On March 11, 2013, the European Union imposed sanctions against me. EU foreign ministers plus the bloc’s foreign policy chief signed a document that’s designated me along with eight other Iranians as human rights violators.
The accusations leveled against me are unsubstantiated and absurd. But that’s not all; the EU has blatantly violated my right to due process.
Just imagine one day you go to work and you get this document showing that you’ve been sanctioned by the EU over something you have never done! How would you feel? Naturally, you’ll be surprised. But what if you see the document mentions your place of birth to be somewhere that you’ve never been to or states that you’re several years older than you really are? It would be natural to wonder whether anybody had actually investigated the contents of that document before signing it.
I have been sanctioned without ever being asked even one single question about the charges leveled against me. A sanctions ruling has been passed by the EU without giving me the chance to defend myself. I have been accused and simultaneously convicted of violating the right to fair trial of members of Kurdish and Arab communities. The EU has accused me of producing and broadcasting their televised confessions. As the newsroom director of Press TV, I have never seen those people in my life, nor have I ever been responsible for producing and broadcasting any confessions from them.
I Googled the term “right to fair trial”. Here comes the search result: “The right to fair trial is an essential right in all countries respecting the rule of law. A trial in these countries that is deemed unfair will typically be restarted, or its verdict voided. Various rights associated with a fair trial are explicitly proclaimed in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, as well as numerous other constitutions and declarations throughout the world.”
So what about my right to a fair trial? Why has the EU so blatantly violated my basic rights? I wrote the following letter to the EU’s human rights chief Stavros Lambrinidis, who has failed to reply to my letter up until the moment of the writing of this article:
“I’d like to know why the EU has put my life and that of my family at risk by blacklisting me for something that I have never done; it has instigated terrorist organizations by leveling baseless accusations against me of being involved in the production and broadcast of “forced confessions” by Arab and Kurdish people. The EU does not have even one single piece of evidence to support its claims against me. I have been subject to sanctions without being asked for explanation, or being contacted to defend myself. A ruling has been passed without any legal basis and any evidence to support it. Please explain why the EU has violated my basic right to judicial due process by issuing a ruling against me without hearing my defense!”
I also called and talked to the EU foreign policy chief’s spokesperson Michael Mann to seek an explanation. Mr. Mann, too, was unable to provide any evidence as to why I should be sanctioned. That convinces me that those who signed that document did so without questioning for a second that the serious, life-threatening allegations against me might not be true. Did they even bother to look into the matter or did they blindly sign their names to something someone else with an agenda had placed in front of them?
The fact that they couldn’t even get the simplest information about me such as how old I am or where I was born right, let alone any of the details of what I‘ve done during my professional career, tells me all I need to know. EU foreign ministers and Lady Ashton have jeopardized my life by signing what militant organizations, who spend Saudi and Qatari money in an effort to disintegrate my ancient motherland, have hastily put together and given them to sign.
Hamid Reza Emadi