Saturday, July 18, 2009

Call on the Iranian authorities to protect the right of demonstrators

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,

The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Subject: Iran election unrest

Your Excellency

I am writing to express my deep concern at the violent crackdowns on protesters carried out by the police and security forces, including the volunteer Basij militia, in the days following the presidential elections.

Peaceful assembly is expressly permitted under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a state party and is also guaranteed by the Constitution of Iran. Those exercising their right to peaceful assembly should not be subjected to arbitrary arrest and harassment, the use of excessive force, censorship and armed attacks.

I therefore call on the Iranian authorities to:

  • allow all individuals and groups to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, including when criticizing the Iranian authorities

  • ensure that security forces exercise restraint in the policing of any further demonstrations in connection with the election result, and that firearms are not used except as a last resort where strictly unavoidable in order to protect life

  • immediately and unconditionally release anyone detained solely for their peaceful expression of their views regarding the outcome of the election anyone so detained is a prisoner of conscience.

saeed valadbaygi


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