In response to the hanging of two Iranian protesters, a German lawmaker of Iranian descent has demanded that Germany expel the ambassadors of the Islamic Republic.
Earlier Saturday, Iran executed Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini by hanging. They had been convicted of killing a member of the Basij, a volunteer paramilitary in Iran.
“Let me express my condolences to the parents of the executed youth who are really grieving these days. The news this morning really stunned us, and we don’t know what to say,” said Sepehr Amiri, a member of the Christian Democratic Union party and a representative in the parliament of the German state of Lower Saxony.
In Germany, more than 100 politicians sponsor political prisoners in Iran.
The lawmakers’ sponsorship means they use their political heft in communicating with Iranian ambassadors, other politicians and human rights organizations in bringing attention to the plight of individual Iranian prisoners.
The hope is that the attention given to the prisoners will prevent Iranian judges from handing down harsh sentences, including the death penalty, in trials that are often not open to the public.
Politicians in other countries, such as Canada, Britain, France and Sweden, also sponsor Iranian political prisoners.
After the two protesters were executed Saturday, Amiri underscored that more needs to be done.
“As I said a few weeks ago, I am sure that political sponsorship is indeed a very good lever, because it disseminates information, and people outside Iran can know what is happening in Iran,” he told Voice of America’s Persian News Network.
“But the lives of the detainees remain in danger. We must take more drastic measures, including deporting those who work for the Islamic Republic of Iran, and closing all Iranian consulates in Germany,” he told VOA.
Last month, Amnesty International said Iran is seeking the death penalty for at least 26 protesters after what it said were sham trials.
The violent suppression of peaceful protests by Iranians, and the issuance and execution of death sentences by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran have drawn a wave of global condemnations.
Many Iranian protesters do not consider the imposition of sanctions against high-ranking political officials of the Iranian government to be enough, and they have demanded the closure of the representative offices and embassies of the Islamic Republic and the expulsion of all its ambassadors from Western countries.