Hunger strike held outside Downing Street in London to condemn mass execution in Iran

Campaigners start a three day hunger strike outside Downing Street today seeking government condemnation of a mass execution in iran.

The protest is being held in reaction to the death of at least 20 Sunni inmates at Gohardasht Prison near capital Tehran on Wednesday, on the anniversary of the state-sanctioned killing of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.
The execution was slammed by the National Council of Resistance in Iran ( NCRI ) which is hoping to use the hunger strike in Whitehall to pressure the Foreign Office to openly criticise it.
The protest also takes place 28 years after the execution of potentially tens of thousands of dissidents by Iranian authorities.
As well as achieving support from the UK government, the campaigners also hope to secure a similar missive from the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council.
Hossein Abedini, a spokesman for the NCRI, told that there is a lot of concern a similar execution to the one in 1988 could take place.
‘The situation in Gohardasht and other parts of Iran has really worsened,’ he said.
‘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.
‘It very important the massacres of 1988 are recognised as a crime against humanity and that very robust measures are now introduced.’
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 said it had gained the support of a number of MPs such as Tory Matthew Offord, and Mike Freer and Bob Blackman who said they would attend to show their support for the raily.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom released a statement yesterday expressing its shock at this week’s executions.
It also called on the government to officially recognise the 1988 execution against a crime against humanity.
The statement read: ‘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 change 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.
‘The Iranian regime can no longer be allowed to hide behind the notion of “moderation” and the international community must speak up against the systematic atrocities taking place on a daily basis.’

Source: Metro UK, 6 Aug. 2016