Feb 18, 2022

European Parliament Passes Resolution Backing Iran-Based Citizen-led Initiative on Abolishing Death Penalty

UNPO welcomes the decision by the European Parliament to pass a resolution demanding Iran stop summary executions, with clauses in it indicating that this request comes directly from citizen’s initiatives on Iran. The resolution was a strong message to the Iranian regime that their continued arguments that the abolition of the death penalty on their soil is an international-concern only is wrong. It comes as grassroots activists are petitioning the International Community via the Daadkhast platform to intervene in the cases of Abbas Derris and Mohsen Derris in Iran, the former being at risk of being executed by the Iranian government for their alleged role in the 2019 protests in Khuzestan province (Al-Ahwaz). The death penalty is used disproportionately against minorities in Iran.

The resolution was passed resoundingly in the European Parliament following the efforts of MEPs Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Ignazio Corrao and Ilhan Kyuchuk. In a speech to the European Parliament plenary session MEP Corrao said that ''We are all deeply alarmed by the increasing use of the death penalty against protesters, human rights defenders and dissidents but also ethnic and religious minorities.'

''In order not to seem only an external concern, I want to highlight the proposal in the joint motion that recognizes citizen-led initiatives in Iran, such as petitions calling for an end to the death penalty and its disproportionate use against minorities and women.''

''Iran is also one of the few countries in the world that executes minors and juvenile offenders in clear violations of international law.''

''There appears to be a State policy of intimidating, prosecuting or silencing those who call for accountability, justice and truth, whether they are victims themselves, relatives, human rights defenders, lawyers or organizations.''

''The voices of Iranian citizens are brutally silenced by the regime and yet these initiatives show that Iranian citizens want the death penalty practices to end.

Because of this, the regime cannot claim that the demand to end the death penalty is only coming from outside Iran.

"Its own citizens want it to end. This is why the EU and the International community need to take urgent actions as to let the voice of the Iranian people heard, and stop decades of impunity of those who are involved in human rights abuses."

To read the full resolution, click here