Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The always ugly face of dictatorships: Iran

The authorities from Tehran are continuing the abuses against the Iranian citizens. Unharmed.
A couple of updates:
A young student, 20 years old, was condemned to death for "Moharebeh" - "waging war against God". He throw stones against the security forces.
A declaration of an Iranian blogger during a Congress hearing:
"Washington (CNN) -- "If it were not for the Internet, God knows how many more people would have been killed on the streets of Tehran" after the 2009 Iranian elections, an Iranian blogger told a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.
Omid Memarian, who said he was imprisoned and tortured by the Iranian regime for his pro-democracy Internet writings, was the star witness at a hearing in which U.S. technology companies were scolded for not taking a more active role in protecting freedom of expression on the Internet".
"Philip J. Crowley
Assistant SecretaryDaily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
March 2, 2010
US continues ongoing consultations within the P-5+1
US must have common understanding re. enforcement if there is a sanctions resolution
US has a policy of supporting those who have a legitimate claim to asylum
US continues to look for ways to support the Iranian people
QUESTION: There is a press report in the Israeli press that the U.S. presented kind of a draft of the Iran resolution to the countries of the Security Council.
MR. CROWLEY: I think I would just simply say that we continue our ongoing consultations within the P-5+1 on the nature of sanctions that we might at some point put before the Security Council. We have no particular timetable for that. Obviously, the Secretary has indicated we hope to move as rapidly as possible, but also we want to make sure at the end of this process there is effective sanctions that we think will apply the kind of pressure on the Iranian Government and its components that we want to achieve.
QUESTION: Can I ask about Iranians seeking political asylum in the United States? I hear there’s many of them, thousands perhaps, that have left Iran since the election and might be looking for political asylum in the United States in countries like Iraq and Malaysia and such. And I’m just wondering if you guys have let any of them in.
MR. CROWLEY: On that last question, I think that will be one to ask the Department of Homeland Security. Obviously, we have a policy in the United States of supporting those who have legitimate claims of asylum.
On your broader point, clearly, there is a dynamic that Iran is still trying to cope with. There’s a fracture in the relationship between Iran, the government, and the Iranian people. You’ve seen it even in the last 24 hours in terms of Iran’s attempts to shut down certain media outlets. They’re denying their people the kind of information that we think is a universal right.
So we’ve seen this now coming on nine months, this fundamental split between the regime and the people, and we certainly continue to look for ways to support the Iranian people in their efforts. They seek a different kind of relationship. They seek the ability to influence their leaders. And – but they also seek the fundamental freedoms of expression and association that we think apply universally around the world.
QUESTION: But is giving them political asylum in the United States one of those ways that we could support them?
MR. CROWLEY: I’m not – I can’t – I have not heard of an uptick in those seeking asylum, but it wouldn’t surprise me".
In fact, on the ground, the situation is even worse: people scarred by permanent pressures and surveillance, lack of freedom of speech and pressures to make people give up thinking. Can we simply be indifferent and watch?

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