Washington, DC – Ahead of large public demonstrations expected on 22 Bahman (Feb. 11), the National Iranian American Council calls on the Iranian government to heed the demands of the Iranian people and to respect their universal rights, including the right to dissent, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and peaceful protest.
Despite hardliners’ accusations against protesters in Iran, the Iranian people are standing up for an end to governmental repression, and for a more accountable and democratic government that respects human rights and the rule of law. Hardliners in Iran must come to realize that no amount of repression and brutality will quell the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.
Opposition leaders have called once again for large protests on the day marking the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, and Iran’s hardline government has responded with threats against those who wish to exercise their rights. In addition to several political executions in recent weeks, the Iranian government has detained scores of journalists, students, and others in a bid to intimidate anti-government demonstrators. This campaign of repression is in clear violation of Iran’s international obligations as well as the Iranian constitution, and has been roundly condemned by the international community.
NIAC calls on the government of Iran to end its abuses against the Iranian people, hold accountable those who are responsible for rights violations, and live up to its international human rights obligations.
The more the Iranian government blatantly represses peaceful dissent through violence and threats, the clearer it becomes in the eyes of Iranian citizens and the international community that the current system has lost legitimacy and is incapable of upholding the Iranian people’s democratic rights.
For this reason, NIAC calls on the Iranian government to institute reforms protecting freedom of the press, speech, and assembly, as well as ensuring free and fair elections. These steps and accountability for past abuses are a prerequisite for national reconciliation.