Former Ceredigion MP Mark Williams sanctioned by Iran over human rights and democracy support
Former Liberal Democrat MP for Ceredigion Mark Williams has said that he will continue to campaign for political freedom for the people of Iran after being sanctioned by the government of the country.
The former MP was among 32 individuals and entities sanctioned by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs due to their support for human rights and democracy in Iran.
Iran published a statement on their government website listing “Mark Williams, former Member of the British Parliament” as one of those sanctioned.
Mark Williams was a strong opponent to the regime in Iran during his time as an MP, criticizing its human rights record and funding of terrorism, and has continued to be involved in the Free Iran movement since.
The Iran government claimed they were sanctioning those on the list “due to their deliberate actions in support of terrorism and terrorist groups; promotion and incitement of terrorism, violence; and spreading hatred, which has caused riots, violence and terrorist operations as well as violation of human rights against the Iranian nation”.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, reminding the commitments of the United Kingdom, considers any support, facilitation and failure to take action against these persons and institutions, to be a violation of the international obligations of the United Kingdom and holds them responsible and accountable,” they said.
The sanctions include denial of visa, prohibition of entry into Iran, and the confiscation of their property and assets on the Iranian territory.
Mark Williams said: “I have always been steadfast in my support for a free and democratic Iran. As protests continue to sweep the country calling for change, it is vital that we all show our support now more than ever.
“Just this week we have seen many of the brave protestors sentenced to execution.
“The campaign for justice in Iran will go on regardless of any sanctions by the Iranian regime. Human rights and democracy are non-negotiable and I will continue to campaign for the noble and just cause of the Iranian people with colleagues from all corners of the political landscape.”
In recent months Iran has been gripped by protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her hijab “properly”.
The protests have since grown and have been called the “biggest challenge” to the government of Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. As of 29 November 2022 at least 448 people, including 60 minors, had been killed as a result of the government’s intervention in the protests and an estimated 18,210 have been arrested.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said that “given Mark’s unwavering support for freedom, democracy and human rights in Iran over many years it is perhaps little surprise the regime has decided to sanction him”.
“Such a move only goes to demonstrate how far the regime will go to stifle dissent and opposition both at home and abroad,” she said.
“Having met with Iranian diaspora in Wales on multiple occasions in recent months regarding recent protests in Iran I am all to aware of the impact this latest outburst of violence by the regime is having.
“I know that Mark, myself and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue in our support of freedom and democracy despite any sanctions thrown our way.”
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