rouhani in Paris later this month.
The topic of discussion was the current situation of human rights in Iran in the run up to Rouhani’s visit to France. The panellists were former UN human rights chief in Iraq, Dr. Tahar Boumedra, and former French mayor of Auvers-sur-Oise, Jean-Pierre Béquet.
Dr. Boumedra, whose experience in Iraq exposed him to a lot of work with the Iranian regime’s diplomats, stressed that the lack of information about what is happening in Iran is preventing the public in Europe from denouncing the actions of the mullahs. In September 2015 published a 50-page report on the human rights situation in Iran in the first three quarters of 2015.
He said that the public are simply not informed of the reality, or worse still, they are misinformed. The fact is, he explained, that Iran is the number one country per capita that uses the death penalty, and this is often done in harrowing circumstances, i.e. without trial, the execution of children, etc. Dr Boumedra called for the public to be made more aware of these violations in Iran, and the danger that surrounds it.
Former French Mayor Jean-Pierre Béquet expressed concern over the inconsistencies with the regime, in particular how their statements and declarations are completely contradictory to their actions. This highlights the regime’s insincerity and makes them untrustworthy. He said that Rouhani’s visit at the end of January must not stop any public outcry against the human rights violations in Iran and France must not relent its fight against terrorism.
Mr. Béquet in particular pointed out that on January 28 a large gathering will be held in central Paris to condemn Rouhani’s trip to France and the human rights abuses by the mullahs’ regime.
Regarding claims that the Iranian regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani is a moderate, Dr. Boumedra dismissed these as completely unfounded based on the fact that Rouhani has a program that is protected by the regime’s fundamentalist constitution that justifies and allows such barbaric acts to be carried out. He calls the regime “fascist” and reminiscent of the middle ages. He stressed that regime change is needed to bring peace to the country.
Mr. Béquet and Dr. Boumedra were in agreement that awareness needs to be raised about human rights violations and the media needs to play its part in this. Dr. Boumedra said that even French politicians and other political figures in Europe are unaware of the gravity of the situation. Mr. Béquet said that discrimination against women in particular must be looked at, as well as discrimination against minorities and children. More action from human rights organisations is needed.
Although he does not claim to be a religious expert, Dr. Boumedra slammed the accusations that the Iranian regime is acting in the name of Islam. He said that there are no Islamic texts that condone or permit the executions of minors. Even capital punishment must be fully justified and meet strict obligations – something which is not the case in Iran as many are executed without so much as a trial, he said.
To move forward, both speakers agreed that the education of the public and political figures is an essential step. Facts need to be presented and human rights organizations need to continue working to stop the violations. Dr. Boumedra said that pressure from public opinion is imperative – it is a legitimate request that Iran’s regime be forced to respect human rights.