On the eve of Saturday’s World Day against the Death Penalty, several dozen people marched on Place Madou at midday on Thursday, responding to calls from IranREF (Association of Iranian refugees in Belgium ). They are protesting against the visit of a delegation of 5 Iranian MPs as part of UIP (InterParliamentary Union), from Tuesday to Friday.
The NPO IranREF says that Majlis (the unicameral Iranian parliament) members do not represent the people, but religious authorities.
The association believes the unusual welcome they have been granted at the European Parliament helps to promote theocracy. “This is not the message we want to send the Iranian dictatorship,” said Mahmoud Nobari, IranREF president. “We are calling for MPs to challenge Iranian representatives over human rights. Over 2,000 people have been executed in Iran since the arrival of Hassan Rohani as president in August 2013.”
Over 700 people were hanged in Iran in the past 6 months, according to Amnesty International. Protesters hope that any step forward in the relationship with Iran will be subject to progress made with regards to human rights and to a stop to executions.