Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Human rights situation in Iran

Delivered in Plenary - 22nd November 2012

Mr President

We in this House have watched with grave alarm over many years now as the human rights situation in Iran – not to mention the political situation, as well – continues to deteriorate. As this resolution makes clear, the Iranian regime is guilty of the most egregious abuses of basic human rights, sentencing hundreds of people to death on spurious grounds and without due process or trial, violently oppressing women, gay people and other minorities such as the Ahwazi Arabs, Baluchis, Baha’is, Kurds and so on, and cracking down on any kind of political dissent.

The death in custody now of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger, is a grave crime which must not go unpunished. We in this Parliament must summon all the resources of the EU to assist the Iranian people in their struggle against state repression. Awarding the Sakharov Prize to Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi was a significant and symbolic step, but surely just the beginning of a process. We can only hope that a new momentum of diplomatic pressure might persuade the brutal Iranian Government to improve its legal and judicial processes and to stop persecuting its own citizens, who deserve much better.