Velvet Revolution Calls For Charges To Be Dismissed Against Iranian Protestors
Non Profit Launches “Protest Music From Iran” Campaign
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Iranian authorities have arrested and charged hundreds of citizens, mostly intellectuals and opposition members, with participation in a “Velvet Revolution,” and are now holding a mass show trial complete with coerced confessions. On Friday, the authorities announced that they have similarly charged Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi even though she was out of the country at the time of the uprising.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a party specifically permits peaceful assembly and prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention. Accordingly, Velvet Revolution, an American grassroots organization of more than 150 groups representing more than a million members, calls on the Iranian officials to dismiss all charges against those arrested since the opaque election in June. VR also calls for accountability for those who committed violence and death to Iranian citizens who expressed their right to demand redress of grievances. Scores of people were attacked and killed, yet no one has been charged for those acts. Instead, the authorities, in violation of international law, have imprisoned and prosecuted peaceful protesters, students, and opposition members.
Today, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in as Iran’s president for another term in a ceremony boycotted by two former presidents — Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami — as well as defeated pro-reform candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi. A regime that attacks its own people cannot rule with legitimacy and will not be recognized as legitimate by the world community. Shirin Ebadi believes that a more forceful response from the international community is needed to produce change in Iran. “The most important issue is to draw attention to human rights in Iran. I would like to ask the West not to just focus on nuclear energy,” she said. “Don’t they care about the Iranian people?”
VR cares, and calls for the will of the Iranian people to be respected. VR urges citizens everywhere to speak out against the illegitimate regime in charge in Iran. VR’s co-founder, Justice Through Music, www.jtmp.org, just launched a new campaign called “Protest Music From Iran” to give voice to Iranian musicians and artists who are speaking the voice of the people. Justice Through Music is posting music videos, interviews, and songs from those artists.