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Execution of Iranian Political Prisoner Draws Condemnation

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The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) strongly condemns the execution of Gholamreza Khosravi of the PMOI

British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom strongly condemns the execution of Gholamreza Khosravi of the PMOI calling for tough actions against the Iranian officials for severe human rights violations This morning we were utterly disturbed and appalled by the news of Gholamreza Khosravi's execution. He was a political prisoner affiliated with the main Iranian opposition organization, People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), and father of a 17 year-old son.

A political prisoner in the 1980's, Gholamreza Khosravi was arrested in Southern Province of Kerman in 2008 by Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. He was charged with providing financial support to Simay Azadi, a pro-PMOI TV station outside Iran. He spent years in solitary confinement and during that period Khosravi was subject to torture and extreme duress as the regime was determined to elicit a televised, self-incriminating confession. However, he steadfastly refused to cooperate with the authorities and thus in April 2012 he was charged with "enmity against God" (moharebeh), for his ties to the PMOI and promoting the just ideals of the organization. Thus a death sentence was issued for him.

Since April 2012, Gholamreza had been put on the verge of execution on several occasions but his execution was delayed due to the international campaigns and the regime's fear of the public protest in Iran in reaction to it. Finally, because the Iranian ruling criminals considered him as the key element in resisting the savage raid on Evin Prison on 17 April 2014, they decided to hang him as a revenge for the political prisoners' protest in that prison.

Facing growing regional and international isolation and a restive population as well as a devastated economy, the Iranian regime has resorted to extreme measures to suppress any hint of dissent at home, in particular towards the PMOI, the only viable organized opposition. Iranian authorities continue an extensive use of death penalty under their so-called moderate president Rouhani.

Execution of Gholamreza Khosravi in spite of several Urgent Actions by Amnesty International and others is an alarming sign which drives us sharply to the point that taking punitive actions by the UN Security Council and sanctioning this medieval regime for human rights violations is a must.

The International community has the duty to halt the executions and the barbaric conduct against Iranian political prisoners. This is a duty which cannot and should not be ignored, and overshadowed by nuclear talks or for any other diplomatic considerations. In our relations with Iran, human rights and speaking out for it must be our first concern regardless of the ongoing negotiations.

In condemning the execution of Gholamreza Khosravi in strongest terms, the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) vehemently calls on the UK government as a permanent member of the UN Security Council as well as on the UN Secretary General, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran and the EU authorities to take up Iran's human rights dossier for serious consideration and effective punitive actions to be taken.

We encourage all international human rights organisations to stress this issue, to ensure that necessary action will not be delayed, and to ensure that the Iranian regime will not get away with such crimes due to naïve hopes in the West on Rouhani for change. Rouhani is exposed as a practitioner of extreme repression. It is time for all the high-ranking Iranian authorities to be held accountable and indicted internationally for more than three decades of systematic human rights violations in Iran.

Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC Co-Chair of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom1 June 2014

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