Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Discussion with Iranian Minority Opposition Leaders

In a discussion with Iranian Minority Opposition Leaders held by the Kurdish Human Rights Watch on Monday June 5, 2006 at the Rayburn House Office Building, several distinguished panelists talked about the increasing number if human rights violations that the Iranian government has been carrying out in the past few months. Iran’s minority and opposition leaders have been the victim’s of many of these attacks as a result of their involvement with human rights organizations and some they are reaching out to the international community in search of their support.

Mr. Mustafa Hejri, Secretary General of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan gave his account of Iranian political history and the tactic’s that the regime uses to stay in power. There is no doubt, in the opinion of Mr. Hejri that “the regime is planning to acquire nuclear weapons,” and that the government is telling the Iranian people to support such acquisition as source of national Iranian pride.

Abdulla Mohtadi, for the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan stressed that “Iran is still a multi-national, multi-ethnic, heterogeneous nation comprised of five main nationalities other than Persian,” and that they should be recognized. Mr. Mohtadi feels that the real national pride of Iran should be “the creation of a unified, secular Iran,” not “pride from the development of nuclear energy.”

Roya Toloui, Founder of the Kurdish Women’s Human Rights Organization gave emotional and detailed accounts of her own experiences dealing with human rights issues, along with accounts of how women and children are discriminated against by the regime. Ms. Toloui told the audience about how her brother was gunned down in the street by a revolutionary guard for fighting for human rights. She also discussed how honor killings are allowed and encouraged in Iran. Ms. Toloui said that “the international world has to help us bring about a democratic government.”

Dr. Karim Abdian, Vice-President of the Congress of Nationalities for Federal Iran said that “women and ethnic groups are the most important groups in the repressed society.” Dr. Abdian believes that “it is up to the constituents in Iran to decide what will happen to Iran,” and that he wants a “peaceful, stable country that promotes democracy in Iran and supports human rights and the equality of women.”

Rahim Shahbazi of the Azerbaijani Societies of North America believes that “the human rights issue is rights in front of everyone’s eyes,” but that “no one is paying attention to it.” He also said that he believes that “Iran’s regime has no right to nuclear weapons.”

In the question and answer portion of the discussion they panel made it clear that, as Mr. Mohtadi put it, “no,” the U.S. is not giving any of the panelists’ organizations money, “no,” they do not support a military invasion to overthrow the regime, and they all “want the global community to support the people and their struggle to change the regime internally.”


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