London, 27 Jul – Iranians in Brussels protested over the weekend against the “European Union’s silence” on the abuse of human rights in Iran, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat wrote on Sunday.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini plans to make her first official trip to Tehran on Tuesday. She will meet Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and other senior officials.
The rally by Iranians in Belgium took place in front of the site of the EU institutions.
They urged the EU not to ignore Iran’s appalling human rights record, the Asharq al-Awsat wrote.
One of the protestors, Soroush Abutalebi, told the paper: “Since the beginning of the nuclear negotiations with Iran two years ago, the European Union did not utter a single word about the gross violations of human rights in Iran”.
“Since Hassan Rouhani came to power, some 1,800 people have been executed in Iran”.
Following the recent nuclear agreement with Iran, “there is no longer any excuse for the EU and its Member States to remain silent and ignore the flagrant daily suffering of the Iranian people”, he added.
The protestors pointed out that in the same period several thousand members of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin (PMOI), or Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), have been faced with prison-like conditions in Camp Liberty, Baghdad, by the Iraqi government. “They are facing a shortage of food supplies, fuel and other basic necessities”, the paper quoted rally organisers as saying.
The protestors said that the EU should base its ties with Iran on a “significant improvement” in the country’s human rights situation.