Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has spoken out in favor of those responsible for the violent crackdown on demonstrators in Iran being prosecuted.
"It is important that the most recent human rights violations in Iran are investigated by independent experts so that those responsible can one day be held accountable," said Steinmeier after a meeting with representatives of Iranian civil society at Bellevue Palace.
"The courageous protests in Iran these days are showing the whole world that the longing for freedom cannot be smothered anywhere," said Steinmeier. "We have to watch closely what is happening in Iran." The Federal President demanded: "We must not stop raising our voices against the inhuman violence of the Iranian regime." He went on to say: "It's part of our responsibility, not just tomorrow on Human Rights Day, but every day anew." This Saturday, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be remembered around the world.
"We see your suffering, we see the crimes"
Steinmeier did not want to give any details about his talks with Iranians, but the Federal President emphasized that the demonstrators in Iran were happy "that we are monitoring the situation on the streets very closely."
"Yesterday, for the first time, a demonstrator sentenced to death was executed," said Steinmeier. "The reports of the Iranian regime's inhuman actions against its own people shock me and many other people in our country."
Steinmeier recalled the many Iranians imprisoned after protests. "We see your suffering, we see the crimes that are being done to you." Many German-Iranians also have family members and friends in Iran. "We also see their pain and anger."
Iran's foreign minister accuses Germany of promoting terrorism
Meanwhile, Tehran accuses Germany of promoting terrorism. The fight against terrorism, violence and hate speech are undoubtedly international tasks, Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian said on Twitter. "It is hypocritical that Germany sees these as red lines for its territory and security, but instigates the same ominous phenomena in Iran and falsely denounces our legitimate fight against them."
With his statement, Amirabdollahian reacted to criticism from Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens). She had criticized the execution of the death penalty against a demonstrator as inhuman and announced a tough reaction from the European Union. The human rights organization Amnesty International described the death sentence as an "unfair sham trial". After the protests broke out in Iran, the tone between Berlin and Tehran recently intensified.
Iran's political leadership accuses the West of fueling the system-critical protests that will last for almost three months. Observers also see it as a maneuver to distract from the real causes of the uprisings. According to human rights activists, more than 475 demonstrators have been killed in the meantime, and the judiciary is also taking a tough line against protesters. They are repeatedly referred to by the state leadership as terrorists or riot mongers.