Amsterdam: 12/12 Press Release

Dec 3, 20090 comments

December 2, 2009

PRESS RELEASE Arts United 4 Iran A global initiative to celebrate the Civil Rights Movement in Iran Netherlands Edition Contact: European Coordinator for United4Iran, Kamran Ashtary Tori Egherman A GLOBAL CELEBRATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS THROUGH ARTS AND CULTURE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN IRAN For Immediate Release AMSTERDAM, December 2, 2009. On Saturday December 12th, 2009, United4Iran-NL, an affiliate of United4Iran, an organization dedicated to civil and human rights, will host the event “Arts United 4 Iran” from 16:30 – 02:00 at Studio K in Amsterdam. On that day, artists from around the world will come together in solidarity with the Iranian people’s struggle for civil and human rights. The day will be filled with music and performing arts to not only highlight the violations of human rights and institutional violence and discrimination against women, but also to bring awareness and celebrate the Civil Rights Movement in Iran. Arts United 4 Iran will honor the 61st anniversary of the UN adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as U.N. International Human Rights Day (December 10th). December 12th also marks the six-month anniversary of the June 12th Iranian Presidential election and the peaceful protests that were violently suppressed by the regime. The event in Amsterdam will feature live music, DJs, discussions, and films, including the Netherlands premier of Austria’s selection for the Oscars, For a Moment, Freedom. More details on the program can be found on the website Many brave artists in Iran are among those speaking out to demand human rights, and it is up to each and every one of us living in the free world to support them. We ask the media and people to show their support by attending and covering this event. QUOTES: Iran is number one in the world in executions per capita, and number two, after China, in real numbers. According to Hadi Ghaemi from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, executions have been stepped up since the June 12th elections: “Since the election, at least 150 people have been put to death. And we’re seeing increased number of political prisoners executed. Just last week, we had a Kurdish activist put to death even though the lower court had sentenced him to 10 years of prison. But the appeals court, in contradiction to Iran’s own law, increased the sentence to execution. And we believe these are politically motivated acts by hardliners in the government who want to sow fear in the population and give the signal that they will hold on to power by any means necessary.” ( Tori Egherman, a spokesperson for United4Iran, says: “You might ask why Iran? For me, Iran is important right now because there is a strong, mature internal movement with leaders that support equal rights for women and minorities and free speech and peaceful assembly. They have shown that millions of Iranians want change and are willing to work hard to gain it. Iran is now engaged in an historical struggle for civil rights. Those of us outside Iran can help them most by showing that we are listening and by making sure that their cause does not get forgotten.” A statement from the Iranian Freedom Movement, in a summary of a Persian post by the Iranian blogger, Agh Bahman on Pedestrian: The state will have to pay a heavy price for using this much violence. It will want to continue this path. Thus, it will need to justify it. The authorities want to radicalize this movement. Experience has shown us that once citizens utilize violence, this only gives the state an excuse to use more of it. … The Freedom Movement of Iran believes that this movement will only triumph if it abides by peaceful, paths of reform. “Non-violence” is not only a temporary tactic. But rather, from the birth of this movement, it has been the main strategy. Contact: European Coordinator for United4Iran, Kamran Ashtary Tori Egherman