Friday, June 3, 2011

Iran: Abolish Death Penalty, Stoning, Torture & Discrimination

Translation of a statement issued by a group of Iranians abroad.

Statement by a group of Iranians Living Abroad: Death Penalty, Stoning, Torture and Discrimination Must Be Abolished
(May 28, 2011)

As a group of Iranians residing outside our country, we consider Iran as our land and the land of all Iranians wherever they are.

We believe that the people of Iran, regardless of their ethnic background or language, no matter what beliefs or philosophies or religions they hold, no matter their color or gender, must have the most basic of human rights: freedom of expression and thought, democracy and free elections, freedom of political parties, freedom to form associations and freedom to assemble, and the right to individual safety and comfort, social justice and [true] judicial justice.

We consider punishments such as death penalty, stoning, administering lashes and torture in any form as unfit for the people of our country, a nation with a deep and ancient civilization.

Oppression and crackdown against people and use of violence and violent punishments are unfit for our citizens and we demand that they be abolished in the land of Iran.

We demand democratic rights for women and the separation of religion from state.

We believe that the connections that exists between the judicial system [of Iran] and the revolutionary courts and court system with the political leaders of the Islamic Republic and the subservience of the judiciary to the political and economic interests and preferences of the political leaders prevents the carrying out of true justice; as a result, in the face of the totalitarianism and the oppression of the current political system, life, wealth and dignity of all citizens is under threat.

We are demanding the abolition of all inhuman sentences such as death penalty, stoning, ruinous bails and torture in all its forms.

Despite the indefatigable efforts of organizations and political and cultural figures, up to now thousands of Iranians have been sacrificed by the Islamic Republic's violence and have been trapped by the injustice of the judicial system, and the number of such victims rise daily.

It is impossible to suffer through countless public and secret executions, tortures and murders in the streets or in prisons, and not to speak out about the absolute right to life for every human being.

It is impossible to watch the destruction of ancient historical monuments, the destruction of the environment, the drying up of rivers and lakes and forests, and yet to stay indifferent.

No! It is impossible to stay silent in the face of the disregard for, and annihilation of, all freedoms and rights of all Iranian citizens.

Whereas it is the case that in the last few months alone many prisoners have died under torture or due to unbearable prison conditions; and whereas countless [hundreds of] people have been executed or else are awaiting execution in the macabre hallways of prisons, or as in the case of long-term prisoners;

We are asking all Iranians who want to see the establishment of true justice, abolition of all forms of discrimination, elimination of purges and the oppression of minorities, women and those with different beliefs -- we are asking all to sign this statement and to join this humane demand and to make their voices heard by international organizations, governments and world media:

Death penalty, stoning, torture and discrimination in Iran must be abolished!
Democracy and human rights for all Iranians must be established!
Historical monuments, natural wealth, the environment, forests and lakes must be protected!

[To read the original in Persian, or to see signatures, go here]
[To sign/support the statement, contact:]

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