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Iran Knows How To End The Violence In London

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

Following three days of riots in London, Iranian lawmaker Hossein Ebrahimi has told the semi-official Fars news agency that parliament is ready to send a human rights delegation to Britain to investigate human rights abuses, while Iran's Foreign Ministry has called on the U.K. government to listen to the demands of the protesters.

Scenes of riots in England

"We ask the government of England and those in charge of the [U.K.] Embassy in Tehran to pave the way for the presence of human rights [experts] in that country without making false excuses," Ebrahimi said.

Ebrahimi, who is the deputy chairman of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, added that Iranian human rights investigators want to speak to Britain's "political prisoners" and prepare a report about the treatment of "protesters" for international organizations.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, meanwhile, urged the British government to order the police to stop their violent confrontation with the protesters and begin a dialogue to calm the situation.

This from Tehran, where force was used to end peaceful opposition protests in 2009 and a crackdown on all dissenting voices continues.

In 2009, when hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest against the disputed reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, security forces used force against them. According to human rights organizations between 50 and 100 people were killed. Up to 5,000 people were said to have been detained, many were tortured, and forced to make confessions.

Iran referred to them as "rioters." Now Iranian officials and state media refer to young people who have been engaged in violent acts such as rioting and looting as "protesters."

And state media, which did not cover the protests of those Iranians who marched peacefully against the results of the presidential vote, have given extensive coverage to the violence and mayhem in London.

Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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