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Iranian opposition party holds London protest demanding end to torture

Iranian opposition party holds London

Iran’s opposition party in exile staged a protest condemning public executions in Iran and demanded that Theresa May and the UK Government take action against the Middle Eastern nation, the Express reported.

Members and supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a demonstration outside Downing Street on Saturday in the hope of attracting the Prime Minister’s attention.


According to the opposition party, in 2017, Iran executed over 500 people which accounted for nearly 60 percent of all executions in the region.


Amnesty International says that of the over 500 executions, at least 31 of them were done so publicly.


The opposition also claims that five juveniles were killed during the first half of 2018, with nearly 30 people being executed just last month alone.


They also claim that over 70 people who supported the truck driver protests in Iran have been arrested and allegedly threatened with execution.


During the demonstration, protestors called for the downfall of the current Iranian regime.


They shouted: “Down with Rouhani! Down with Khamenei!”


Later, they also chanted: “Change! Change! Change! Regime change in Iran!”


While the demonstration was taking place, hundreds of thousands of people were marching in support of a People’s Vote on Brexit.


While many people marching applauded the Iranians that were demonstrating, some did not see a difference between the opposition and the current regime.


One passer-by said: “You are all the same! No difference!”


There were also a number of speakers who addressed the crowd in English and Farsi about human rights abuses in Iran.


One speaker, Dr Jocelyn Scotts, condemned Iran’s use of the death penalty and torture.


She said: “People are around Iran protesting.


“No more to torture. No more to hangings.”


A supporter of the opposition, Naghmeh Rajabi, spoke critically of the Iranian regime and the current situation in the Middle Eastern nation.


She said: “We’re in 2018 and unfortunately nothing has changed. Things are getting worse.


“The demonstration is to urge the UK Government to act with allies to put more pressure on the Iranian regime.


“We feel that what they’re doing is not enough at the moment.


“There needs to be more pressure to bring a halt to all of these executions, especially the public hangings that are happening.


Children, people, normal people are walking in the streets and they see bodies hanging from cranes.


“That’s kind of becoming a normality in Iran and it is completely unacceptable in the twenty-first century.”


Mrs Rajabi added that it is important to “name and shame” the people who are allegedly responsible for the executions in order to hold them to account.


She said: “It’s a really brutal, violent regime that just has no boundaries and it does anything necessary to stay in power.”


Later, she explained that if the UK is going to do business with Iran, then it should take action against its human rights abuses.


She added: “If a country like the UK, which their base is on democracy and human rights, if they are deciding to do financial deals with the Iranian regime, at least do something to hold them to account.


“At least do something positive next to it to make sure that they are changing, that they are halting the executions, that they are not killing juveniles.


“What country in the twenty-first century does that?”


Finally, she said that the best solution to these issues would be a regime change, a sentiment that was expressed throughout the demonstration.


She said: “We need a democratic government that is a secular government with religion and politics separated completely.


“Basically, everything that the government doesn’t stand for. We need a complete regime change.”


The Iranian government was contacted about the claims made during the demonstration but did not respond when asked for comment.


When asked if she believed that change will ever happen in Iran, Mrs Rajabi expressed hope for the future.


She said: “I think that no dictator is forever.


“We just need to look at history to see that from the Pharaoh’s time to Saddam Hussein to so many different dictators, they’re just not forever.


“They will be overthrown, hopefully, by the people of Iran.”