MEFD troubled by visit of top EU diplomat Mogherini to Iran


Federica MogheriniLondon, MEFD – As Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union and Vice-President of the European Commission, gets ready for her visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran tomorrow in order to discuss the implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement and bilateral issues between the EU and Iran, Middle East Forum for Development expresses its dismay over the ill-timing of the EU’s top diplomat for this trip.   Just four days ago, Amnesty International released a report “Iran’s ‘staggering’ execution spree: nearly 700 put to death in just over six months”, which documents 694 executions between 1 January and 15 July 2015, which is according to the human rights group an “unprecedented spike in executions in the country”.   Based on these shocking statistics, the Iranian regime has executed on average more than three people per day through a so-called legal system which is neither independent nor impartial and in which due process is far-fetched, allowing the authorities to prosecute dissidents, human rights activists and members of ethnic and religious minority groups on trumped-up charges. Since President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in 2013, 1,800 people have been executed.   Mosa Zahed, executive director at Middle East Forum for Development has said, “Unlike the moderation spouted by President Rouhani, we witness an unprecedented sharp increase of executions and, in addition, a clampdown on civil rights and human rights activists under his rule. Think about prominent right’s activist Narges Mohammadi, who was arrested in May on charges of ‘crimes against national security’ because she campaigned against the death penalty, or Atena Farghadani, a young female artist, who has been sentenced to over 12 years in prison for drawing a cartoon. It is unconceivable that these horrible events have gone unnoticed by Ms Mogherini”.   Middle East Forum for Development is extremely troubled by the gesture Ms Federica Mogherini is making through this official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran, while the regime continues to conduct gross human rights violations and defy European values. We believe that such an extremely ill-timed visit will only embolden the Iranian authorities in carrying out more executions and human rights violations.

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