PARLIAMENTARIANS SOUND THE ALARM ON IRANIAN DOMESTIC REPRESSION
Ottawa – May 8th, 2014 – Canadian MPs James Bezan, Paul Dewar, and Irwin Cotler are co-sponsoring “Iran Accountability Week”, to take place in the Canadian Parliament between May 8th and 15th, addressing the four-fold Iranian threat – nuclear, terrorist, incitement, and – in particular – widespread and systematic violations of human rights.
Cotler also serves as Co-Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran and the Global Iranian Political Prisoner Advocacy Project with US Sen. Mark Kirk. The Project pairs parliamentarians with Iranian political prisoners, on whose behalf they advocate. In the last year, two of the political prisoners included in the project – Nasrin Sotoudeh and Hamid Ghassemi-Shall – were released at long last.
This year’s Iran Accountability Week occurs as the ongoing P5+1 nuclear negotiations have been overshadowing, if not sanitizing, the Iranian regime’s massive domestic repression. It also marks the 6th anniversary of the imprisonment of Iran’s Baha’i leadership; an execution binge that has seen over 600 executions since the “moderate” Rouhani ascended to the Presidency in August 2013 and over 250 carried out in 2014 alone; and the continuing unjust imprisonment of more than 900 prisoners of conscience and political prisoners, including women, human rights defenders, ethnic and religious leaders, journalists, bloggers, students, trade union leaders – in a word, the leaders of Iranian civil society – many under threat of execution.
The planned events for Iran Accountability Week include:
- An all-party press conference today, Thursday, May 8th at 10:30 AM, highlighting the Global Iranian Political Prisoner Advocacy Project – pairing Canadian Parliamentarians with Iranian political prisoners on whose behalf they will advocate
- A public forum on Monday, May 12th at 7:00 PM with Mr. Mark Dubowtiz, Mr. Ali Alfoneh – experts on the Iranian nuclear, terrorist, and human rights threats – and Ms. Susanne Tamas, Director of Government Relations for the Baha’i Community of Canada. This event offers Parliamentarians, the public, and the media the opportunity to discuss Iranian human rights violations and to consider what can be done to address them.
- Testimony of Mr. Mark Dubowitz and Mr. Ali Alfoneh, from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, before the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights on Tuesday, May 13th from 1:00-2:00 PM
- Appearance of Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran before the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights on Thursday, May 15th from 1:00-2:00 PM to discuss the massacre of Iranian protected persons at Camp Ashraf and violations of the rights of the Iranian people
Iran Accountability Week seeks to sound the alarm on the human rights plight of the Iranian people. This year marks the third annual Iran Accountability Week, which sees the participation of Parliamentarians and Senators from all parties join in common cause to hold Iran to account.