Iran: Shirin Ebadi addresses Greens/EFA Group
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi called for respect for the right to protest peacefully
Shirin Ebadi emphasised that the people of Iran have a constitutional right to protest peacefully. Peaceful protests have been met with brutal violence and a number of people, among them 34 Iranian journalists, have been detained by the authorities in an effort to silence them. She also referred to the technological measures to suppress and silence protest, using technology from European firms Nokia and Siemens.
Ms. Ebadi noted the clear irregularities in voting procedures, pointing out that many candidates were not declared as being qualified by the controlling Guardian Council and that 50 cities had recorded votes in excess of the number of their residents. Ms. Ebadi stressed that she was speaking in support of the rights of the Iranian people, rather than endorsing any one particular candidate.
Shirin Ebadi called for a delegation to observe the situation in Iran, emphasising that even if the Iranian authorities refuse visas, this would be an important symbol to the people of Iran. She concluded that while the future of Iran is difficult to predict, it will depend to a great extent on the level of sympathy and support from the international community.
Greens have called upon Ayatollah Khamenei to annul the official results and order a re-run the elections with the participation of international observers.
Dany Cohn-Bendit, Co-President of the Green/EFA Group, commented:
"We call on the EU and notably those with embassies in Tehran to take a coordinated approach in support of Iranian citizens in distress, such as opening up the embassies for the wounded. EU member states should use all their influence with the Iranian government to stop the violence against peaceful protesters. We demand that the Iranian authorities release all those citizens who are solely imprisoned on the basis of their beliefs and hold those responsible who are responsible for injuring or killing demonstrators. We call on the Siemens and Nokia managers, the concerned governments and the European Commission to enquire into the allegations against the European companies to facilitate the Iranian government's attempts of internet censorship and to stop any such future cooperation."
Greens also fully support Shirin Ebadi's call for a UN Special Envoy on Iran and for a European Parliament delegation to go to Iran in the coming weeks.