H.Em. Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State
Vatican City State Rome
29th December 2019
We follow closely the communications from the Holy See and were interested to hear the Christmas Message and Urbi et Orbe Blessing delivered this year by Pope Francis. We note that he mentioned a long list of countries that have suffered war, instability and the violation of human rights, including Venezuela, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Congo, Ukraine, Yemen and Iraq. We were, however, somewhat surprised that His Holiness omitted to mention the Islamic Republic of Iran.
We have no doubt that you are well aware of the appalling butchery that has taken place in recent weeks, when millions of, mostly young Iranians, took to the streets in nationwide protests in towns and cities across that country. The theocratic regime launched a murderous crackdown on the peaceful protesters, during which, their revolutionary guards (IRGC), gunned down thousands of young protesters on the streets of Iran’s towns and cities, murdering an estimated 1,500, wounding more than 4,000 and arresting over 12,000. During the nationwide uprising, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and its so-called ‘moderate’ president Hassan Rouhani, ordered a shoot-to-kill policy that has seen masked snipers on the roofs of government buildings, indiscriminately shooting unarmed, young protesters in the head and chest. IRGC thugs and security agents have scoured the country’s hospitals, dragging the wounded from their beds.
The uprising was triggered by the regime’s decision to triple the price of gas. This was the last straw for a nation whose citizens have been impoverished by the venally corrupt regime that for 40 years has stolen Iran´s wealth for the benefit of its rulers and to wage proxy wars across the Middle East, in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. The international community cannot continue to treat the theocratic regime in Iran as a normal nation state. The belligerent, repressive and vicious behaviour of the regime proves that attempts at negotiation or appeasement are pointless.
The ayatollahs have committed appalling crimes against humanity that require an immediate response from the international community, involving, at the very least, a UN fact-finding mission to establish the truth about the numbers killed and injured and to ascertain the treatment of those imprisoned. The UN must hold those responsible for these crimes accountable in the international courts of justice. There can be no impunity for those guilty of such chilling atrocities.
International Committee In Search of Justice
(ISJ) was initially formed in 2008 as an informal group of EU parliamentarians to seek justice for the Iranian democratic opposition. In 2014 it was registered as a non-profit NGO in Brussels
expanding its membership beyond elected parliamentarians to former officials
and other dignitaries with an interest
to promote human rights,
freedom, democracy, peace and stability.
The West must show support for the oppressed Iranian millions and it would be of great significance if His Holiness Pope Francis could now draw attention to this crisis and condemn the repression and violation of human rights that has occurred in Iran.
Spanish professor of atomic and nuclear physics. Vice-president of the European Parliament from (1999-2014).
Chair ISJ Committee on the Protection of Political Freedoms in Iran
Member of the European Parliament representing Scotland 1999-2014. President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14).
Chair ISJ Committee on the Protection of Human Rights & Justice in Iran
Minister Foreign Affairs Italy 2011-2013, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York between 2008 and 2009 and Ambassador of Italy to the United States between 2009 and 2011.