Rally in Austria denouncing human rights abuses in Iran

A rally was held in central Vienna, Austria on Wednesday with the aim of denouncing President Hassan Rouhani’s acceptance of human rights abuses in Iran. Rouhani was due to visit Vienna on Wednesday and Thursday, but the trip was cancelled at the last minute.

The Austrian edition of The Local reported that the trip was cancelled because Austria denied Iran’s demand to ensure an anti-regime protest was shut down. The Iranian regime claimed the trip to Vienna was cancelled because of security concerns, but the Austrian Interior Ministry later said there were “no signs of a threat”. However, it has been rumoured that the trip will be postponed until a later date. 

The protesters called on Austria and other European governments to put conditions on their relationship with the mullahs’ regime until executions and human rights abuses cease in Iran. 

According to an article on the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s website, the crowd chanted: “Rouhani is a terrorist”, “Khamenei is a terrorist”, “Democracy, freedom with Maryam Rajavi”, “All Iranians demand freedom”, “Down with the principle of clerical rule in Iran”, “Mullahs’ regime is fascist”, “Mullahs’ regime is terrorist” and “Rouhani is a criminal; he is the enemy of Iranians”.

Attendees condemned Tehran’s support for Bashar al-Assad and the massacre of Syrian people. They denounced Iran’s continued proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and demonstrated against the policy of exporting the “Islamic revolution”. Those in attendance also pledged their support for the members of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) who are currently detained in Camp Liberty in Iraq and called on the UN and the US to provide them with adequate protection. 

Speakers at the event included Iranian writer and poet, Jamshid Peyman, and former Iranian nuclear physicist, Manouchehr Fakhimi, and the representative of the Austrian NGO Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (Society for Threatened Peoples).