March 2, 2014

Following on from the March 2nd campaign, Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) has announced that a number of parliamentarians from various countries, including the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Canada, demand the unconditional release of Iranian human rights defenders who were arrested on 2nd March 2010 and are currently still imprisoned.

According to the campaign’s website, Wim van de Camp, Dutch Member of the European Parliament and member of the Group of the European People’s Party, Harry van Bommel, Member of Parliament in the Netherlands from the Socialist Party (SP) and Professor Hans Franken, Member of the Senate in the Netherlands from the Christian Democrats, signed the declaration on the fourth anniversary of March 2nd, demanding the release of the following human rights defenders in prison; Mehdi Khodai, Abolfazl Abedini, Navid Khanjani, Mohammad Hassan Yousefi Pourseyfi, Ayghan Shahidi and Nasoor Naghipoor. Dr Matthew Offord, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom from the Conservative Party, likewise expressed his support for the call to release these human rights defenders by signing the declaration.

Tiny Kox, Member of the Senate in the Netherlands from the Socialist Party, demanded, in addition to his short personal message addressed to human rights defenders in prison, the release of these human rights defenders. He said, “I hope that this call will receive broad international support. I wish those arrested lots of strength and hope that they will soon be released”. Similarly, Senator Linda Frum, Member of the Senate of Canada, emphasised the case of those human rights defenders arrested on March 2nd 2010 and demanded their unconditional release.

The crackdown on 2nd March 2010 marks one of the most disturbing encounters of security forces against human rights defenders in response to the events that followed Iran’s tenth controversial presidential elections. About thirty human rights defenders, mainly affiliates of HRAI, were arrested across the country by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and underwent grossly unfair trials. The aforementioned human rights activists, who were detained in 2010, are still serving heavy prison sentences.