FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Global Day of Arts in Support of Iran’s Civil Rights Movement on Dec. 12th

Dec 3, 20090 comments



For Immediate Release                                                                        Contact: Trevor FitzGibbon December 3, 2009                                                                                 202-406-0646

**Key Iranian Experts Available for Interviews**

Massive Student Protests Inside Iran Set for Dec. 7th

International Community Issues Set of Demands for Iranian Government

  • ·Global Day of Arts in Support of Iran’s Civil Rights Movement on Dec. 12th
  • ·Calls On Iran to Respect Freedom of Assembly, Expression, and Press; Free all Prisoners of Conscience

  Students inside of Iran are set to hold major protests throughout the country on December 7th. In a global expression of solidarity and support for the civil rights movement in Iran, on December 12, 2009, events organized under the banner of ArtsUnited4Iran will focus the world’s attention on the grave situation of human rights in that country. Iran experts and activists speaking out in support of the civil rights movement in Iran include Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University Professor and CNN commentator; Hadi Ghaemi, Director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran; Firuzeh Mahmoudi, United4Iran’s International Coordinator; Omid Memarian, Iran expert for Human Rights Watch; and Reza Moini, Iran expert for Reporters without Borders (RSF). Following the UN General Assembly’s resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran on November 20, 2009, members of the international community are calling on the Iranian government to:

  • Respect Freedom of Assembly, Expression, and Press,
  • Free all Prisoners of Conscience,
  • End Rape and Torture in Prisons,
  • Hold Those Responsible for Committing Human Rights Crimes Accountable.

The civil rights movement inside Iran continues to grow and diffuse throughout the society, despite severe repression, widespread arrests, and imprisonment of hundreds of civil society activists. Iranians are planning for major protests on December 7th, National Students Day. Universities throughout the country are scenes of daily protests. “The civil rights movement in Iran is standing up to militarization and dictatorship. With the ongoing nuclear crisis, it is urgent for the international community to recognize and hear the voices of this movement representing the aspirations of the Iranian people. Our goal is to let the Iranian people know that we hear them and stand with them,” the organizers of ArtsUnited4Iran said. On the occasion of the six-month anniversary of the disputed elections and the sixty-first anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, artists and activists will join together to highlight the ongoing protests in Iran and to honor the Iranian people’s peaceful struggle for their human and civil rights. United4Iran, a global network of activists supporting human rights in Iran, is organizing the arts and culture events. The arts and culture events will reinforce the international community’s calls on the Iranian government to respect the freedom of assembly, expression, and press, to free all prisoners of conscience, to end rape and torture in prisons, and to hold those responsible for committing human rights crimes accountable. The ArtsUnited4Iran sponsors include Reporters without Borders, Human Rights Watch, the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, ARTICLE 19, and Front Line. Currently, lectures, concerts, gallery showings, readings, round tables, film screenings, and more are being planned in over 20 locations worldwide, including in Amsterdam, Orlando, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Germany, New York, the United Kingdom, and Washington D.C. Many acclaimed artists, writers and journalists have broadcast their support for ArtsUnited4Iran via video messages encouraging others to come out on December 12th. United4Iran has received messages of support from filmmaker Narges Kalhor, the daughter of Mehdi Kalhor, cultural advisor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist arrested in Iran in January 2009 and imprisoned in Evin prison until May 2009; Bahman Ghobadi, an Iranian film director of Kurdish descent; the preeminent Iranian poet Ismail Khoei; Iranian singers Mohsen Namjoo and Arash Sobhani; cartoonist and journalist Nikahang Kowsar; and Tehran-born singer, composer, and dancer, Sussan Deyhim. U2 used Deyhim’s vocal piece based on the Rumi poem, Beshno Az Ney, in the opening of their performance of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” in Barcelona, which U2 then dedicated to the people of Iran. United4Iran is a non-political global network of individuals and human rights activists building a mass movement in solidarity with the people of Iran. United4Iran is opposed to blanket economic sanctions and military action against Iran which will have detrimental effects on the situation of human rights and harm the Iranian people. For more details on December 12 events visit: For more information and interviews contact: Hamid Dabashi (In New York, English and Persian) Columbia University Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature +1 646 334 9264 Hadi Ghaemi (In New York, English and Persian) International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran Director +1 917 669 5996   Firuzeh Mahmoudi (In San Francisco, English and Persian) United4Iran International Coordinator +1 510 435 4131 Omid Memarian (In San Francisco, English and Persian) Human Rights Watch +1 510 637 9590 Reza Moini (In Paris, French and Persian) Reporters without Borders (RSF) +33 1 44836054