Iran News ...


6/22/09

PAAIA Demands Immediate Stop to Violence in Iran and Mourns Loss of Life

Source: Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)

June 21, 2009, Washington, D.C. - One of PAAIA's core principles is that it "condemn[s] all acts of violence that result in the loss of civilian life and all acts of intimidation, coercion and violence that are intended to instill fear in the population at large," regardless of the means employed. Accordingly, on Friday, June 19, 2009, PAAIA issued a statement urging non-violence in Iran. Since that time, major news outlets have reported, on Saturday, June 20, 2009, that government security forces have fired upon unarmed demonstrators in Tehran. Preliminary reports indicate that at least 19 people have lost their lives, and unconfirmed reports suggest that the toll may be higher.

There is no justification for this violence. We unequivocally condemn the killing of innocent civilians. We demand an immediate stop to the use of violence and strongly urge the Government of Iran to guarantee the safety of its citizens.

We extend our deepest sympathies to all families that have lost loved ones and we, too, mourn their loss.

PAAIA Expresses Commitment to Democratic Principles and Urges Non-Violence

Like much of the world, Iranian-Americans, including the members of PAAIA, have followed the presidential elections in Iran with great interest. Subsequent events, including questions raised about electoral misconduct, the violence spawned by post-election events, and the resulting fatalities, have only heightened our collective awareness and given rise to deep concerns about the safety of everyone in Iran, from Iranian-Americans currently traveling in the country, to our friends and loved ones who reside there permanently, and, indeed, to the entirety of the Iranian people.

As PAAIA has publicly stated and committed to its constituents, the organization's political advocacy activity is strictly focused on domestic US processes and issues. It accordingly will not become involved in matters of domestic Iranian politics. In their individual capacities, of course, PAAIA members have articulated their views and analysis on the issues of the day, and PAAIA expects that they will continue to do so.

As stated in its prospectus, however, PAAIA and its members are deeply committed to core democratic principles. These principles include the idea of popular sovereignty and the fact that the will of the people must be honored. Therefore, allegations of electoral fraud and misconduct are to be taken seriously. The principles also include the notion of fairness and transparency. Consequently, it is important for government processes to be open and inclusive. And finally, our core principles state that there is no justification for resolving political differences by resorting to violence and intimidation. We therefore urge all parties in Iran to respect the principles of non-violence, and to spare no effort to resolve the matters before them peacefully.  

Board of Directors of PAAIA

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