IranREF (Association of Iranian Refugees in Belgium) initiated a protest with approximately 100 people from Brussels’ Iranian community gathering at Brussels’ Schuman roundabout facing the European institutions at 5:00pm on Thursday, to criticise the silence of European authorities in view of human rights violations in Iran. Protesters decry the fact that human rights violations are ignored since the beginning of negotiations on nuclear power with Iran 2 years ago. An agreement having been signed on July 14th, they say the European Union cannot justify its silence.
“For the Iranian people what matters most is freedom,” reckons a protester. “The nuclear agreement is not solving any human rights issues. Europe is defined by its democratic values. It has set them aside while it was negotiating this agreement. We want change now.” They point out that over 1,800 people have been hanged since Hassan Rouhani became president on August 4th, 2013.
Iranians present mention as well that, on the day the agreement was signed, basic services such as the provision of food were blocked at camp Liberty which shelters some 2,500 Iranian refugees near Bagdad, Iraq. These withdrawals lasted 5 days. Protesters are sending a message of support as well to the approximately 100 teachers arrested in Tehran during a protest against violations of minimum rights of teaching staff on Wednesday.