Iranian American Bar Association Urges the End of Violence against Peaceful Demonstrators and Respect for the Rights Afforded to Iranian Citizens under International Law
WASHINGTON-- At this unprecedented moment, the Iranian American Bar Association ("IABA") expresses its deep concern about the events and circumstances following the recent elections in Iran.
The IABA condemns the use of violence and intimidation against Iranian citizens lawfully partaking in peaceful demonstrations and in exercising their legal rights. The IABA encourages all persons to respect the political and civil rights of the Iranian people in accordance with Iran's legal obligations as a ratifying party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ("UDHR") and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ("ICCPR").
Article 20 of the UDHR and Article 21 of the ICCPR recognize that all people have the right to peaceful assembly and association. Article 19 of the UDHR and the ICCPR also uphold the fundamental right to opinions and expression without state interference. Iran, as a ratifying member, is bound by legal obligations to respect, protect, and promote these fundamental rights and to exercise due diligence in preventing non-state actors from harming their peaceful assertion by individuals.
The IABA wishes to express its empathy and support for all those in Iran and elsewhere working to implement the ideals of democracy and peace. We hope for a just and non-violent resolution to the current situation. Accordingly, IABA calls upon all parties in Iran to adhere with their legal obligations under applicable norms of international law, and to vigilantly pursue democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.
IABA is a non-religious, non-political, independent organization and is not in any way affiliated with any other organization. IABA was founded in November 2000 and currently has almost 1500 members nationwide. IABA seeks to educate and inform the Iranian American community about legal issues of interest, and to ensure that the American public at large as well as our representatives and other government officials are fully and accurately informed on legal matters of interest and concern to the Iranian American community. In addition, IABA strives to publicize and promote the achievements of Iranian American lawyers and other legal professionals and to assist attorneys and law students in their legal careers. For more information please visit http://www.iaba.us.
BAIAD'S OFFICIAL STATEMENT ABOUT THE POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE IN IRAN
JUNE 16, 2009
Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats (BAIAD) is deeply troubled by the battering and even killing of young protestors on the streets of Iran and strongly condemns this violence and the human rights violations in that country. BAIAD also believes that the election results must be a true reflection of the will of Iranian voters.
Although BAIAD does not take the side of any presidential candidate in Iran, we believe that the only valid election is one where the results reflect the will of the voters. Therefore, given the serious questions around the validity of the official results, there must either be a thorough and fair investigation or a new election.
BAIAD endorses and supports the peaceful initiatives taken by hundreds of thousands of Iranian-Americans, all across the United States, to defend the freedom of expression in Iran. Since Iran's election day on June 12th 2009, BAIAD has and still is actively participating in many US media interviews, to spread the word and inform the world about the realities of what is going on in Iran.
We call on President Obama and Congress to speak out against this violence and human rights violations in Iran, while strictly refraining from any attempt to influence the election results.
CHICAGOANS TO RALLY IN SOLIDARITY WITH IRANIAN PROTESTERS
SATURDAY JUNE 20, 2009, 4-6PM AT DALEY CENTER PLAZA
CHICAGO, IL (June 18, 2008) - In the aftermath of Iran's dramatic presidential election, protesters continue to march en masse through the streets of Iran demanding freedom and recognition of their votes. Half a world away, Iran's expatriate community here in the U.S. has sprung into action, staging rallies and candlelight vigils to show solidarity and mourn the protesters who have been killed during the Iranian government crackdown. Supporters in Chicago have secured permission to stage a peaceful rally at Daley Plaza, where a crowd of approximately two-hundred is expected to gather. Rally participants will attempt to amplify the stifled voices of Iranian protesters who struggle to be heard amid a media clampdown in Iran.
The rally, which will take place on Saturday, June 20, 2009 from 4-6pm, is organized by a group of young Iranians who have become acutely aware of the power and value of their civil rights as U.S. citizens and residents. They understand that electoral fairness and freedom of assembly are precisely what the Iranian protesters are pursuing in the face of tear gas, police batons, and gunfire. Planned and carried out almost entirely through social networking sites, e-mail, and text messaging, the rally itself seeks to mirror the activities of Iranian protesters whose use of technology in furtherance of democratic ideals has captured the attention of the world.
"Peaceful Rally in Solidarity with the Iranian People" is the name given to this event on the social networking website FacebookŪ, where users are greeted with the following description:
"Join us in expressing solidarity with the freedom-seeking protesters in Iran. Many of our own friends and relatives are bravely marching on the streets, and we feel a duty to support them by keeping up the momentum and continuing to raise awareness of these important events in Iran."
"We all have different views on how best to reach the ultimate goal of freedom and democracy in Iran, and while one of us may believe in gradual reform, another may believe in more radical change. Diversity and a chorus of voices are what make a democracy beautiful, and effective. Let's embrace the many voices rather than silencing them."
Press Contact: Nassim Nazemi - 847.708.6388; email@example.com
A meeting in support of our brave people in Iran
Panel discussion with Iranian scholars and activists:
Hamid Dabashi, Mohsen Kadivar, & Fatemeh Haghighatjoo
Altschull Auditorium (Room 403)
420 W 118th Street
International Affairs Building
New York City
Date: Saturday, June 20th
Time: 5:00 to 7:00 pm
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