Parliamentarians Wanted a Visit with Sotoudeh and Panahi
Iran has canceled the visit by a European Parliament delegation to Tehran after the group asked to meet two Iranian activists awarded EU’s prestigious Sakharov prize. The prize for human rights and freedom of thought were given to human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who represents opposition activists and is now in prison for her legal work, and banned filmmaker Jafar Panahi.
The decision came after senior officials at the European Parliament, which on Friday awarded its Sakharov prize to Sotoudeh and Panahi, said they wanted the delegation to meet the two dissidents. (Reuters, 27 October)
“After hearing the new conditions, the Iranians decided to cancel,” European Parliament spokeswoman Satu Helin told Reuters. The delegation was set to travel to Tehran from 27 October to 2 November.
Iran's Mehr news agency quoted an Iranian parliamentary official as saying the European delegation had stated as a “precondition” a visit with Sotoudeh and Panahi.