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European MPs: Free Political Prisoners Before The Vote

Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake is the leading signatory of the letter to Mogherini.

A group of 29 members of the European Parliament have sent a letter to Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, asking the EU to pursue the release of people detained for political reasons and exercising their right to free speech in Iran.

“The unjustly detained journalists, political prisoners, and Telegram group administrators should be released from detention,” the letter said.

Furthermore, in the May 12 letter, the signatories highlighted their belief that the May 19 presidential election in Iran is important and should be free and fair.

“The outcome of these elections will have a profound impact on the future of the Islamic Republic, and as a consequence on EU-Iran relations, as well. It is essential that these elections are free and fair, and that they are monitored by independent observers,” the letter continued.

The letter voiced concern that intimidation and arrests have already cast a shadow over the election campaign period.

Following the nuclear agreement in 2015, in which Iran agreed to roll back many aspects of its enrichment and nuclear development effort in exchange for the lifting of stringent sanctions, there has been an effort to maintain and strengthen other sanctions that were put in place for Iran’s human rights violations.

The letter asks Mogherini “to convey to your counterparts and to the other relevant authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran that further development of the relationship between the EU and Iran can only be successful when accompanied by respect for the rights and well-being of people in Iran.”