EU Parliament Censures Iran’s Suppression of Women

European parliament

The European Parliament on Thursday, September 19 adopted a resolution condemning the Islamic Republic’s human rights record, calling Tehran to end “suppression of women” in Iran.

The resolution was adopted by 608 votes in favor, 7 against and 46 abstentions.

The European Parliament resolution “condemns in the strongest terms the ongoing repression of women for objecting to compulsory veiling and for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly; calls on the Iranian Government to respect the freedom of Iranian women to choose their own dress code.”

Furthermore, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) demanded all EU countries with a diplomatic presence in Iran to use all the diplomacy tools in their power to support and protect human rights defenders on the ground.

The resolution calls on the Iranian authorities to unconditionally release all arbitrarily jailed women’s rights defenders protesting against the hijab being compulsory, as well as all other human rights defenders, imprisoned and sentenced for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

According to the resolution, at least eight journalists are currently in detention in Iran and that many have been systematically targeted by the authorities through criminal investigations, asset freezes, arbitrary arrest and surveillance, including those working for the BBC Persian service. Furthermore, the MEPs referred to a recent report by Iran Human Rights, noting that in 2018 the second-highest number of people in the world were executed in Iran.

The resolution, adopted by a show of hands, reiterates the European Parliament’s call on the government of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release human rights lawyer and Sakharov Prize Laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes by an Islamic Revolutionary court.

The European Parliament resolution also demanded that all EU-Iranian dual nationals, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe be immediately released.

The EP resolution also praised and supported the Iranian women human rights defenders who continue to stand up for their causes, despite the difficulties and personal repercussions they are facing.