The Italian Committee of Parliamentarians for a Free Iran, in a letter to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed its concerns over the growing number of the coronavirus fatalities in Iran, because of the regime’s inaction and cover-up. The Italian lawmakers also expressed their full support of the Iranian resistance, and their solidarity with the Iranian people. The full text of the statement is below.
Hon. Michelle Bachelet
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Dear High Commissioner,
Rome, March 23, 2020
The Italian Committee of Parliamentarians for a Free Iran which has followed the human rights situation in Iran for many years and hopes for freedom, democracy and peace for the Iranian people.
We are writing from Italy, where the spread of coronavirus is provoking very serious consequences, as well as in many other countries all over the world. However, in countries where repressive government cover the information about this pandemic, even preventive and hygienic measures are not being properly taken and the number of casualties is much higher than official sources admit. This is, in particular, the case of Iran, where – as confirmed by several reliable reports – the regime concealed the presence of the virus for several weeks and failed to take appropriate measures. This was due to political considerations, including the call for participation in sham ‘parliamentary’ election for the Islamic Consultative Assembly and the decision not to strictly quarantine the city of Qom, which was the initial epicenter of the virus outbreak.
In this way, the spread of the disease has been extremely severe in Iran, mounting to a humanitarian catastrophe. According to information collected on the field and provided by the opposition movement People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), not less than 9600 infected people have already lost their lives, while international media suggest that the Iranian regime is building vast coronavirus burial pits.
The very high number of prisoners in Iran is especially in danger because of the infection. Although the regime, implicitly admitting the gravity of the situation, allowed tens of thousands to temporarily leave the detention facilities, no such measure has been taken for political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, whose health is a particular matter of concern.
While failure to take serious action and covering the true data by the Iranian regime is a crime against humanity, an urgent intervention by the International institutions in Iran is needed.
We call on the United Nations to address this issue by adopting all the possible measures. In particular, the World Health Organization should provide humanitarian assistance to the Iranian population not to the organs of the Iranian regime, such as the IRGC, but directly to the hospitals. Furthermore, the regime’s officials responsible for concealing the extent of the epidemic in Iran should be held accountable by International bodies.
The Italian Committee of Parliamentarians for a Free Iran
The President, Hon Antonio Tasso – member of the Italian Parliament
The co-President, Hon. Stefania Pezzopane member of the Italian Parliament
The Coordinator, Dr. Antonio Stango
- World Health Organization (WHO)
Mr. Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran