Swedish Hypocrisy on Human Rights

Turning a blind eye to the Mullahs' persecution of Kurds.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has been quick to blame the U.S. and Israel for alleged misdeeds toward the Palestinians.  The Turkish-based Anadolu Agency reported on May 16, 2018 that Wallstrom blamed the U.S. for encouraging the Palestinian riots in Gaza.  She is quoted as telling Swedish TT News Agency that: “The U.S. has a big responsibility in the incidents where at least 50-60 Palestinians were killed and many others injured.”  This was said in the context of the Hamas organized provocation to march thousands of Gazan across the Israeli border.  It also happened to occur during the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, which followed the Trump administration recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  Wallstrom did not condemn Hamas’ effort to attack Israel and Jewish civilians.

The same Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom (pictured above), eager to condemn the U.S. and Israel, has been silent about the execution of Kurdish political prisoners by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Sweden has turned a blind eye on Iran’s gross violations of human rights, and its cruel executions of women and teenagers.  The Iranian regime has executed Kurdish dissidents with impunity.  Sweden was silent about it, as were other leaders of the EU.  They were too busy appeasing the Ayatollahs in an effort to preserve the unreliable Iran nuclear deal or JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), and winning business contracts.

Shamm Shameyi Salih, a Kurdish Swede youngster wrote: “The Iranian regime has killed many civilians, where the majority are Kurdish children and women. Hundreds of thousands of families have seen their own children be executed, while a whole world is closing their eyes. The situation right now in the Middle East and Iran is unsustainable. It’s not okay that we, as a country, sit and watch when they are running executions of our Kurdish women and men.” He added, “The Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has been silent for far too long for those who are exposed to the Kurds. This is no longer acceptable. The Iranian regime must be brought to justice immediately for breaches of our human rights.”

Amnesty International, in a report titled “Iran: Human rights abuses against the Kurdish minority” concluded the following: “Kurds in Iran have long suffered deep-rooted discrimination. Their social, political and cultural rights have been repressed, as have their economic aspirations. Parents are banned from registering their babies with certain Kurdish names and religious minorities that are mainly or partially Kurdish are targeted by measures designed to stigmatize and isolate them. Discriminated against in their access to employment, adequate housing and political rights, the economic neglect of Kurdish regions has resulted in an entrenched poverty which has further marginalized Kurds.

Kurdish human rights defenders, including community activists and journalists, face arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment and prosecution when they protest against the government’s failure to observe international human rights standards. When they link their human rights work to their Kurdish identity, they risk further violations of their rights. Some, including women’s rights activists, become prisoners of conscience – people imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their conscientiously held beliefs. Others suffer torture, grossly unfair trials before Revolutionary Courts and the death penalty.  Amnesty International has previously raised many of the human rights abuses and cases in this report with the Iranian authorities, and urged them to take concrete measures to end discrimination and human rights violations against the Kurdish minority and to uphold the rights of human rights defenders.”

The above report was issued in 2008.  Since then, the situation has worsened for the Iranian Kurds.  Amnesty International reported on September 9, 2018, “Three Iranian Kurdish men, Zaniar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi, were executed this morning in Raja’i Shahr prison, Karaj.”

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “We are horrified by the news that the Iranian authorities have executed these men, despite widespread condemnation of their death sentences and calls from UN human rights experts and other bodies to halt their executions.  The trials of all three men were grossly unfair. All were denied access to their lawyers and families after their arrest, and all said they were tortured into making ‘confessions.’ In sentencing them to death despite these massive failings in due process, the Iranian authorities have once again demonstrated their brazen disregard for the right to life.”

Sweden’s current administration’s hypocrisy vis-à-vis Israel is already well known.  What is equally hypocritical is Sweden’s self-proclamation of being “the first feminist government in the world,” while betraying the Iranian women who, for years, protested against the regime’s suppression of women, and who risked arrest and punishment for discarding their head scarfs and hijabs.  In February, 2017, Swedish trade minister Ann Linde and other female members of the delegation, walked before Iranian President Rouhani wearing Hijabs, Chadors, and long coats indoors, in deference to Iran’s oppressive and unjust forced Hijab law.  Masih Alinejad, the Iranian women’s rights activist, urged European female politicians to stand for their own dignity and refuse to kowtow to the compulsory Hijab while visiting Iran.

For Wallstrom, it seems, only Palestinian’s deserve support from the Swedish government and their fellow EU leaders.  In May, 2017, during Israel’s Independence Day celebrations, Sweden was the only European country to vote in favor of a UNESCO resolution, which disputed Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, and harshly criticized the Jewish state for having several building projects in Jerusalem, as well as its naval blockade of Gaza.  The Swedish government ignored Palestinian terrorism, Ramallah and Gaza spreading incitement and hate, and Palestinian rejection of negotiations with Israel, let alone compromise and peace with the Jewish state.  The fact that Israel is a liberal democracy, while Iran and the Palestinian regimes are oppressive, doesn’t deter Mallstrom from her bias and double standards.

The Times of Israel reported on March 21, 2018 that Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom “appeared to display sympathy for the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying salaries to the families of convicted Palestinian terrorists.”  Wallstrom was interviewed by a local (Swedish) Jewish publication. 

Sweden is a major provider of aid to the Palestinians in both Hamas controlled Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah, as well as to anti-Israel Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s). Human Rights Watch (HRW) World Report 2018 states, “The PA and Hamas arrested activists who criticized their leaders, security forces, or policies, and mistreated and tortured some in their custody. The Independent Commission for Human Rights in Palestine (ICHR), a statutory commission charged with monitoring human rights compliance by the Palestinian authorities, received 205 complaints of torture and ill-treatment by PA security forces and 193 such complaints against Hamas security forces as of October 31, 2017. Hamas authorities executed six people during this same period following trials that lacked appropriate due process protections.” 

The current Swedish government, it appears, prefers to pander to non-democratic and dictatorial regimes the likes of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Palestinians regimes in Ramallah and Gaza.  While Stockholm has warmed up to Iran’s mullahs (and eager to trade with Tehran) and the Palestinians, it has refused to support the Syrian Kurds defending themselves from Turkey’s aggression. Sweden has, moreover, shown its hypocrisy and greed by ignoring the suffering of Iranian Kurds for the sake of contracts with one of the top human rights abusers called the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Photo by Raul Mee


Wondering what happened to your Disqus comments?

Read the Story