EU calls on Iran to respect freedom of demonstration after crackdown on protests

The EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, has called on Sunday on the Iranian authorities to respect the right to demonstrate, free speech and freedom of information after the harsh repression of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, arrested in Tehran for not wearing the veil properly.

“The widespread and disproportionate use of force against non-violent protesters is unjustifiable and unacceptable. People in Iran and elsewhere have the right to demonstrate peacefully. That right must be guaranteed in all circumstances,” Borrell said in an official statement.

The EU thus calls on Tehran to respect the principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a signatory. “We expect Iran to immediately cease the violent repression of the protests and guarantee access to the Internet and the free flow of information,” said Borrell.

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He likewise calls on Iran to “clarify the number of dead and detained, release non-violent protesters and respect due process for all those arrested.” In particular it calls for “a proper investigation into the death of Mahsa Amini” and for those responsible for his death to be held accountable. “We note the words of Iran’s president in this regard,” it notes.

In addition, the EU is considering “all options” in view of the upcoming Foreign Affairs Council, the forum that brings together the Union’s foreign ministers, in response to the actions of Iranian security forces and Amini’s own death.

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At least 35 people have died in the wave of protests unleashed by the death of Amini after she was arrested by officers of the Morality Police in Tehran, according to the balance published on Friday by the state broadcaster IRIB. This Sunday the official news agency reported the death of a fifth member of the paramilitary Basij militia.

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