Violent Response by Iran to Democracy Demonstrations Condemned

Chairwoman Hautala strongly condemns the violent response by the Iranian authorities to a peaceful demonstration in Tehran on 14th of February. [:]Teargas and electric prods are also reported to have been used against the peaceful march, while several injuries and arrests were reported by witnesses. The mobile phone service was apparently also taken down in the areas of demonstration. In the city of Isfahan, plain-clothes Basij militia reportedly beat up a group of young men and women with wooden sticks and electric batons after dragging them to a secluded area at a parking place.

It is understood that permission for the demonstration was applied for but that this was denied by the authorities. Furthermore, the arbitrary placement under house arrest of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi prior to the demonstration is to be condemned, Ms Hautala stressed.

It appears that the demonstrators wanted to show their solidarity to the demonstrators in Egypt and Tunisia. “Time is on the side of human rights, history is on the side of human rights. The courageous people who took to the streets to honor of the people of Egypt and Tunisia, have our unwavering support. As the events in Tunisia and Egypt have indeed demonstrated, those regimes that do not enjoy the support of the people can crumble down as quickly as they were set up. Leaders who hastily stole their power, also tend to hastily lose their power” Chairwoman Hautala noted.