No excuse

Canadian government has recently initiated a motion to censure Iranian government over its human rights record in United Nations after its successful work in same direction during last few years since the death of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Ms. Zahra Kazemi in year 2003.

More that 28 years after establishment of Islamic Republic in Iran, human rights continue to be number one victim of this theocratic government which still remains in revolutionary state to justify the unlawful punishments and human rights abuses even against those who never saw the revolution in their lifetime and did not have any role in it.

The story of suppression and violence against different people by their own government is a sad reality particularly in the world of revolutionaries but sometimes the impact of some of these issues go beyond the borders and affect the people in outside world too. That’s why human right is a global issue and no government should be allowed to subject its constituents to inhumane acts of torture and violence with any kind of excuse.

The extent of human rights violations and abuse against people in Iran can not be described adequately in a short article but a glance at the events like Zahra Kazemi’s death may give us a hint about what is really happening to others who might get caught in similar situation.

In fact, less than a month ago, twenty seven year old physician Zahra Bani-Yaqob, who was arrested while walking in a park with her fiancé, became one of newest victims of human right abuse in the country. She was arrested for not observing Islamic dress code and was declared dead only 48 hours after her arrest. Iranian government declared her death as suicide while in custody but her family denied that and reported of signs of torture on her body.

In the case of Zahra Kazemi, Iranian government had first reported stroke as the cause of death but when evidences came to open, they had no choice other than accepting the true cause of death which was a blow to the head with a hard object while in custody.

Sometime later, the report by Dr. Shahram Azam who had received and examined the dead body of Ms. Kazemi showed the extent of torture and abuse that Ms. Kazemi had been subject to. This report did not leave any doubt about inhumane treatment of detainees by Iranian revolutionary judicial authorities even though Iranian government tried to discredit the report by denying Dr. Azam’s status in the hospital in which Ms. Kazemi’s body was examined.

Unfortunately, in case of Dr. Zahra Bani-Yaqob like thousands of others, Iranian government has been able to hide and suppress the evidences of crime with less difficulty. Lack of international interest in such cases in order to avoid jeopardizing relations with Iranian government as a supplier of crude oil to different nations has complicated the situation for Iranian people and has made this more difficult to draw attention of the world community to the extent of systematic violation of human rights against Iranian people by their government.

Reports from human right watch and amnesty international have never been able to exhibit true nature and of these violations which range from unjustified harassments and arrests of the people on the streets and in their homes to torture of detainees resulting in their death.

During late 1990’s which coincided with beginning years of Iranian reformist President Khatami who is also a clergy and had served in different positions with Mr. Rafsanjani’s government earlier, suspicious disappearance of some members of Iranian council of writers ending with discovery of their dead bodies in some cases, resulted in opening an investigation after some secrets leaked by a whistle blower from within.

Some members of Ministry of Intelligence were implicated but number one suspect, who was the team leader of the operation and had all the information about how the murders were planned and carried out, died in custody. Iranian government once again, declared his death as suicide.

Later on friends and relatives of the dead team leader tried to confront the authorities for putting all the blames on him but they were all arrested for conspiracy and were put under the same kind of interrogation which themselves imposed on others sometime earlier.

The videos of these interrogations were captured and leaked to outside world and brought to attention of Amnesty International organization by Iranian dissidents in London. Inhumane and extremely undignified treatment of former colleagues and even wife of former ring leader was very clearly displayed in these videos which were originally made to be handed to different officials of Islamic Republic government of Iran.

That is just a minor example of attitude of the current ruling system in Iran that operates more like a mafia system rather than a government that should represent its people. In the beginning months of year 2006 hundreds of Iranian public transportation drivers were arrested and sent to prison.

Mr Mansour Ossanlu, the union leader was among arrested and was severely beaten and injured by security forces of Iranian government. He still remains in jail after receiving a five year term in year 2007.

In more recent days, Iranian government has carried out a wave of public hangings in different cities and towns all over the country and conducted mass arrests with the excuse of national security and enforcement of Islamic moral codes.

Among those are at least 200 University students who voiced their objections against tyrannical rules when President Ahmadinejad attended Amir Kabir University and demanded answers to their questions. University students have been constantly under attack by Iranian government for their stance on democracy and demands for a more democratic governing system. Mr. Akbar Mohammadi, one of the students in pro democracy demonstration in the year 1999 who had been arrested and undergone cruel treatment in prison, died last year in Evin prison.

Iranian government has ignored all requests made by the Human Rights Watch for an independent investigation in this matter and the death was reported as result of Mr. Mohammadi’s refusal to receive treatment in prison. To this day, the situation for tens of thousands of other Iranian political prisoners is no better than it was for Mr. Mohammadi. Religious discrimination against followers of other beliefs has also been another reason for violation of human rights of Iranian people.

In the most recent case, there have been several attacks by Islamic Republic’s militia called “Baseej” on mosques of Daravish sect of Islam just in recent days. These attacks were carried out in different parts of the country almost simultaneously with a very large number of militia involved, resulting in many casualties and destruction of those mosques. Violence against Iranian citizens by their own government has not been limited to physical borders of the country.

Islamic Republic government of Iran has dispatched and carried out assassinations missions against Iranians all over the world. The last prime minister of previous Iranian regime, Dr. Shapur Bakhtiar and his close ally, Dr. Boroumand were assassinated in France. Iranian Kurdish leaders, Dr. Ghasemlou, Dr. Sharafkandi and some others were assassinated in Germany. Some of Iranian officials were implicated in a German court and The assassin, Kazem Darabi and his Lebanese accomplice Abbas Rhayel, were given a life sentgence but that never stopped Iranian government of continuing in the same path.

These are just a few of many successful assassinations that Islamic Republic government has conducted against Iranian people. Lack of serious attention and action from international community and organizations seemed to have convinced Iranian government of being able to get away with same kind of crimes against others too. In recent months, a court in Argentina concluded that at least five Iranian officials were involved in bombing of a Jewish center in 1994 in Buenos Aires that caused 85 deaths and 300 injured.

Interpol has received a request from Argentinean judge for arresting those Iranian officials from which, former intelligence chief Ali Fallahian; Mohsen Rabbani, former cultural attache at Iran’s embassy in Buenos Aires; a former diplomat, Ahmad Reza Asghari; Mohsen Rezaei, former head of the Revolutionary Guards; and Ahmad Vahidi, a Revolutionary Guards general were named. Hezbollah militant Imad Moughnieh, one of the world’s most sought terrorism suspects, also was named in the list.

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