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 Full text 
Thursday, 22 November 2012 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Human rights situation in Iran, particularly mass executions and the recent death of the blogger Sattar Beheshti

  Véronique De Keyser, author. (FR) Mr President, I think that we can understand many things about Iran and we can accept that it is a country with which we must negotiate. We can also understand the desire for the denuclearisation of the Middle East. We can understand many things, but I cannot understand the cruelty of this regime when it comes to human rights.

I must say that it goes beyond the political; there has been a significant rise in the number of death sentences imposed, a blogger has died in suspicious circumstances and our repeated requests to meet the two winners of the Sakharov Prize have met with no response.

I am therefore appealing to the Iranian authorities right now – in the very spirit of reaching out to them – to consider their approach to human rights. I doubt we can ever understand each other if this chapter remains closed.

I would also like, in December, to be able to celebrate the award of the Sakharov Prize with its two winners, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is currently on hunger strike, and Jafar Panahi, who is appealing a sentence against him and who risks going to prison. These two laureates were chosen not in defiance of Iran, but because, for us, they represent freedom and human rights.

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