Metro.co.uk has published an article about the three day hunger strike that is taking place outside Downing Street. The campaigners are protesting the deaths of at least 20 Sunni inmates at Gohardasht Prison near Iranian capital Tehran on Wednesday and they are calling on the government to condemn the mass execution. They highlight that the mass execution coincided with the anniversary of the state-sanctioned killing of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) slammed the execution and “is hoping to use the hunger strike in Whitehall to pressure the Foreign Office to openly criticise it”.
The campaigners are hoping that on top of support from the UK government, they will also secure “a similar missive from the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council”.
Hossein Abedini, an NCRI spokesman said that there is a lot of concern a similar execution to the one in 1988 could take place. He said: “The situation in Gohardasht and other parts of Iran has really worsened. I think it’s really very important [we get UK Government support] because a large number of MPs and Lords recently issued a statement and calling for cross-party support concerning Iran. There is a lot of concern about the brutal hangings and torture.”
He also said that it is vital for the massacres of 1988 to be recognised as a crime against humanity and very robust measures now need to be introduced.
Metro.co.uk stated: “The protest will take place on Whitehall between 5 and 8pm today and tomorrow and from 3pm until 7pm on Monday, however, the hunger strike will continue regardless.”
The NCRI have gained the support of numerous MPs including Tory Matthew Offord, Mike Freer and Bob Blackman who said they would attend to show their support.
Yesterday the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom released a statement to express their shock at the executions. They called on the government to officially recognise the 1988 execution as a crime against humanity. They said: “These latest executions come as the Iranian authorities intensify pressure on political prisoners by imposing severe punishment and denying them medical care in its prisons. It is once again clear that the human rights situation in Iran has not changed but rather has worsened in many areas including arbitrary arrest of dual citizens, suppression of women and of Iran’s religious and ethnic minorities. The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) strongly condemns Tehran’s continued use of death penalty, which aims to silence popular dissent.”
They added that the Iranian regime should no longer be permitted to hide behind their false claims of moderation. They called on the international community to speak out against “the systematic atrocities taking place on a daily basis”.