Friday, 25 September 2009

Young Iranians in London urge support for Iranian youths, Ashraf residents

At a press conference on Friday called by the Anglo Iranian Youth Society, young Iranians living in London declared their support for the nationwide uprising in Iran by millions of courageous young Iranians.

Speakers said that several thousand Iranians had been arrested by the mullahs’ regime in the course of the uprising and have been subjected to brutal forms of torture. They pointed out that hundreds have been killed in recent months by the regime’s suppressive forces and many continue to languish in prison.

Arman Kiamanesh, 21, who works in the real estate business, said: "Iranian society is in an explosive state. The uprising has nothing to do with the factions of the regime or the election itself. The people want regime change. People are now chanting 'Death to the dictator' and 'Death to Khamenei'."

"Despite the atmosphere of heightened repression, Iranian youths are ready for change as has been seen in the recent nationwide uprising. Last year, Iranian students, teachers, workers and women took part in over 7,000 anti-government demonstrations. Iran's parliament-in-exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and its President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi have urged the international community to support the Iranian people and Resistance to bring about democratic change," Kiamanesh said.

The Iranians urged Western governments to end their appeasement of the mullahs’ regime and side with the people of Iran.

The Youth Society strongly supported the rights of Iranian opposition members in Camp Ashraf in Iraq. These refugees are “protected persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the United States and the United Nations have a responsibility to ensure their rights are not violated

The young Iranians demanded Iraqi forces leave Ashraf and release the 36 Ashraf residents they have taken hostage.

They urged the US to take over protection of Ashraf in accordance with Article 45 of the 4th Geneva Convention until an international force can take over.

 Farzaneh Hosseini, 21, whose two parents are on hunger strike outside the US embassy in London and who also has relatives in Ashraf, called on UNAMI and the OHCHR to immediately station an international monitoring team inside Ashraf to prevent further attacks until a UN force takes over protection.

Miss. Hosseini also highlighted the horrendous situation of women who have taken part in the nationwide uprising, saying those who were arrested were raped and tortured in prison to prevent them from continuing. Taraneh Moussavi, she said, was a young Iranian woman who faced such brutalities and her body was later burnt to cover evidence of the crimes committed against her.

Arman Zolrahmi, 21, said: “The majority of those who have been protesting in Iran are young Iranians like me. Young Iranians are today very sensitive to the actions of the US government and the British government. They want to see if these countries are siding with the mullahs or if they are on the side of the persecuted people of Iran and their Resistance movement. In particular they are looking to see if the US will live up to its international responsibility to protect the brave people of Camp Ashraf. We young Iranians in the UK are demanding the US takes action”.

Dr Hoda Hosseini, 25, said: "The youths of Iran and especially women in Iran have been the main victims of oppression and injustice. Ashraf is home to many young men and women who stand for democracy and change in Iran. We in the West grew up with many of those in Ashraf and honour them with the highest respect."

"The  people of Ashraf were attacked like Iranians were attacked in streets of Mashad, Esfahan, Tehran, Shiraz and other Iranian cities, as the Iranian regime cannot tolerate any form of dissent. The Iranian regime knows that it is increasingly close to being toppled and has thus stepped up its campaign to suppress any opposition," Hossein said.

Miss Soudabeh Heidari, one of the hunger strikers aged 19, said she had decided to go on hunger strike nearly two months ago when she heard of the attack by Iraqi forces on Ashraf. Heidari, who arrived in the UK from Iran two years ago, called on the US government to live up to its international obligations to protect Ashraf residents.

Ms. Charlotte Medlicott, a young Londoner following developments in Iran, said she had been touched by the perseverance of the Iranians on hunger strike outside the US embassy. She urged the Foreign Office and the US to take immediate action to protect Ashraf residents.

The young Iranians want the international community to pay attention to the plight of the youths of Iran and those in Camp Ashraf, especially those who are on week 9 of a hunger strike demanding their basic rights.

For more info contact:

Anglo-Iranian Youth Society
25 September 2009


Anonymous said...

Fantastic work guys! Well done!


Maya said...

Viva Ashraf!!!