June 10, 2019—Justice for Iran has received news about a closed-door meeting to be held on Wednesday, 12 June 2019, between three Iranian MPs and several members of the Dutch Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. The Iranian officials allegedly attending are  Hadi Shooshtari, Ahmad Amirabadi-Farahani, and Shahrouz Barzegar-Kolshani all of whom have records of justifying human rights violations in Iran, according to ongoing research by Justice for Iran. Topics of the negotiations and other details remain undisclosed.

“Appreciating the effort of Dutch diplomacy to facilitate normalisation of relations between western world – or rather the EU and Iran – we would like to stress that it could and should be done with due respect to human rights regime and accountability for the past and current abuses of human rights in Iran.”; Dr. Nevenka Tromp, lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and Justice for Iran’s board member said.

The MPs from Iran have been involved in defending acts of massive violence, suppression, and even murder.

Ahmad Amirabadi-Farahani has justified the persecution of dual-nationals multiple times, by blaming them for civil unrest. For years, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Judiciary have worked together to arrest and incarcerate Iranian dual-nationals on charges of espionage.

Hadi Shooshtari, who is also said to be attending, described Iran’s human rights situation as ‘optimal’. He has publicly expressed his belief that the assignment of a United Nations’ expert on the human rights situation in Iran is ‘an insult’ and ‘interference with the country’s domestic affairs’.

As an MP, Shahrouz Barzegar-Kolshani, has defended the arbitrary killing of Kurdish transport labourers known as Kolbars. He has said that Iran’s armed forces are allowed to shoot Kolbars on sight. The Kolbars, who are mostly ethnic Kurds, carry goods and necessities across the mountainous Iran-Iraq border on foot, earning little in return. According to official statistics from human rights organizations, at least 180 Kolbars were wounded and 75 were killed by police and security forces’ gunfire since spring. The UN expert on the situation of human rights in Iran has stated the arbitrary killings of these unarmed labourers is a “violation of Iran’s domestic laws and international obligations.”

“The Dutch Parliament’s meeting behind closed doors with these individuals will send a dangerous message to perpetrators of human rights abuses that they can walk away freely, no matter how severely they violate international and domestic laws.”; Shadi Sadr, winner of the 2009 Dutch Human Rights Tulip and the Executive Director of Justice for Iran said.

Parliamentary relations have been strained between Iran and Europe, since terrorist attacks by the Islamic Republic in the Netherlands, Denmark, and France led to the boycott of two senior members of Iran’s intelligence ministry.

To date, 82 Iranian individuals and one entity have been subjected to asset freezes and travel bans within the European Union, due to their involvement in widespread and systematic human rights violations.