Protesters denounce Belgian-Iranian prisoner-transfer treaty yet again

Protesters denounce Belgian-Iranian prisoner-transfer treaty yet again
Credit: Belga

About 100 persons – according to a count by the organisers – gathered at the Place Surlet de Chokier in Brussels on Thursday around 11:00 a.m. to denounce an extradition treaty with Iran, ratified on 20 July by Belgium’s Parliament.

A similar protest was held in early July against the treaty.

The demonstrators fear that Belgium will exchange a Belgian humanitarian worker arbitrarily detained in an Iranian jail for Assadolah Assadi, an Iranian sentenced in Belgium to 20 years in prison for terrorism.

“Shameful agreement with the regime of terror and massacre of the mullahs, religious fascism,” chanted the demonstrators, many of whom were from the Iranian community in Belgium, including political refugees. “No free terrorist,” they added, in reference to Assadollah Assadi.

An Antwerp court sentenced the Iranian diplomat to 20 years in prison in February for planning an attack against opponents of the Iranian regime in France in 2018. For the demonstrators, the Belgian-Iranian agreement “is a betrayal of democracy and human rights”.

Some of the protesters, and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), have also taken legal action in Brussels to have any transfer of Assadollah Assadi banned. Last Friday, they won their case before the Brussels Court of Appeal, which temporarily ordered the Belgian State not to make such a transfer.

A contradictory hearing between the two parties is set for 19 September at the Brussels Court of First Instance.

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