WAVE OF SUPPORT FOR ASHRAF

March 30, 2010

12 March 2010, Great-Britain:

Majority of British MPs urge UK to help protect Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf 

Press release by The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom:

“A majority of backbench MPs on Thursday called on the Government to take urgent measures at the United Nations for the world body to protect 3,400 Iranian opposition members based at Camp Ashraf in Iraq. The cross-party MPs were backed in their call by more than 150 Peers. ”

14 March 2010, Finland:

Majority of lawmakers support Iran uprising, rights of Camp Ashraf residents 

At a session organized by the Human Rights group of the Finnish Parliament, and in the presence of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance’s President-elect, at the parliament building, a declaration of support by the majority of the country’s lawmakers for the Iranian people’s uprising and the rights of Camp Ashraf residents was unveiled. A book containing the signatures of the lawmakers was presented to Mrs. Rajavi by Mr. Kimmo Sasi, the Chairman of the Finnish Parliament’s Constitutional Law Committee.

The declaration of majority support at the Finnish Parliament in support of the Iranian people’s uprising and the rights of Camp Ashraf residents was signed by more than 100 members of the Finnish Parliament, including 6 committee chairs, 11 deputy chairs, and leaders and deputies of various factions.

18 March 2010, USA:

Bi-Partisan majority in the U.S. House calls for protection of Camp Ashraf residents 

U.S. Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, were joined yesterday by ten of their colleagues, including three from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a press conference to announce the support by a bi-partisan House majority for the humanitarian rights and protection of residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

24 March 2010, Germany:

German lawmakers defend Ashraf residents’ rights and support Iranian nationwide uprising 

A statement defending the rights of Ashraf residents in Iraq and expressing support for the nationwide uprising in Iran signed by over 100 German lawmakers from various political parties were presented in a meeting on March 23 at the Reichstagpräsidentenpalast of the German Bundestag. The meeting was attended by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance and a number of German MPs and heads of parliamentary committees.

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EP Vice President welcomes election results in Iraq, calls for recognition of Ashraf’s rights

March 30, 2010

The President of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) and Vice President of the European Parliament Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras in a press release on March 27 congratulated the Iraqi people for the victory of secular and democratic forces in Iraq in that country’s parliamentary elections.

He also hoped that the rights of Ashraf residents as political refugees and protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention will be formally recognized in the new era after the elections.

Text of his press release follows:

Victory of secular and democratic forces in Iraqi elections

The International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ), comprised of 2,000 parliamentarians on both sides of the Atlantic, congratulates the Iraqi people for the victory of secular and democratic forces in Iraq in that country’s parliamentary elections.

The victory was achieved despite clear attempts of interference by the Iranian regime and its affiliated forces before, during and after the elections and in the course of the vote count, to deny secular and democratic forces victory.

The efforts by the Iraqi nationalist forces and international observers in exposing and preventing rigging contributed greatly to minimize fraud as well as in scaling down the Iranian regime’s efforts to influence election results.

It is quite understandable that after results were announced, the Iranian regime, and its affiliated forces, in particular Nouri al-Maliki, as the head of the Executive Branch, reacted angrily by rejecting the results and openly declaring that he did not accept the outcome.

There is hardly any doubt that were it not for the ballot stuffing and the disqualification of nationalist leaders such as Dr. Saleh Mutlak the margin of victory for nationalist forces would have been far greater and the defeat of the Iranian regime and its agents more disgraceful.

We must pay tribute to our esteemed colleague Mr. Struan Stevenson, President of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Iraq, for his outstanding and leading role.

While many kept silence about the election fraud, he courageously exposed the many reports of irregularities in the elections and received extensive support and assistance from various Iraqi political parties and personalities representing different Iraqi political tendencies.

It is our sincere hope that Dr. Iyad Allawi, leader of the Al-Iraqiya coalition, will form his nationalist and secular government rapidly and put an end to Iraqi people’s problems and conflicts emanating from the Iranian regime’s meddling.

We also hope that in these circumstances the rights of Ashraf residents as political refugees and protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention will be formally recognized.

The suppressive practices of Maliki’s government against Ashraf residents are a clear indication of the current government’s disregard of international standards.

We in ISJ and in the European Parliament wish to put our wherewithal at the disposal of an Iraqi nationalist, secular and truly democratic government.

 —————————————————————————————Struan Stevenson: Iraq is the winner of elections

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release

27 March 2010

IRAQ IS THE WINNER

Every election has a winner and a loser. In this election, Iraq and the Iraqi people are the winners. Iran and its fascist regime are the losers.

This was the view expressed today by Struan Stevenson, MEP, and the President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq.

Speaking after the election results were announced he said: “The narrow victory for Dr Ayad Allawi and his non-sectarian, nationalist party is a victory for democracy in the face of violence, intimidation, murder and widespread fraud. Clumsy and aggressive attempts to ban secularist candidates, coupled with massive efforts at vote rigging, were undoubtedly planned and motivated by Tehran, but backfired in a spectacular fashion, driving millions of Sunnis and Shiites alike to vote for peace, security and an end to Iranian meddling.

“I congratulate the brave Iraqi people who turned out in their millions to exercise their democratic rights, even as bombs exploded around them, killing 46 and injuring 140 on polling day alone. This election result may signal a new dawn for Iraq after the years of darkness.

“I hope that through the rapid formation of a nationalist and non-sectarian government, peace, stability and economic prosperity will return to Iraq. The Iraqi people deserve nothing less.”

Struan Stevenson,

MEP President, Delegation for relations with Iraq


A chilling message

March 30, 2010

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Iran executions send a chilling message       

29 March 2010

Recent developments in Iran have prompted fears that the Iranian authorities are once more using executions as a tool to try and quell political unrest, intimidate the population and send a signal that dissent will not be tolerated.

There was a noticeable surge in the rate of executions at the time of mass protests over last year’s disputed Presidential elections. Although many of the executions were for criminal offences committed before the unrest, they sent a chilling message to those involved in protests.

One hundred and twelve people were put to death in the eight weeks between the June election and the re-inauguration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in early August- almost a third of the total for the entire year.

In 2009 as a whole at least 388 people were put to death in Iran – the largest number recorded by Amnesty International in recent years. Figures collated by various human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, suggest the annual number of executions has almost quadrupled since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was first elected five years ago. Many of those executed did not receive fair trials.

“The continuing surge in executions at a time when Iran has experienced the most widespread popular unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, combined with numerous statements by officials threatening protestors with execution, indicates that the Iranian authorities are again using the death penalty to try and cow the opposition and silence dissent,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“SHOW TRIALS”

A series of “show trials” led to two men being hanged in January; the first executions which the authorities linked directly to the current unrest; although it later emerged that the pair were already in detention at the time of last June’s presidential election.

Among other things, they were convicted of “mohabareh”, or “enmity against God”. Nasrin Sotoudeh, lawyer for one of the men, Arash Rahmanipour, told Reuters  “An execution with this speed and rush has only one explanation … the government is trying to prevent the expansion of the current (opposition) movement through the spread of fear and intimidation.”

An increasing number of people have been charged with “moharebeh”, a vaguely-defined offence. According to Philip Alston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, it is “imposed for a wide range of crimes, often fairly ill-defined and generally having some sort of political nature.”

At least nine other people, sentenced to death following the popular demonstrations which began last summer and were continuing at the end of 2009, are believed to be on death row.

Recent comments by Tehran prosecutor Abbas Ja’fari Dowlatabadi served to fan suspicions that the sentences were politically motivated. Referring to the imposition of death sentences on a group of protesters, he said: “Today the Islamic system has firmly put its opponents and dissidents in their place. The people will not allow such incidents to reoccur in the country.”

Link to Amnesty International report


Iran: Contamination of drinking water supply and spread of various diseases at Gohardasht prison

March 30, 2010

In recent weeks, a large number of prisoners at Gohardasht prison in the Tehran suburb of Karaj have become ill after the prison’s drinking water was heavily contaminated. Prison officials refuse to allow access to medical treatment for the ailing inmates despite the prisoners’ deteriorating condition. They cite as justification the closure of the medical center due to the Iranian New Year holidays of Nowrouz.  Despite the passing of several weeks from the incident, the water remains polluted and muddy at the complex, leaving the prisoners with only two hours of access to water, which has in turn worsened the already horrid hygienic situation at Gohardasht prison.


Iranian New Year

March 27, 2010

 

On the 20th of March this year, the Iranian people celebrate their New Year. The first day of spring is called “Nowrooz” and is one of the most important days in Iran.

Spring is the symbol of birth, new life and hope. May this year will bring an end to the tyranny and oppression of the Mullahs.

We wish the people in Iran a new year full of happiness, love and freedom!

 The “sofreh 7 sin”, which is the iranian Nowrooz tradition

Spring in Iran

 

 

HAPPY NOWROOZ !


Maryam Rajavi: Fire Festival uprising in Iran, a major defeat for clerical regime

March 27, 2010

17 March 2010

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, described the Fire Festival uprising on Tuesday as a major defeat for the clerical regime and its suppressive machinery and massive propaganda apparatus.

The regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in an anti-Iranian and anti-Islamic decree on Sunday said the festival has “no basis in sharia (Islamic religious law) and creates a lot of harm and corruption, (which is why) it is appropriate to avoid it.”

Mrs. Rajavi said: People of Tehran from east to west and from south to north united during the Fire Festival and chanted in unison “Down with Khamenei” and “down with dictator” and threw Khamenei’s posters along with his decree into the fire.

She emphasized: The uprising across Iran during the festival was a display of the capacities of the Iranian people and the Resistance to bring down the clerical regime and bring about a democratic change.

Many cities including Esfahan, Shiraz, Kashan, Ahwaz, Mashhad, Orumieh, Ardabil, Shahr-e Kord, Sanandaj, Ilam, Kermanshah, Lahijan, Karaj and Boroujerd were engulfed by people’s revolt during the Fire Festival. Burning the pictures of Khamenei and Khomeini and setting fire to suppressive forces’ centers and vehicles were a crushing response by people to any conciliation that have been encouraged by the regime’s internal factions calling on people not to participate in the Fire Festival uprising, Mrs. Rajavi noted.

The uprising on Tuesday took place against all suppressive measures, death sentences issued for those detained during the Ashura uprising, widespread arrests and extensive psychological warfare to prevent it.

Mrs. Rajavi called on international community to take urgent steps to release a large number of youths arrested during yesterday’s uprising and attacks by the suppressive forces last night.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran