An Appeal to Iranian Authorities to End Restrictions on Civil Liberties and Violence against Demonstrators
(14 June 2009) The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran today appealed to Iranian authorities to withdraw security and Special Guards from public places, allow peaceful demonstrations, halt violence against citizens, and to release without charge numerous opposition leaders, journalists, and demonstrators who have been detained in the wake of the disputed presidential election on 12 June.
The Campaign also urged the authorities to restore media that have been shut down in the context of the election, as well as cellular telephone and texting capacities that have been reduced, and to allow international media to function normally.
“At this crucial time, we urge the government to end restrictions and infringements on civil liberties that can lead to violent and dangerous public confrontations,” stated Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign.
“We ask that the streets be de-militarized and that citizens be allowed to express themselves in accordance with Iran’s international obligations to respect the freedoms of expression and association,” he said.
Since the announcement of election results, protests have engulfed Tehran and other cities that have been attacked violently by the police and special forces of security units. Reports indicate that violence directed at protesters has been indiscriminate and has resulted in many injuries.
On 14 June, Sardar Radan, a police commander, told the media that 170 people have been arrested in recent days; 110 of whom are protestors. He described the remaining detainees as “organizers.”
The Campaign has confirmed the detention of at least 20 leading opposition politicians and journalists including Mostafa Tajzadeh, Mohsen Aminzadeh, Taghi Rahmani, Reza Alijani, Abdullah Ramezanzadeh, Shahin Nourbakhsh, Hoda Saber, Kayvan Samimi, Emad Bahavar, Ahmad Afjeie, Ahmad Zaydabadi, Saeed Shariati,and Shiva Nazarahari.
Behzad Nabavi, Mohammad Reza Khatami and his wife, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Zahra Mojaradi, and Mohammad Atrianfard were also detained overnight and released on Sunday 14 June.
The Campaign has learned that security forces have announced that further arrests will be made.
The Campaign insists that the government has a responsibility to restore a peaceful and safe environment for Iranian citizens and can do so by ending oppressive restrictions that can provoke clashes and a cycle of police violence.