Washington, DC - As the one-year anniversary of Iran's 2009 presidential elections approaches, the National Iranian American Council reiterates its call for the government of Iran to end its campaign of repression and implores the United States and the world community to not neglect the Iranian people's struggle for human rights.
"One year ago, the tensions between Iranians seeking greater rights and a government bent on repression were exposed before the world," said Jamal Abdi, Policy Director of the National Iranian American Council. "Although the tensions that spilled over on June 12 may appear on the surface to have subsided, the fissures that were exposed remain in place today, cloaked behind the Iranian government's wall of repression."
Beginning on June 12, 2009, in the face of a massive electoral heist, millions of Iranians took to the streets to demand justice and were met with a campaign of brutal repression. Government forces beat and murdered people in the streets, swept thousands of innocent Iranians into prisons, and tortured prisoners to elicit false confessions. Over the past year, numerous Iranian dissidents have been sentenced to death without fair trials and at least seven political prisoners have been executed as a means to intimidate government opponents and silence dissent.
Ahead of the election anniversary, peaceful demonstrations have been canceled because of the threat of massive government retributions as millions of government forces have been mobilized to police the streets. Journalists continue to be denied from reporting freely on events in Iran and the government continues to censor and surveil the communications of its own people.
NIAC reiterates its call that the human rights abusers in Iran be held accountable for their actions and that political prisoners be immediately released. NIAC calls again on the Iranian government to live up to its human rights obligations and honor the Iranian people's universal rights to dissent, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and peaceful protest. Iranian government forces must be restrained from using violence against demonstrators and restrictions on the press must be eliminated.
Additionally, NIAC calls upon the U.S. and its partners to take proactive steps to address the Iranian human rights crisis. "The international community holds a collective responsibility to address Iran's human rights record," said Abdi. "We cannot afford for the United States to become lulled into complacency when it comes to standing up for human rights in Iran."
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