Finland: EU should react coherently to human rights violations in Iran

February 22, 2010

Finland expressed its deep concern over the “continued weakening of the human rights situation in Iran and considers it important that the EU react coherently to human rights violations.”

In a press release the Finish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday current internal political situation in Iran and Iranian regime’s “unwillingness to cooperate in the nuclear program dispute” will include in the agenda of 22 February meetings of EU’s Foreign Affairs Council. Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb will represent Finland at the meeting.


Iran: Three men hanged in Zahedan and Isfahan

February 22, 2010

Iranian regime’s henchmen have hanged three men, one in the eastern city of Zahedan and the others in the central city of Isfahan, state-run daily Kayhan reported on Monday. It said two men were hanged on Saturday in a prison in Isfahan, while the other was executed on Sunday in a prison in Zahedan.

Norway grants Iranian ex-diplomat asylum

February 20, 2010

18 February 2010 
The Associated Press

OSLO (AP) — Norway has granted asylum to an Oslo-based Iranian diplomat who resigned in January to protest his government’s violent response to opposition demonstrations in Tehran, officials said Thursday.

The Norwegian Immigration Directorate gave Mohammed Reza Heydari and his family permission to remain in Norway as political refugees after going through “all necessary information pertaining to the case,” directorate spokeswoman Bente Engelsand said. She declined to comment further because the Immigration Directorate does not discuss the details of individual cases.

Heydari told national broadcaster NRK on Jan. 5 that he quit his consular post at the Iranian Embassy in Norway in protest after eight Iranian demonstrators were killed during a Dec. 27 opposition rally in Tehran.

“I couldn’t continue in good conscience,” he told NRK.

Heydari could not be reached immediately for comment on Thursday.

Jamshid Parvizi, a spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Norway, said Heydari didn’t quit, but that his mission for the Foreign Ministry ended in December. He said the embassy has documents proving this claim, but that “it’s not the right time to show that document.”

“We think that he (Heydari) is telling lies and that he is an opportunist,” Parvizi said. He alleged that Heydari had claimed he quit so that he could get asylum in Norway, but he wouldn’t speculate about why Heydari would want to leave Iran.

In Norway, political asylum is granted “to protect persons who are persecuted or risk (for example) torture or the death penalty in their home countries,” according to the Immigration Directorate.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki called Heydari’s resignation unacceptable and said in January that “he should continue his job either in Norway or the ministry.”

June’s disputed presidential election led moderate Iranians to withdraw support from the hardline government. Some members of the government were dismissed following the elections, while others resigned.

Canadian Iran committee: End siege of Camp Ashraf and suppressive measures against its residents

February 19, 2010

The Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran has learned that a group claiming to be family members of Ashraf residents and some agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence has been brought outside Camp Ashraf to exert psychological pressure on the residents. The Al-Maliki government who violently attacked defenseless Ashraf residents in July 2009 leaving 11 dead and 500 injured, is acting once again on the orders of its Iranian counterparts to defuse the much needed attention to both the Iraqi election and the people’s uprising in Iran.

The propaganda machine of the Iranian regime clearly targets Ashraf residents who have been under inhuman siege for past 14 months. The goal appears to be setting the stage for another violent attack and forcible transfer of the residents that constitutes a crime against humanity.

On Tuesday February 16, the Iraqi committee responsible for suppression of Ashraf and the dispatched agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence brought some journalists mainly affiliated with the Iranian regime’s media to tell them that Camp leaders deny access to family members of the residents to visit them.

In fact, the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran and the International Committee of Jurists in Defense of Ashraf have on numerous occasions called on the Iraqi government to allow family members, lawyers, journalists, parliamentarians and human rights organizations to freely visit Ashraf. This request including visa request by our members to visit Ashraf has been denied.

Pre-arranged media shows can not hide the fact that Ashraf residents have been denied their fundamental rights in the past 14 months due to severe inhuman siege of the Camp.
We call upon the US, the EU, the United Nations Secretary General and the Canadian Government to immediately intervene to end the siege of Ashraf and hold Al-Maliki accountable for denial of food, medicine, and humanitarian needs of the Camp residents.

We call for unfettered access to the Camp by family members, lawyers, parliamentarians and human rights organizations to assess the situation free from Iranian regime’s pressures and to prevent any further attack on the Camp.


The Iranian nation deserves a different fate

February 16, 2010

 By: Maryam Rajavi

Published in French daily Le Figaro on Feb 12, 2010*

On the day after the anniversary of the revolution, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, condemns the growing repression against the People’s Mojahedin. The West has committed a serious error in its calculations by investing in the regime’s potential to modify its behavior Former Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson asked me one day how the Iranian people, heir to a great civilization, could submit to a regime as backward as that of Khomeini? I told him that the people had not accepted the regime. The regime had been imposed on people and until now 120,000 people have been executed.

Today, eight months of uprisings prove that the Iranian nation does not accept the fanatical regime and deserves a different fate. They have demonstrated a desire to overthrow the regime and take control of their destiny. The struggle against the religious dictatorship did not begin after the sham elections in June. Rather, the sham elections exposed the deep division at the top of the regime and served as a catalyst for the outburst of suppressed popular anger.

The regime is adopting a harsher tone against an uprising that is becoming more organized by the day. The regime’s officials have apparently discovered that “an intelligent and organizing force is behind these events” and that “the PMOI [People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran] led the protests of Ashura [on December 27].

They were taken aback when they heard the slogans that appeared on the websites of our resistance movement chanted in Tehran’s streets. As such, the sharp edge of the suppression is focused on the supporters and families of the PMOI.

A large number of families of residents of Ashraf (a city where members of the PMOI reside in Iraq) and former political prisoners have been arrested and tortured in recent weeks. The regime’s officials emphasize that anyone who collaborates with the PMOI is considered mohareb (enemy of God) and therefore sentenced to death, even if the person has merely been involved in political activities.

The trend of suppression has increased. The execution of two young political opponents and the death sentences of nine more revealed signs of panic in the regime. The regime tried to discourage people from participating in protests yesterday on the anniversary of the anti-monarchical revolution on February 11.

Despite the high number of arrests, murders and injuries the uprising marks a victory for the people and rings the death knell for the regime in its entirety. The opposing internal faction certainly cannot represent the desire for change, but it can be found on the right side, provided that it distances itself from the mullahs’ Supreme Leader and the regime’s constitution.

The myth of a possible internal reform by the regime was buried for the second time in the aftermath of the sham elections. The West committed a serious mistake by investing in the regime’s ability to reform itself.

Everyone knows that the system derives great benefit from its relations with the West and even from the nuclear talks. The regime’s Supreme Leader attempts to exploit these as signs of stability.

In the midst of the uprising in October 2009, he falsely gave the impression that he would accept the Geneva deal to deliver enriched uranium, in order to take advantage of the appeasement of Western powers and also deter the United States from supporting the uprising.

We should recall that the regime acquires its suppressive equipment, wiretapping instruments, and internet filtering tools from Western companies. While innocent people are killed during protests or hanged for their alleged “support for the PMOI”, some governments continue to place restrictions on our resistance, which are shameful in the current circumstances of uprisings. Avoiding to make diplomatic and trade relations with the regime contingent on ceasing of repression – especially since the economy is monopolized by the Revolutionary Guards which is in charge of the crackdown – is beneficial only to the regime.

Make no mistake. The Iranian people do not seek support from this or that government. I only wish to invite policymakers to stop siding with the regime and avoid interfering in the struggle between the Iranian people and their torturers. The people will continue their vigorous struggle for the establishment of a pluralistic and secular republic.

Defending the Iranian people and their legitimate demands will buy honor for any country and will compensate for the past mistakes of any country. That is how we can build the basis of healthy relations with the Iranian people in the future.

readers’ comment:

February 16, 2010

Things are to be used and people are to be loved.  The problem in today’s world is that people are used while things are loved!

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February 12, 2010