Tuesday, 18 September 2007

European Parliament

Dear Mr Stovell,

Thank you very much for your email regarding the death sentences of Adnan Hasanpur and Hiwa Butimar.

As a member of the European Parliament's Human Rights and Foreign Affairs Committees, the human rights situation in Iran is of great importance to me.
I have repeatedly voiced my serious concern over the deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran since President Ahmedinejad took office in June 2005, and voted in favour of the Joint resolution on Iran, RC\64011, which calls upon Iran to grant all persons the right to exercise their civil rights and political freedoms. Iranian authorities are expected to fulfil their commitments to promote universal values, which they are also obliged to do by international conventions that it has ratified.

My colleagues and I reminded the Government of Iran of these obligations to safeguard freedom of opinion, and called for the release of all imprisoned journalists and webloggers. We also demanded for the abolition of stoning, strongly condemned the death penalty, and urged
Iran to respect internationally recognised legal safeguards.

In terms of action, we called on Iran to recommence the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue with the European Union. The European Council and the European Commission also have a role to play in the human rights situation in Iran, and so the resolution asks of these institutions a
close monitoring of developments in Iran. In doing so, we called upon them to raise concrete cases of human rights abuses as the basic condition for progress in EU-Iran economic and trade relations.

I urged the Commission to make effective use of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, the $200m per year fund which I founded, by for example supporting uncensored media.

I would like to thank you for bringing to my attention these two cases of Adnan Hasanpur and Hiwa Butimar- two more cases amongst, unfortunately, far too many.

Thank you once again for contacting me.

Yours sincerely,

Edward McMillan-Scott.

Vice-President of the European Parliament

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