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Procedure : 2024/2551(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

RC-B9-0102/2024

Debates :

PV 07/02/2024 - 19.2
CRE 07/02/2024 - 19.2

Votes :

PV 08/02/2024 - 8.2

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2024)0071

Verbatim report of proceedings
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Wednesday, 7 February 2024 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

19.2. Increased number of executions in Iran, in particular the case of Mohammad Ghobadlou
Video of the speeches
Minutes
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über sechs Entschließungsanträge zu dem Thema „Die gestiegene Zahl von Hinrichtungen in Iran, insbesondere der Fall Mohammad Ghobadlu“ (2024/2551(RSP)).

 
  
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  Evin Incir, author. – Mr President, thank you very much for making it clear that this is an important discussion that we all should focus on right now. What is wrong? What is wrong with our governments? How is this passivity possible while people in Iran are being killed on the spot or killed after being sentenced to the death penalty?

On 23 January, the bloodthirsty regime arbitrarily executed Mohammad Ghobadlou, a young man with a disability that took part in the protest against the regime and for a democratic country. On the same day also the Kurdish Farhad Salimi was arbitrarily executed. The regime sends over and over again a clear signal. It is ruthless.

Time is ticking. Executions are irreversible. Many are facing, or are at risk of facing, the death penalty, especially those that are taking part in the democratic revolution. And minority groups such as Kurds, Baloch Baha’is are continuing to be disproportionately affected.

Time is ticking. The Swedish citizen Johan Floderus risks being sentenced to the death penalty, and Ahmadreza Djalali is sentenced since 2018. There is no time for if or when ...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Jakop G. Dalunde, författare. – Herr talman! Dödsstraffet är ett fruktansvärt verktyg som ingen stat borde ha makten att använda mot sina medborgare. I Iran avrättade regimen 834 människor förra året och nu – bara en dryg månad in på detta år – har ytterligare 54 liv släckts. Det är avskyvärt.

Bara hotet om att dömas till döden är ett hänsynslöst vapen som den iranska regimen håller över huvudet på sina medborgare. Tyvärr är det bara ett av många verktyg de använder för att förtrycka landets befolkning och tysta de modiga röster som vågar göra uppror.

Den 23 januari avrättades den 23-årige Mohammad Ghobadlou efter att ha deltagit i kvinna-liv-frihet-rörelsen. Hans erkännande tvingades fram under tortyr och rättegången var djupt rättsosäker. Att svenska och andra utländska medborgare också hålls godtyckligt fängslade av den iranska regimen är också oacceptabelt.

Mina tankar går särskilt till Johan Floderus och hans familj, efter att åklagaren i Johans fall nyligen yrkat på dödsstraff för påhittade brott. Vi måste skydda dem som lyckats fly och aldrig sluta kämpa för Johan, Ahmad och alla de andra som hålls kvar i fångenskap. För ingen är fri innan alla är fria.

 
  
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  Charlie Weimers, författare. – Herr talman! En efter en, gång på gång, får vi veta om unga iranier som har mördats av mullaregimen i Teheran. Mohammad Ghobadlou avrättades för ”krigsföring mot Gud”. Men islamistregimen i Teheran begår inte bara kallblodiga dåd på egen mark. I går uppdagades det att Irans militära underrättelsetjänst kartlagt tre svenska judar de planerar att mörda i Sverige. Agentparet utvisades till Iran, men det här är knappast en engångsföreteelse.

Mullornas bödlar ska inte tillåtas smida mordplaner på svensk eller europeisk mark. Irans regim kartlägger, planerar och har förmåga att utföra attentat i Europa. Det är dags att sätta hårt mot hårt och terrorlista IRGC. Kräv att alla de som är godtyckligt fängslade i Iran blir frisläppta, inklusive Johan Floderus och Ahmad Reza Djalali. Utöka sanktionerna och inkludera även den högsta ledaren, presidenten och riksåklagaren.

 
  
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  Cornelia Ernst, Verfasserin. – Herr Präsident! Die Todesstrafe ist das größte Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit, Bruch jedweden Völkerrechts, archaische Rache. Kein Grund rechtfertigt sie – nirgendwo. Das iranische Regime zerstört systematisch Leben, um sein eigenes zu erhalten und zu verlängern. Wir werden niemals aufhören, gegen diese Politik unsere Stimme zu erheben. Wir unterstützen den Kampf um Demokratie und um ein Leben in Menschenwürde mit unserem Herzen und all unserer Kraft.

Dazu muss aber auch ein europäischer Abschiebestopp für Iranerinnen und Iraner gehören. Und wir fordern die Mitgliedstaaten auf, endlich, endlich alles zu tun, um ihre Staatsangehörigen aus den iranischen Gefängnissen zu retten, wie den Deutsch-Iraner Jamshid Sharmahd.

Wir stehen an der Seite der Iranerinnen und Iraner, die nichts anderes wollen, als frei leben, frei atmen. Woman, Life, Freedom – es gibt kein Zurück.

 
  
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  Antonio López-Istúriz White, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, first of all, I would like to thank the authors for this very timely resolution. Today we address the assassination of yet another young Iranian man who died at the hands of the tyrannical regime of the Ayatollahs. Three people die every day in Iran – including women and children – but it’s also important to know that this is not only happening in Iran, but also in the streets of Europe against people that are fighting for democracy in Iran.

A former Member and Vice-President of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face on 9 November 2023 in Madrid, Spain – in Europe. This is happening here; the regime is trying to silence all those who speak the truth, denounce the atrocities and fight for a democratic future in Iran. Mr Borrell, European governments, no more shady deals with the regime.

 
  
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  Thijs Reuten, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, it’s not your fault, but we have adopted unanimous calls here, as of January last year, we have written letters to three presidencies of the Council. Not even an answer we got!

We have supported our Iranian communities and their friends and relatives in Iran who are tortured, imprisoned and executed because that is what’s happening. You never know how many will be executed today, tomorrow, at the time of the azan. Pure terror and fear. They have nothing else. The IRGC regime will ultimately lose from the call of freedom.

But our leaders look away. Away from the Kurdish Iranians, the Baloch people, the countless political prisoners who might face executions today, tomorrow. This must stop. Put them on the list. ‘Women, Life, Freedom’.

 
  
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  Abir Al-Sahlani, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, Mohsen Shekari, 22; Majidreza Rahnavard, 23; Mohammad Mehdi Karami, 21; Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini, 39; Majid Kazemi, 30: the list is very long of all the young people that have been put to death. These are the names of the heroes. Heroes who stood up though on the other side there were guns pointed at them. These are the names of the heroes who spoke up, though on the other side there was the terrorist IRGC. These lives were taken. Their dreams, hopes, futures, their light, they were taken. They were murdered by a terrorist regime. And still, though these young people are being executed, our governments cannot put the IRGC on the EU terrorist list. We owe it to these young lives and to all the women protesters ˗ Balochis, Azeris, Persians, Kurdish. We owe it to Jina Mahsa Amini. Put the IRGC on the terrorist list.

Jin, Jiyan, Azadi: Woman, Life, Freedom.

 
  
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  Francisco Guerreiro, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, dear Commissioner, the 23-year-old Mohammad Ghobadlou was the ninth protester executed by the Iranian regime.

At no time in the past three decades has the human rights situation been as grave as it is today under the presidency of Ebrahim Raisi – notoriously known for his role as a member of the ‘Tehran death commission’ which sent thousands of prisoners of conscience to the gallows for their support for democratic opposition.

The current situation in Iran underscores the moral imperative for the international community to support Iranian people in their struggle against tyranny. It is crucial to recognise and uphold their rights to seek freedom, justice and democratic government as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

So the EU diplomacy must not foster a culture of impunity: a foreign policy is needed, focusing on accountability through international courts and universal jurisdiction before we see another massacre in Iranian prisons.

To conclude, may the future bring a free, democratic and secular Iran.

 
  
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  Dorien Rookmaker, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, political prisoners in Evin Prison in Iran are on hunger strike against the death penalty every Tuesday. They hear our message from the European Parliament. What is this message? The regime in Iran constantly violates human rights and democracy, and the Iranian people have the right to seek change through any legitimate form of resistance.

The EU need to support this resistance. How? By blacklisting the IRGC, the regime’s instrument of oppression. The regime recently executed Mohammad Ghobadlou, a courageous young Iranian man. Let us not forget Maryam Akbari Monfared, a mother of three who has been serving 15 years in prison and who was recently charged for three more years. I have to stop here because the list is too long.

We all know the Iranian regime is the worst in the world. Over 870 executions were carried out in 2023 to silence the opposition. When is the EU speaking up?

 
  
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  Patricia Chagnon, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, en application de la charia, Mohammad Ghobadlou a été exécuté en Iran le 23 janvier 2024. Une exécution barbare, prononcée par des juges des tribunaux islamiques, parce qu’il avait participé à des manifestations à la suite d’un autre assassinat, celui d’une jeune fille par la police des mœurs iranienne. Une fille qui avait osé sortir sans voile.

Dans un pays où les islamistes sont au pouvoir, le refus de se couvrir, pour les femmes, peut vous conduire à la mort. Soutenir la liberté des femmes peut vous mener à l’exécution. Mais ce n’est pas seulement dans les pays musulmans que cette vision d’islam rigoriste avance. C’est aussi en Occident que les relais des islamistes arrivent à imposer les préceptes de «pudeur», c’est-à-dire l’invisibilisation des femmes dans l’espace public. Cela se passe même au sein des plus prestigieuses institutions européennes, ici même, au Parlement européen, en recevant par exemple l’association Femyso, proche des Frères musulmans, ou encore en finançant la campagne de promotion du voile ironiquement intitulée «Mon voile, ma liberté».

Mais quelle ignominie de banaliser le combat des femmes iraniennes ou européennes contre les islamistes. Peut-être que les enquêtes menées par la justice belge sur les allégations d’influence, voire de corruption, au sein des institutions européennes vont nous fournir des éléments de réponse et vont, une fois pour toutes, tout démêler.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'Iran è il paese al mondo con il più alto tasso di esecuzioni capitali, un inferno in cui nessuno può sentirsi al riparo dalle violenze arbitrarie e dalla persecuzione del regime. Lo dimostra benissimo il caso di Mohammad Ghobadlou.

Io sono fiero e orgoglioso di aver contribuito ad attribuire il premio Sacharov alla memoria di Mahsa Amini e al movimento "Donna, vita, libertà". Ma un premio prestigioso non basta, perché senza azioni concrete resterà solo una targa ad arrugginire, priva di significato. Continuare a sostenere attivamente la lotta di milioni di donne e di uomini che combattono strenuamente ogni giorno per la propria libertà, spesso a costo della loro stessa vita, è per noi un dovere, tanto in Iran quanto nella nostra stessa Europa.

Sì, perché omicidi, rapimenti e intimidazioni accadono ogni giorno anche contro la diaspora iraniana. Il regime sanguinario di Khamenei estende i suoi tentacoli ben al di là dei confini nazionali. Siamo noi a dover proteggere e sostenere questi attivisti. Ecco perché ho invitato i ragazzi di questa diaspora, della diaspora iraniana in Italia, nel Parlamento europeo, perché sentano questo sostegno, perché sappiano che l'Europa sarà sempre con loro e sarà la voce di chi non ha voce. Donna, vita, libertà oggi... (Il Presidente toglie la parola all'oratore)

 
  
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  Carina Ohlsson (S&D). – Herr talman! När man trodde att den iranska regimen inte kunde sjunka lägre, då avrättar teokratin en man med funktionshinder. Hans namn var Mohammad Ghobadlou. Mohammad var anklagad för det medeltida brottet ”krig mot Gud”. Men vilken Gud förordar mördandet av människor som bekämpar maktens tyranni?

Mohammad engagerade sig i protesterna mot sedlighetenspolisens avrättning av Mahsa Jina Amini. Hon hade inte täckt håret tillräckligt och för det mördades hon av en regim som aktivt stöttar och ägnar sig åt internationell terrorism, en regim som våldtar flickor och kvinnor. En regim som avrättar människor som står upp mot förtrycket.

Den iranska regimen måste också omedelbart frige den svenske medborgaren och EU-tjänstemannen Johan Floderus. Det är besynnerligt att åklagaren yrkar på dödsstraff. Den iranska regimen måste reformera sig eller skrotas på historiens sophög.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt (Renew). – Mr President, this is today, I think, in all the debates that I have followed, the only item where there is consensus across all groups in Parliament, that is, that our policy towards Iran is a complete failure! You see it every day: executions, Iran behind Hamas, the Houthis, Hezbollah, the attacks against military facilities of the US. The deliveries of weapons continue and they are ready today to make atomic bombs in Iran.

So, we need absolutely a new strategy and a new strategy based on three things: first of all, more massive sanctions until all hostages are released. That would be an approach. Secondly, recognition of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organisation, tomorrow if possible. And lastly, recognise the opposition and the resistance as the real representatives of the Iranian people, and no longer the mullahs.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Herr Kollege Verhofstadt, ich verstehe, dass Sie sich da manchmal ärgern, aber ich schaue, dass die Redezeit eingehalten wird, dass wir nicht zu spät sind. Und ich will auch mal ausdrücklich sagen, dass ich Kollegen wie Sie ausdrücklich schätze, die hier mit keinem Manuskript auftreten und frei sprechen, und andere Reden wörtlich ablesen und sich sogar bei der Vorbereitung solcher Reden nicht an die eine Minute halten. Das ärgert mich kolossal!

 
  
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  Mounir Satouri (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, tortures, disparitions forcées, procès inéquitables, exécutions: l’arbitraire règne en Iran. Le 23 janvier dernier, Mohammad Ghobadlou et Farhad Salimi étaient exécutés. Demain, tant d’autres risquent d’être soumis à la folie sanguinaire du régime.

Confrontée à son propre peuple et face à la puissance du mouvement pacifique «Femme! Vie! Liberté!», la République islamique d’Iran vacille et s’enfonce dans la répression. Plus de 8 000 personnes exécutées en 2023, déjà 54 en 2024 – et nous ne sommes que le 7 février!

L’Union européenne condamne, l’Union européenne sanctionne, l’Union européenne soutient la société civile. Elle peut et doit faire plus et mieux pour la population iranienne. Quand elle le veut, l’Union européenne sait se servir de ses leviers d’action. Elle le peut et devrait le faire dès qu’il en va de l’oppression d’un peuple.

 
  
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  Susanna Ceccardi (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'impiccagione di Mohammad, un oppositore del regime con disabilità mentale, è un ulteriore passo nell'infamia degli ayatollah.

Ma, con grande onestà e grande dolore, dobbiamo constatare che le continue condanne a morte comminate dal regime iraniano nei confronti di giovani donne e uomini, colpevoli soltanto di chiedere democrazia, non fanno più notizia in Europa. Così come non fa più notizia lo sterminio di minoranze, come beluci e curdi, che sta avvenendo in questi giorni. I media europei insabbiano sistematicamente queste notizie, coprendole con pagine e pagine di presunte violazioni dei diritti in Ungheria, in Slovacchia e così via, perché sono scomode per il deep state dei global dem.

D'altra parte, malgrado le nostre continue richieste di provvedimenti seri, l'Unione europea ha deciso di fingere di sanzionare l'Iran, ma non lo ha fatto. Sappiamo che il Corpo delle guardie rivoluzionarie, attorno al quale girano tutti i business illegali del regime, che è molto attivo in Europa, conta quasi 200 000 membri attivi, ma l'Unione europea ne ha sanzionati solo 216. Non è oltraggioso per le vittime di quegli assassini e anche per la nostra intelligenza?

L'unico lato positivo di questa triste situazione è che dobbiamo lodare tutti quegli uomini coraggiosi come Mohammad, che protestano per i diritti delle donne: sono la prima linea dei nostri valori e stanno ancora rischiando la vita.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Mr President, colleagues, on 16 September 2023, protests throughout multiple cities in Iran erupted to commemorate one year after Mahsa Amini’s death. One of the protesters was also Mohammad Ghobadlou. This was enough for the Iranian regime to execute him over the death of a local official during mass demonstrations. The death sentence was preceded by unfair trials marked by torture and abuse of his mental condition. The death sentence was preceded, as I said, and he is one of at least 54 people who have been executed during the last month. Iran must cease these inhuman practices and release all those on death row, as well as other political prisoners. Among them are also EU nationals Ahmad Reza Djalali and Johan Floderus. So, we condemn Iran’s brutal repression and call for an independent, transparent investigation.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, I condemn the death penalty wherever it’s used, be it Iran, China, Saudi, the US, or anywhere else. But it would be possible to take the EU’s concern about capital punishment in Iran at face value if this was not the same week that you vetoed the discussion on the ICJ ruling against Israel. The UN’s highest court just ruled that the charge of genocide against Israel has merit, and you flatly refused to put this historic judgement on the agenda.

You are showing us that the Muslim life is only valuable to you, to the extent that it can be used as a weapon against your geostrategic rivals. Otherwise, you’re happy to provide the weapons to murder them and cover up a genocide against them. Over 30 000 Palestinians have been murdered by the Israeli regime and we don’t even want to talk about it in here. The hypocrisy is terrible.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Herr Kollege, vor allem wenn Sie im „Catch the Eye“-Verfahren das Wort erhalten, sollten Sie sich schon an das Thema der Debatte halten.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Mr President, at least 360 prisoners have been executed since 7 October 2023 – the start of the war, which is clearly sponsored by the Iranian regime. The head of the snake, which is in Tehran, needs to create an external crisis because they cannot face the Iranian people’s uprising against the regime. Executions are their tactic to silence.

Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, has come here to the European Parliament many times and said we must condition any relations with the Iranian regime. After all these executions, is it not time? Every day we hear the name of many people who have been executed by the regime. While the regime keeps on killing, is the EU going to decide to take strong action? When will it designate IRGC as a terrorist entity?

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Mr President, like everybody else here, I think the death penalty is an abomination wherever it’s used – in Iran, in Saudi Arabia, in Alabama. I unreservedly oppose the boom of executions in Iran. The only acceptable number of executions anywhere is zero. Full stop!

And in any other context, that would be all there would have to be to say on this subject. But we’re in the European Parliament, where human rights are weaponised and where the victims of human rights violations are only relevant where they can advance our interests or distract from our own crimes.

Nobody in Europe enables Iranian executions. And how is this discussion going to help stop it? You’ve basically sanctioned everything there is there to sanction already. But we could stop and talk about the genocide in Israel, which we are enabling and which we could do something about. Can you not ask yourselves the question...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Frau Kollegin Daly, Sie können sich bei mir in keiner Weise darüber beklagen, insbesondere Sie beide, dass Sie das Wort im „Catch-the-Eye“-Verfahren bekommen. Sie haben gerade mitbekommen, dass ich den Kollegen Wallace nicht zur Ordnung gerufen habe. Sie weichen wieder genauso vom Thema ab, deshalb rufe ich Sie jetzt zur Ordnung, und ich werde es auch in der Zukunft nicht mehr dulden. Und es wäre schön, wenn Sie sich das auch anhören würden.

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Helena Dalli, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, the European Union has a strong, unequivocal and long-standing opposition to the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. The EU always raises human rights issues and human rights cases and its official interactions with Iran, including by raising specific cases. Death penalty is an ultimate denial of human dignity, which fails to act as a deterrent to crime and makes miscarriage of justice irreversible. We do not shy away, as I said, from expressing our condemnation and our position publicly and in private, in any country where the death penalty is used.

This includes the widespread use of the death penalty in Iran, which we regularly address in our direct exchanges with the Iranian authorities as part of the EU’s comprehensive policy approach towards the country. The EU has publicly condemned Iran’s recent execution of Mohammad Ghobadlou after being arrested and sentenced to death in connection with the 2022 protests in Iran. This latest execution is part of an alarming trend in Iran, with more than 750 executions in 2023, representing a sharp increase from previous years, and including, in particular, individuals from ethnic minorities.

The use of the death penalty as a tool of repression against protesters is yet another reminder of the deterioration of human rights in Iran. Fundamental rights such as freedom of opinion and expression must always be respected. Both privately and publicly, we continue to urge Iran to uphold its international obligations under international law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Iran must guarantee the full range of fundamental rights for their citizens, irrespective of religion, belief or any other status.

In line with its firmly established stance in multilateral fora, including the UN, the EU will spare no effort to urge Iran to pursue a consistent policy towards the abolition of the death penalty altogether. It is also imperative for the Iranian authorities to uphold the accused individuals’ due process rights and ensure that those who are under any form of detention or imprisonment are not subject to any form of mistreatment.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Zum Abschluss der Aussprache wurden 6 Entschließungsanträge eingereicht.

Die Abstimmung findet morgen, Donnerstag, den 8. Februar 2024, statt.

 
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