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European NGOs in solidarity with Iranian Protestors
By Our Correspondent
A demonstration was organised in front of the European Commission in Brussels on December 13th, 2022 by several European organisations in solidarity with the people of  Iran.
This follows the executions of the two young protestors and the Iran protests after the death of Mahsa Amini and in parallel with the European Union summit.
The Iranian diaspora together with European human rights activists protested against human rights abuses as well as the death executions of young protestors.
High-level speakers from Belgium and the EU took to the floor to highlight the need to call on the EU institutions to sanction the Iranian regime mainly Carlo Van Grootel (editor in chief of the Liberal world and political advisor to openvld party in Belgium), Serge De Patoul, former Belgian Deputy and Honorary Deputy of the Belgian parliament, Baharak Bashar, Kurdish human rights defender, Paulo Casaca, former Mep and founder of South Asia forum,  Nigel Goodrich, CEO of IMPAC, Mehdi  Nobari President of the Iranian international  Human rights organisation in Belgium  Andy Vermaut, President of the World Council for Public Diplomacy and Community Dialogue as well as Manel Msalmi, President of the European Association for The Defense of Minorities and liberal women in Brussels city.
Paulo Casaca, former Mep and founder of South Asia Democratic forum mentioned that “‘Iranians have challenged their own repressive forces before,  but this time they are doing it in a massive, continuous, national way – despite bullets, despite hundreds of fatalities and tens of thousands arrests – in their call for a democratic, republican form of government.
Iranian authorities have repeatedly attacked Iraqi Kurdistan, targeting Iranian Kurdish refugees in Erbil and Sulaymaniah.
 The repression has been particularly violent in both Kurdistan and Baluchistan, where authorities have committed indiscriminate killings of civilians. In spite of the repression and the repeated assurances by the officials in charge that they were able to quash popular discontent – the last one to date by Khamenei on November the 22nd – Iranians from all social and ethnic spectrums continue to show their will to reverse the dictatorship.
Otherwise, if the high maturity level shown by the Iranian people in the present revolution is accompanied by a responsible and knowledgeable stance by Western countries, there are real chances to see democracy established in Iran.
The consequences of such a development in the region and in the world at large can hardly be overstated.”
Andy VERMAUT, a human rights defender and President of the world Council for Public Diplomacy and Community Dialogue evoked the need to sanction Iran which is a state that sponsors terrorism and is a threat to peace and security in the region.
The EU and the UD  should stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and put IRGC on the terrorist list for its crimes towards protestors and political activists.
Nigel Goodrich mentioned that “I remember the Iranian revolution in 1979: I was studying at Durham university in England where I knew many students from Iran. From January 1979 they began to go back, in the belief that the revolution would replace an imperial regime with a democracy. I never saw them again.
They were lied to. Instead of enjoying a new democracy, they have been subject to a tyrannical theocratic nightmare for over 40 years. I wonder if the children and grandchildren of my former Iranian student friends are among those who have been murdered by ‘Grand Ayatollah’  Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei’s thought police stormtroopers.
The people of Iran have had enough of being told what to think, what to say, what to wear, and what to do. They want their freedom – freedom from oppression and freedom to enjoy the human rights that we take for granted.
They want justice – for those who have caused such misery, and brought a proud glorious and noble civilisation to its knees, and for those who have suffered so much under a damnable regime.
Today we stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with ordinary Iranians. We want them to know that they do not stand alone, and will never stand alone again. We call upon the European institutions to oppose dictatorships, to say no to a failed and immoral policy of appeasement, and to isolate Khamenei’s despicable rule using all means possible”
Mehdi Nobari, President of the Iranian International Human Rights organisation in Belgium did not mince his words.
“For more than 40 years, the ayatollah’s theocratic regime has continued to violate the rights of children, women, and ethnic minorities, among others.  in an appalling manner. Of the more than 700 victims of the Iranian uprising during the current three months, there are 60 minor children. Sarina Ismailzadeh was a 16-year-old aspiring YouTuber. Nika Shakarami is another victim of the regime’s barbarity.
Nima Shafaghdoust is a 16-year-old boy.
Dozens of children were violently massacred on Friday, September 30, 2022, in Zahedan by the Revolutionary Guards in southeastern Iran.
These children were returning home after Friday prayers. This Thursday, December 8, the prisoner of the uprising Mohsen Shekari, 23, was executed on the orders of Khamenei. This great crime will inflame the anger of the people and the insurgents, especially the youth.
We strongly condemn the execution of Mohsen Shekari. In short, the regime’s violent murder of minor children is not limited to the recent uprising. The recent killings come at the height of Iran’s crisis of impunity. The current uprising is turning into a revolution.
The international community must be on the right side of history. The only way to end the current impunity in Iran and the regime’s human rights violations is to change Ayatollah’s regime, and then recognize the Iranian people’s right to resistance and legitimate self-defence. Any other solution would only allow the regime to continue killing innocent people, especially children, who aspire to change their future.”
Ms Manel Msalmi  President of the European Association for The Defense of Minorities highlighted in her speech the idea that it is for the first time Iranian women and minorities are hands in hand in these protests after being treated as second-class citizens for so many decades.
“Women are a force for change and they are inspiring young people. The west should support the Iranian revolution and stand up with the Iranian people in their fight for freedom and against injustices.
A letter signed by European human rights organizations following the demonstration was sent to the High Representative of the European Union, Mr Joseph Borrell calling the EU for immediate action to end death penalties and to put IRGC on the EU terrorist list.
Manel Msalmi

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