There has been a mounting pressure on Burma to free all political prisoners. This is an important step in the history of the country, which is the result of years of struggle and gathering of an international support for Burmese political prisoners. The important struggle for freedom of all political prisoners shouldn’t end in Burma.
There are thousands of political prisoners in Iran who have spent most of their lives in prison, being tortured, and many awaiting their execution. Despite this ongoing imprisonment of political activists and dissidents by the Islamic regime in Iran, there is a lack of continued international interest aimed at pressuring the Islamic regime in Iran, and Rouhani as its head, to free political prisoners. The question that comes to mind is why European governments rightly demand freedom of Burmese political prisoners but ignore political prisoners in Iran and do not include the release of these prisoners in their negotiations with the Islamic regime?
Why Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs sits at the same table with Islamic regime’s representatives without mentioning political prisoners or demanding the release of these prisoners in her negotiations? Why delegates of European Union travel to Iran, visit some of the political prisoners who have been recently released, but refuse to demand visiting prisons and talking with political prisoners? Are there any differences between political prisoners held in different countries? Obviously evidence shows that there are differences.
The EU heads of states and their representatives, who call themselves defenders of global human rights, should not be let out easily to pick and choose their pursuit of human rights abuses. They should be pressurized to apply equal amount of attention to the human rights abuses in every country and put this issue before their economic interests. It seems that trade with Iran is more important for EU governments and therefore all their attention is focused on pursuing their economic interests instead of dealing with human rights issues, but we need to change this skewed perspective.
There is a need to demand that the release of all political prisoners in Iran be put high on the agenda in negotiations with the Islamic regime. There is a need to demand that Rouhani, the Islamic regime’s president as part of the Islamic establishment be held responsible for the current situation. We need to emphasize that since Rouhani’s election the repression and execution of prisoners have considerably increased and that he, as the head of the regime, must be accountable for all human rights’ abuses.