Over the past weeks, many people all across Iran have exercised their fundamental right to assemble and expressed their economic grievances. A growing body of evidence indicates that despite repeated calls for restraint, the Iranian security forces’ disproportionate response to recent demonstrations has led to high numbers of deaths and injuries. For the European Union and its Member States, the widespread and disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protestors is unacceptable.
We urge the Iranian authorities to ensure transparent and credible investigations to clarify the number of deaths and arrested, and to provide due process to all detainees. We expect all perpetrators of violence to be held accountable, and in line with statements by senior Iranian officials, all non-violent protestors currently held under arrest should be immediately freed.
Iran’s decision to shut down internet access to global networks for over a week prevented communication and the free flow of information for Iranian citizens. This is a clear violation of the freedom of speech. Fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and assembly must always be respected. The Iranian authorities must live up to their international obligations, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The European Union addresses all issues of concern in its bilateral exchanges with Iran, including human rights, and will continue doing so.