Human rights groups slam EU for sending diplomat to Raisi inauguration

A group of opposition and human rights groups from Iran slammed the European Union for its decision to send a senior diplomat to the inauguration of Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s new president.

“The EU cannot be credible on human rights if it celebrates Ebrahim Raisi as president of Iran,” a statement said. It was posted online and shared on social media.

According to the statement, the EU decided to send a senior diplomat, Enrique Mora, for the inauguration of Raisi.

“We, as movements representing the peoples and opposition in Iran, do not understand this move. There has been no EU representative to the inauguration of Lukashenka as president of Belarus. Why is the EU now sending a representative to co-celebrate the inauguration of Raisi? Our question is whether we, as people from Central Asia, are seen as less valuable than people from Belarus. Is the EU choosing a different approach based on race?”

Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad also condemned the EU decision in a video she posted online. “I’m furious to find out that Enrique Mora, EU’s deputy secretary-general/political director, has attended Ebrahim Raisi’s inauguration ceremony today. This empowers Raisi, who has committed crimes against humanity, to kill more people.”

The statement posted online from minority and human rights groups was signed by the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, the Free Balochistan Movement, the Democratic Solidarity Party of Al Ahwaz, the Baluchistan People’s Party and the Azerbaycan Democratik Birliyi-Birlik, as well as the Freie Bürger Mitteldeutschland, Fridays for Future, the Rojhelat Women Organization, the European Syriac Union, the Youth Organization of Iranian Kurdistan, Kolbarnews and the Hana Human Rights Organization. These represent a diverse range of groups linked to minorities in Iran and human rights activists.

The statement said that there is no question whether Raisi is a human rights abuser.

“The EU is well aware of the fact that this man presided in 1988 and 2019 over the killing and torture of many thousands of people…. The EU is also aware that the election of Raisi was a scam.”

The statement compares the abuses in Iran with the leadership of Belarus and questions why the EU did not attend the 2020 inauguration in Belarus but sought to go to the one in Iran. European ambassadors boycotted the inauguration of President Alexander Lukashenko to protest his government’s crackdown on political opponents at the time.

A SENIOR Israeli diplomatic source said that Israel and the US are of one mind on the matter and have expressed their dissatisfaction to the EU and other countries that sent representatives to the event.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the Foreign Ministry publicly criticized the European Union.

“Raisi is the most extreme Iranian president of them all, and the competition is tough,” Bennett said on Tuesday. “I call on the EU: One cannot talk about human rights and simultaneously honor a murderer [and] a hangman, who has eliminated hundreds of opponents of the regime.”

Israel is seeking to emphasize to the world that Raisi is “a cold-blooded killer” who cannot be accepted by the global community, the diplomatic source said, adding that Israel has documentation of Raisi and others eating cream puffs to celebrate the execution of Iranian dissidents in which he was involved.

The human rights groups pointed to recent protests in Iran and the reported arrests of thousands protesting water scarcity. “Arabs, Kurds, Baloch, Turks, Lur and Fars are on the streets of Iran to demand the same as every European citizen is entitled to. The EU is aware of this but decided to ignore it. Iran, just in the last week, killed a Romanian citizen through an unwarranted drone attack on a cargo ship, as confirmed by the UK and the US.”

The statement also referenced Iran’s activities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and other countries.

In recent weeks, protesters in Iran have called for the regime to stop its involvement abroad, angry that resources from the Islamic Republic go to Gaza but not to locals who lack basic things like electricity.

“Sending Enrique Mora to Iran for the inauguration of Ebrahim Raisi means that the EU tells the peoples of the Middle East and Iran that you have to either be white or flee to Europe to obtain human dignity and the right to life,” the statement read.

“We urge the EU to fulfill its democratic and human rights commitments in its diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and Ebrahim Raisi’s administration. We urge you to address the crimes committed against humanity, rather than standing with those who commit the crimes. We urge the EU to stand up for its own principles, which are in the interest of both EU and Iranian citizens and that of all peoples oppressed by this regime.”

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