۱۳۹۰ آبان ۲۳, دوشنبه

there is still a long way for our voices to be heard

there is still a long way for our voices to be heard

Open letter
From: Mothers of Laleh Park in Iran and their supporters abroad
To : the special rapporteur on human rights situation in Iran, Mr. Ahmad Shaheed;
Regarding to the first report of Human Rights situation in Iran

Dear Sir;
Although we, The Mothers of Laleh Park, Iran (1) and our supporters abroad, thank you for your first report and are glad that once more, the highest international human rights organization is informing the public opinion about the widespread human right abuses by the Islamic Republic, we are sorry that the report has ignored the killing, arrest and imprisonment of numerous freedom lovers by the regime and has failed to reflect the voice of the victims and their helpless mothers and families. These killings and tortures have certainly been the most major and obvious indications of human rights abuse in Iran. It is so sad to see that there is still a long way for our voices to be heard.

Dear Ahmad Shaheed,
After your appointment as the special rapporteur on human rights situation in Iran, a ray of hope filled the hearts of the Iranian mothers. The mothers and families of political and conciseness prisoners and all those killed, executed, kidnapped, injured and tortured during the Islamic Republic, from individual and mass executions of the 80's to the victims of the July 26th, the chain killings and the victims of the mass protests of 2009, were all hoping that at last, after long delay, their voices will finally be heard by the world. They sent you several reports, hoping that you investigate the killings and save the lives of their children. It is painful that there is no mention of any of these in your first report. Of course, we are aware that your report covers only a short and specific period of the Islamic Republic which needs a detailed study and has inflicted a lot of suffering on its own, but how can one stay silent and be doubtful when there is a mountain of evidence for the crimes and injustices committed. Mr. Shaheed,

We ask you to hear the demanding voices of the mothers of Neda Agha Soltan, Sohrab Araabi, Ashkan Sohrabi, Masoud Hashem Zadeh, Mostafa Karim Beigi, Kianoush Asa, the wife of Ali Hsan Pour and the father of Javadi Far and tens and hundreds of other martyrs of the Green movement. How can you be silent about Mrs. Fahimi, mother of Sohrab Araabi, killed during the protests of 2009, who for the last two years, has been urging the international human rights organizations to urge the legal system of the country to investigate how the blood of her son was spilled. There is no mention of this in your report(2).
We ask you to hear the demanding voice of Akram Neghabi(3), the mother of Saied Zinali. In the summer of 1999, her college student son was arrested at home, before family's eyes, and not only they have not receive any news whether he is still alive or dead for the last twelve years, but Mrs. Neghabi and her daughter were jailed for several months. They were released with bail and guarantees and have been subjected to terror and intimidation on a daily basis.

We ask you not ignore the demanding voice of the Mothers of Khavaran. The mothers who have lost their children in the 80's, as a result of individual or mass executions inside and outside the prisons. How can you ignore the mass killing of political prisoners in 1988? All these prisoners have already been sentenced and some even had finished their time, but after the end of Iran-Iraq war, they were sentenced to die in court sessions that took only a couple of minutes long and were limited to asking the prisoners only a few ideological questions and were killed in the most savage way and were buried en masse in ditches in Khavaran cemetery. The mothers of Khavaran and other family members not only have not received any explanation as to why and how their children were killed, but have been subjected to great harassments. Behkish's mother, one of thousand symbols of resistance, has lost five children and son in laws in the 80's, because of their political activities. On top of that, her daughter, Mansoureh Behkish(4), has now been barred from leaving the country, forced out of her work and been arrested several times in Khavaran cemetery and or in the street and after her last arrest, spent one month behind bars and was released without any charges.

We ask you to hear the demanding voices of the mothers and women who came out to the streets and Laleh Park to show support for the mothers and families of those killed. The women that some are not even mothers themselves, but are ready to go to jail in order for the voice of the mothers to be heard. At this time, two of these freedom loving women, Leila Seif Alahi(5) and Jila Karam Zadeh Makondi(6), after months of terror and intimidation while waiting in jail, have been sentenced to four years by a preliminary court.

Dear Mr. Ahmad Shaheed,
Please accept that the scale of human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran is much more wide spread than what you have pointed out in your first brief report. Ethnic minorities are under immense pressure; a lot of the workers, teachers and students who are in prison, are there only because they defended their professional rights; so many unknown women and men are in prisons only because they think differently; a lot are sent to their executions because of their sexual orientation and a lot of those who are waiting to be executed under the most endurable human conditions, are longing for their voice to be heard also.
It was fully expected that the Islamic Republic uses all its tricks more than before to prevent your team from coming to Iran and investigating its obvious crimes from up close. That is exactly why, While we thank you for your efforts to discover the truth about human rights conditions in Iran, we urge you, even if you have to make a trip and speak directly with the leaders of the country, not to ignore the individual and mass executions during the Islamic republic and make it a priority to investigate the claims of the families of the victims. We, the mothers and families, who ourselves have been the victims of numerous crimes, want the prosecution of those responsible for these killings and crimes in the international court. The people of Iran also expect The United Nations, this highest international human rights organization, to uphold its commitments and openly and without any compromise, reveal all instances of human rights abuse in Iran and make it an agenda to press Iran from above. That is why your team's full and documented report would be highly significant.

Along these lines, The Mothers of Laleh Park, have been trying for the past two years to protest the human rights abuses in Iran and make the world hear the voice of the mourning and suffering mothers. During this time, a lot of them have been arrested for several times, spent months in solitary cells in Evin prison and other temporary jails and been release only with bails and guarantees and are still waiting for their court hearing. A lot of them have been interrogated and intimidated and some had no other choice but to leave the country. The Mothers of Laleh Park have always insisted on their demands and to prove their commitment, they gathered one more time in Laleh Park, bravely and fearlessly, on Saturday, October 22nd. This was also to protest against Mr. Shaheed's incomplete report. In this act of protest, they put forward on question: Where are the rights of those killed and their mothers in Mr. Shaheed's report? The mothers expect the next report shed light on obvious instances of human rights abuses and declare their readiness to reveal the truth about these instances.

Enclosed are mothers detailed and specific claims and we urge you as a sign of respect for the mothers, to hear the voice of the people of Iran and respond to it.

Enclosed are some of the letters written by the victims’ mothers and other family members. There will be additional letters send to you soon. We urge you, as a sign of respect for the mothers, to reflect the voice of the Iranian people to the rest of the world. As long as the plea for justice is not adequately addressed, the files of these crimes shall remain open and will not be subject to the passage of time.

We appreciate your enthusiasm and efforts to meet with families of the victims, as you mentioned in your interviews. Supporters of Mothers at Laleh park request you to meet with our representatives so that we can directly communicate about the situation of these families in Iran.

We also need to remind you that many of these families have requested their letters and identities to be kept secrets due to the life threatening situation in Iran.

The Mothers of Laleh Park, Iran and their supporters abroad


1- The “Mothers of Laleh Park” : we are a group of the mothers and family members of those killed and victimized during the Islamic Republic and our demands are as following: 1) End the death penalty in any form. 2) Unconditional release of all political and consciences prisoners. 3) Open and fair trial of those who ordered and carried out the crimes of the Islamic Republic, since its inception.
We, The Mothers of Laleh Park, condemn individual and mass executions; killing and terrorizing ethnic, religious and political minorities; attacking private homes, student dormitories and work places; kidnapping, imprisonment and harassment to prevent free thinking; torture, forced confession, rape and ultimately, ghesas (Islamic form of punishment, based on physical retribution) and stoning. We consider these as crimes. We fight to eliminate crimes and for the happiness of human beings. We struggle to create a society free of war and bloodshed, discrimination and humiliation, safe and humane and therefore oppose revenge and physical elimination. But we believe that in order to prevent further crimes, it is necessary for all those who were directly or indirectly involved in crimes of the Islamic Republic, to be put on an open and fair trial, hold responsible for their inhumane actions and be reasonably sentenced while at the same time, human values are being thought to them. We, the mothers, ask all those who have witnessed the regime's crimes during all these years, to unite with us in our demands. We, ourselves as the victims of violence and discrimination against women, support all anti violence, equality and anti discrimination campaigns and ask all victims of violence to unite with us.

2- Interview with Parvin Fahimi, October 22, in response to the first report of the special rapporteur on human rights situation in Iran. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YcvvK77dpuc

3- Akram Neghabi: Mother of Saied Zeinali. He was a computer sciences student at The Tehran University and was arrested on July 14, 1999 and was sent to an unknown location. Since then, his family has inquired with all the government agencies, but has not been able to find out if he is still alive or not. She was arrested three times, and was imprisoned for two mounts in her last arrest her last court was held on October 31, 2011

4- Mansoureh Behkish: Her sister, brother in law and four brothers were killed in the 80's. Two of her brothers were executed in the mass executions of 1988. She has been interrogated, intimidated and arrest several times, by the Information Ministry’s interrogators. In her last arrest she was imprisoned for one month and was released on bail. She was informed by her lawyer that she is required to appear at Revolutions Court, presided by judge Salavati, on December 25.

5- Leila Seif alahi and Jila karam Zadeh Makvandi are supporters of The Mothers of Laleh Park and have been arrested and jailed several times since 2009. They have been sentenced to 4 years imprisonment. On November 8, their guarantors were asked to return them to Evin prison within 20 days, otherwise, the bail money would not be returned.

Copied to: Dr. Abdolkarim Lahiji, Vice president of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)


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