'Meet with Mousavi and Karroubi during Tehran visit' Amir-Arjomand tells Ban-ki Moon
GVF — The spokesperson for the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, the Green Movement’s most important decision making authority, has called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to exert pressure on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for the release of the country’s political prisoners, in particular opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.
In a letter written just days ahead of the 16th Summit of the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran, Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand called on Ban Ki-moon, a participant at the summit, to utilise his visit to the country to meet with Mousavi, Karroubi, Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard, “families of political prisoners, and representatives of illegally banned civil and political organizations.”
“They [Iranians] also expect you to express, in your official address to the Conference, interviews with the Iranian and foreign press, as well as in the course of the meeting with the Supreme Leader, strong disapproval and objection to the current anti-democratic and repressive policies in Iran. The authorities in Tehran should be pressured into immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, restore the constitutional rights of freedom of assembly, press and political activity, and ensure the freedom, health and fairness of the presidential elections next year.”
Amir-Arjomand urged Ban Ki-moon to ensure a peaceful resolution to Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West and a suspension of the “unjust economic sanctions” which had worsened “the suffering of the Iranian people.”
“The democratic aspirations and the just demands of the Iranian people do indeed deserve to be supported, by the entire international community, and first and foremost, by the United Nations and the person of the Secretary-General,” the letter continued.
In a recent letter to the heads of states and governments of the Non-aligned Movement, the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope said that Iranian authorities intended to “use the conference to boost its tarnished international image, and buttress its precarious political position at home.”
The Council called on the organisation to utilise this opportunity to promote the “democratic aspirations and just demands of the Iranian people, including the release of all political prisoners and the leaders of the Green Movement under illegal house arrest.” It also warned of the governing elite’s plans to “misuse the office of the Movement’s [NAM] chairmanship for illegitimate political purposes and as a ploy to perpetuate further repression.”
Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi spearheaded the opposition Green Movement that emerged in the aftermath of the fraudulent 2009 presidential elections. However, the pair were placed under house arrested after calling for demonstrations in solidarity with the uprisings in the Arab World. Human rights groups say their on-going detention violates international law as well as Iran’s own constitution.
The 16th summit of the NAM member states will be held between 26-31 August, during which Iran will assume the rotating presidency for the next three years.
The organisation is made up of close to 120 developing countries and aims to represent the political, economic and cultural interests of the developing world.
Full text of the letter:
I have the honor of writing with regard to the 16th Summit of the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) which will be held in Tehran, Iran, from 26-30 August 2012, and would like to bring the following to your august attention.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, a member of the United Nations, is duty-bound to comply with the obligations emanating from its Charter-based commitments. Simultaneously, in accordance with Article 97 of the Charter, the Secretary-General, the chief administrative officer of the Organization, is also entrusted with the responsibility to pursue the implementation of the provisions of the Charter towards the realization of its objectives and purposes – including, as stipulated in paragraph 3, Article 1, the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Similarly, the right to self-determination, as a fundamental human right, is best manifested in the right of peoples to choose freely the system of government through constitutionally-based mechanisms and guarantees. This fundamental right, comprising of, inter alia, the rights of freedom of speech, belief, religion, peaceful assembly, rule of law, free elections, transparency, and accountability of the government, which have been recognized in international human rights instruments as well as reiterated in numerous decisions and resolutions of the Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Council and have become part of the customary international law, have been denied the Iranian people.
I am sure you are fully apprised of the state of political repression in Iran today, and especially what has transpired since the fraudulent elections in June 2009. Three years after the ruthless suppression of the popular peaceful, civic movement – The Green Movement – the ruling authoritarian apparatus, besieged by a pervasive barrack’s mentality, has turned the whole country into a huge prison and systematically intensified all forms of political suppression and blatant violation of the basic and fundamental human rights of the Iranian people. Continued detention since February 2010 of Mr. Mir-Hossein Mousavi, his wife Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, and Mr. Mehdi Karroubi under illegal house arrest without any indictment or legal procedure vividly reflects the state of political suppression in Iran today. Illegal banning of political parties, forced closure of independent press, ever-increasing pressures on students and women activists, and disregard of the rights of minorities and their activists is a sad fact of life in the Iran. The recent campaign directed at the disqualification of women from enrollment in many academic fields is also reflective of the intensification of discrimination against women. Moreover, daily reports of open repression of all kinds of political and civil activity and systematic abuse of the rights of detainees, inclusive of pervasive and organized threats and intimidation of different kinds, illegal detention, mistreatment and torture, and denial of urgently needed medical care and treatment paint a very grim picture of the actual political situation in the country. The periodic reports by Dr. Ahmad Shaheed, United Nations Special Rapporteur – with which you are closely familiar – provide ample evidence for the on-going brutal violations in Iran.
As you are aware, the ruling authoritarian clique has denied Dr. Shaheed the opportunity to visit the country. Judicial authorities, inclusive of the Head of the Judiciary and the Public Prosecutor, as well as their representatives at the meetings of the Human Rights Council, have systematically and categorically denied the findings of Dr. Shaheed’s reports, including with regard to the existence of political prisoners in Iran. They have even gone so far as to make the ludicrous claims that the 2009 elections in Iran had been the most democratic election in the world and that Messrs. Mousavi and Karroubi and Mrs. Rahnavard are not under house arrest and live their ordinary lives in their own homes.
Your expected participation at the NAM Summit will provide a unique opportunity to corroborate the veracity of such ludicrous claims. The freedom-loving people of Iran justifiably expect the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in fulfillment of the solemn responsibilities entrusted to him under the Charter, to utilize his visit to the country to meet with Messrs. Mousavi and Karroubi and Mrs. Rahnavard, families of political prisoners, and representatives of illegally banned civil and political organizations. They also expect you to express, in your official address to the Conference, interviews with the Iranian and foreign press, as well as in the course of the meeting with the Supreme Leader, strong disapproval and objection to the current anti-democratic and repressive policies in Iran. The authorities in Tehran should be pressured into immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, restore the constitutional rights of freedom of assembly, press and political activity, and ensure the freedom, health and fairness of the presidential elections next year.
The freedom-lovers of Iran and the Green Movement activists have, as a principle, systematically opposed the adventurist foreign policy of the ruling authoritarian apparatus and have always believed in détente in international relations and peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue and diplomacy. To this end, the peace-loving people of Iran expect the United Nations Secretary-General to exert his utmost to ensure peaceful resolution of the current dispute on the nuclear issue, including through the suspension of unjust economic sanctions further worsening the suffering of the Iranian people as well as to prevent military action against the country.
The democratic aspirations and the just demands of the Iranian people do indeed deserve to be supported, by the entire international community, and first and foremost, by the United Nations and the person of the Secretary-General. Your position as the highest international authority entrusted with the responsibility for the protection and promotion of universal human rights accords you a special place and role in this regard. We wish you success in discharging of this historical mission.
The Coordinating Council for the Green Path of Hope
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon
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