Margarita Duran Vadell, historian, journalist, Senator (2011-2015) – Spain
Vice-President of INCO Human Rights
Remarks at IWD conference on “Women Force for Change, Iran Uprising and Women’s Role”
Paris – February 17, 2018
First of all, we want to express our deep concern about the health and safety of Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee who have been on hunger strike for 14 days, and also our concern about the safety of their relatives.
We want to also express our solidarity with all students like Sara Rahimi who have been detained and denied freedom, and with all the people who have risked and are risking their lives and their freedom in the fight against the despotic regime of the mullahs, both in the past and present.
When the people of Iran came out to the streets, they immediately demanded change and called for the overthrow of Khamenei and Rouhani. Since that day, we have been hearing their cries. We in the west cannot turn a blind eye on these calls.
The people of Iran, especially the women and the youth, are calling out and telling us, it is enough! No more policy of appeasing the regime.
Europe cannot forget its democratic beliefs and values, and must join the call by the people of Iran because eventually, and I believe very soon, change will come to Iran.
We cannot say we heard but we did not listen.
I thank you for your very important call to release all political prisoners, Mrs. Rajavi.
We support your call to guarantee freedom of speech and association, stop suppression of women and abolish the compulsory veil.
This is the demand of everyone here tonight and our call is for governments to push forward these just demands.
Mrs. Rajavi, in the days which were dark to us, we heard of the suffering of your people. Later, when we learned about your efforts to save members of the Iranian Resistance in Ashraf and, subsequently, in Camp Liberty, we knew we have a responsibility to respond to your call.
What a great joy we felt when we met many of these people, led by women, last year in Tirana. But these people are still not safe. We condemn the Iranian regime for sending their agents to try to arrest them even in Albania.
In the hard days when we lost hope, you, Mrs. Rajavi, spread hope. You told your members: we can and we must! And we have learned, too, that by standing by you and your principles of democracy and humanity, we, too, can and must have an active role in our lifetimes to stand for what is just.
Today, we are here as your sisters. The ones whom you can always count on, and we know that this is our honor to be with you and your movement. Yes, we say, we can and we must help you free Iran in these critical moments!
And we can and we must open the eyes of the world leaders to stand with you and recognize your movement as the only legitimate opposition to the regime in Iran. Thank you.