NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release – September 12, 2002

Mission for Establishment of Human Rights in Iran
(MEHR)

P.O. Box 2037, P.V.P., CA 90274, USA
Tel: 310 - 377 - 4590, Fax: 310 - 377 -3103
URL: http://mehr.org


Contact:  Dr. Nima Rasakhoo  Tel: 310-739- 4215

 

MEHR’s Conference in Remembrance of the Massacre of Thousands of Prisoners of Conscience by the Islamic Regime of Iran in Summer of 1988 was a big Success

           

Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Dr. Michael Rubin, and Dr. Mohammad Parvin spoke out in Los Angeles last week on the human rights violation in Iran and the reaction of the world community and suggested that the Iranian Government officials must be brought to justice for crimes against humanity. The text of the speech of Congressman Howard Berman who could not attend the conference due to a conflict in schedule was read along the supporting statements from Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Mrs. Katrina Swett, candidate for the US Congress from New Hampshire. All lawmakers strongly endorsed MEHR Foundation for its role to expose the human rights violations by the Islamic Regime of Iran. Live testimony of one of the survivors of the massacre and a torture victim who has become paralyzed brought tears to the eyes of over 400 enthusiastic people who had showed up for this gathering.

 

Congresswomen Sanchez made a wonderful review of human rights violation in Iran. The followings are excerpts from her speech:


” ..
before we can have peace between nations, we must have peace within nations.  And peace within a nation can only be established when the basic human rights of all of its citizens are recognized, valued, and protected.  And I applause you for all the work that you do on this.”

 

“Today has been designated as the memorial day to honor the Thousands of the prisoners of conscious, who were executed by the Islamic regime of Iran in summer of 1988.”

 

“The mass murder of Thousands of political prisoners in 1988 must be recognized by the world as a crime against humanity.   Even our own U.S. reports and the United Nations human rights reports site Iran for wide spread abuses on human rights, including assassinations, executions of regime opponents, in Iran and abroad. “

 

“…we know that human rights are abused in Iran today, and this must stop. …And religions prosecutions of all other religions, people who have been executed, who have been put in prison, who have sentenced to 20 and 30 years, whether you are of Bahaii religion or whether you are Jewish, or Christian, the attacks on your personal life, the insinuations, the way they go after the neighborhoods, and people, this has got to stop and we must continue to work to paint the picture of what happens within Iran”

 

“While human rights of most Iranians have been curtailed under the Islamic regime of Iran, it is women who suffer the most in Iran today.   Particularly disturbing, is that discrimination is not only tolerated in that country, but expressly supported by, and articulated in Iran’s penal code, civil code, and its constitution.”

 

“And as we know, there have now been 52 newspapers banned.  Actually not banned, curtailed, put off the market for a while, suspended.  But in the about 12 years that this has happened, none of them have ever issued another newspaper, or article.  So effectively when you write something that the regime of Iran does not like, you are put out of business.”

 

“Those mass murders of 1988 must be viewed and recognized by the world as crime against humanity and we must bring those responsible to justice. Government officials and others, who have violated the human rights of the Iranian people, must be brought to trial. “

 

And in the name of citizens of the entire world, who love freedom and who strive for human rights for all of mankind, I urge you to continue your work for human rights in Iran.  Thank you for inviting me here today in your memorial day observance. I look forward to the day where we commemorate not a dark day, but where we celebrate a bright day. A day in which we siege true human rights in Iran.”

 

Dr. Rubin, visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, delivered a critical analysis of the human rights violation in Iran and the reaction of the world community. He started by endorsing MEHR and said:

 

“I want to acknowledge the work of the Mission for Establishment of Human Rights. MEHR is doing a fantastic job, and I have the utmost respect for your work in exposing the Islamic Republic’s massive violations of human rights. “

“Overwhelmingly, the Iranian people want freedom. That we know. But it’s the guys with the guns that count. And it is the Islamic Republic that controls the guys with the guns.”

 

“Indeed, it is sadly ironic that some American and European policymakers still insist that Iran has free elections and that Muhammad Khatami is a democrat. ….Do they not know that in the Islamic Republic, elections are not about who Iranians want, but instead who is least offensive of the limited choice?”

 

“Robin Wright is not the only correspondent to misrepresent human rights in Iran. We must never forget that Iranians deserve the same human rights in Tehran that Robin Wright enjoys in Los Angeles. The media must be held accountable.

 

“Let’s talk about U.S. policy. Is it going in the right direction? I think it is. But we need your help. Human rights is not a partisan issue. It is an issue on which both Democrats and Republican agree. But Congressman, Senators, and policymakers must be educated. MEHR is doing a great job, but it is the job of all Iranian Americans and, indeed, all Americans. You may not be happy with all statements out of Washington. That’s fine. But tell policymakers what they are doing wrong. “

 

“Of course, groups like the American Iranian Council have tried to muddy the waters and, unfortunately, have led some Senators and Congressman to de facto support an Islamic Republic which, ironically, the Iranian people don’t even support. But truth prevails, even over the big money donations of oil companies, and the naïve sponsorship of some university programs. “

 

 There is, however, a clash between those in favor of human rights, and those in favor of the Islamic Republic. MEHR and the Iranian community in the United States and Europe must be at the vanguard of the fight for human rights. Credibility is your ally. Don’t lose it. Your mission is hard, but important. I look forward to celebrating the success of your efforts in Tehran. Sooner rather than later.”

 

Dr. Parvin gave a detail description about the massacre of political prisoners based on a report by the Amnesty International and Mr. Montazer’s memoirs and noted that

 

 “….the world community has been so indifferent to this terrible event and other human rights abuses in Iran. Although there have mountain of documents and evidences available including the AI Report in 1990, the accounts of this massacre has been rarely covered by western media.”

 

 

“…. Western governments and media driven by “interest” factor turned a blind eye to horrible situation of Iranian people subjected to the worst type of human rights abuses and terrorism. The “interest” factor made the European countries so eager to establish relation with IRI and a fierce competition started among them as to which one will take a bigger portion of the lucrative one-sided deals with a desperate regime to survive. The US, lobbied strongly by the financial institutions and especially oil companies, has left the door open by pursuing a dual policy towards the Islamic Regime.”

 

“The struggle of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy is facing two main obstacles: Inside Iran, they are confronting a brutal regime that has no respect for human rights and dignity, and outside Iran, they are facing the interest-driven governments and individuals that are helping and legitimizing their abusers.”

 

“The question before all of us, Iranian, American, and Iranian/American is how to help those brave Iranian men and women who are fighting for their lives.

 

Fortunately, we have found some brave allies here in the US who are coming out in defense of the Iranians and exposing those who follow appeasing policies. We are no longer alone in our battle. Yes. There is a battle outside Iran. A battle between those who are with the Islamic regime and are trying to cover its ugly face under the disguise of reform and those who stand for freedom and democracy and Iranian people and are trying to expose the ugly face of their abusers. In this war although we have been underdog so far, we are finding good and determined allies and getting momentum. The area once dominated by the lobbyist of Islamic Regime has now new contenders.

 

If they have groups lobbying for unconditional relation with a terrorist regime, we have organizations like MEHR that lobby for Iranian People and link all relations to complete observation of human rights in Iran. If they have some member of congress and scholars to appease the Islamic Regime, we have now Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez, Dr. Michael Rubin, Congressman Lantos, Congressman Berman, to be congresswomen Katrina Swett and many others on our side. If they have Exxon, Shell, and the rest of the crew on their side to influence the foreign policy of the US, we have the power of our votes and we have other strong allies who have already proposed a blue print for the US foreign policy with respect to Iran in Resolution 306.”

 

The full text of these speeches will be distributed shortly after the Persian translations are ready.