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Italian MEPs Host Meeting on Human Rights in Iran, Backing Iranian Women and Youth for Freedom

italian meps european parliament session feb 2024

A session titled “Human Rights Situation in Iran, Support for Iranian Women and Youth in the Fight for Freedom and Democracy” convened at the European Parliament in Brussels, initiated by Ms. Lucia Vuolo, an Italian member of the European Parliament. Notable speakers included European Parliament Members Gianna Gancia, Stefania Zambelli, and Maria Angela Danzì from Italy. Representatives of Iranian resistance associations in Italy were also present.

MEP Lucia Vuolo, who chaired the session, welcomed the attendees and emphasized the importance of the conference, expressing eagerness to hear the important discussions regarding the Iranian Resistance and the people’s struggle against dictatorship. She highlighted her recent exposure to the extensive resistance movements in Iran and the role of women in it. She expressed surprise at the lack of awareness due to intense censorship about the dire conditions of repression in Iran and underscored the significance of providing a platform for Iranian association representatives in Italy to share their experiences and insights.

She further stated, “I am amazed that due to the intensity of censorship, I was unaware of the appalling conditions of repression in Iran, and I am deeply affected by it. Therefore, I decided to participate in this conference, and I am willing to support you whenever you inform me of the need for help.”

MEP Gianna Gancia was another speaker at the session. She spoke about her longstanding relationship with the Iranian Resistance and her numerous meetings with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. She expressed strong admiration for the Resistance movement in Iran and the role of women. She urged the present representatives and European governments to take practical steps in supporting the Iranian Resistance.

MEP Stefania Zambelli stated that she primarily learns about the situation in Iran through books and the media, making this session particularly interesting and useful for her. She emphasized the importance of providing space for Iranian associations in the European Parliament and the Italian Parliament to inform them about the conditions in Iran.

MEP Maria Angela Danzì reflected on her engagement in anti-monarchy revolutions at 22 and her active involvement in demonstrations supporting the Iranian people. She stressed the necessity for Europe to vigilantly track developments in Iran with impartiality and adopt an independent policy.

Dr. Khosro Nikzad, representing the Association of Democratic Physicians and Pharmacists in Italy, underscored that removing the clerical regime would foster peace and security regionally and globally, advocating for the acknowledgment of the Iranian people’s legitimate right to self-defense. Dr. Nikzad further addressed the alarming rise in executions in Iran, substantiating his points with statistical data.

Representing the Democratic Youth Association in Italy, Ghazal Afshar highlighted the immense sacrifices made by Iranians, especially the People’s Mojahedin Organization (PMOI/MEK), in the struggle for Iran’s freedom. She shared personal stories of loss, including the martyrdom of her father and uncle by the clerical regime. Moreover, she praised her mother, a courageous figure among the PMOI members stationed in Ashraf 3. Afshar criticized recent actors posing as opposition members, accusing them of distorting the true purpose of the struggle against the clerical regime.

Esmaeil Mohadeth, a writer and representative of the Iranian Graduates and Professionals Society in Italy, outlined the history of Iran’s struggle for freedom and democracy. He highlighted the extensive support from over 4,000 parliament members worldwide, including the Italian Parliament, Nobel Prize Laureates, and global leaders, for the Iranian Resistance and Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan. Mohadeth emphasized the Iranian Resistance’s commitment to achieving sovereignty, peaceful coexistence, stability, prosperity, and economic development. He underscored that overthrowing the clerical regime would benefit not only Iranians but people worldwide.

Dr. Youssef Lesani, from the Free and Democratic Iran Association in Italy, emphasized the association’s efforts during the uprising, focusing on three main objectives: exposing regime crimes, amplifying the people’s voice, and presenting a democratic alternative to the clerical regime. He discussed the ongoing human rights violations, including rising arrests and executions in Iran, noting the regime’s destructive impact on the country’s economy. Dr. Lesani concluded by criticizing Western countries’ policy of appeasement, enabling the regime to persist in its violations.

Dr. Virginia Pishbin, representing the Iranian Youth Association in Italy and advocating for women’s rights, expressed her longing to visit Iran despite being unable to do so due to the oppressive regime. She underscored that her opposition to the regime stems from her desire to see it overthrown. Additionally, Pishbin mentioned receiving an award as a successful woman from Sardinia Island, attributing it to the deserving recognition of Iranian women in the resistance movement.

Ali Afshar concluded the session by honoring the 120,000 martyrs of Iran’s freedom struggle, including those who lived or studied in Italy, and displayed a book listing their names. This gesture symbolized the sacrifices made by Iranians and the organized Resistance in their quest for freedom.