Phoenix rally backs protesters in Iran Capitol event calls for government to respect rights

Oct 9, 20090 comments

by Sherry Anne Rubiano – Jul. 26, 2009 12:00 AM The Arizona Republic

About 50 people gathered at the state Capitol Saturday to show their solidarity with Iranians risking their lives to protest the June 12 election and to demand respect for their human rights. Demonstrators held up signs reading, “Stop the killing,” “Free Iran,” and “Phoenix supports you.” They chanted “United for Iran, freedom, freedom!” The Phoenix rally was one of more than 100 events held in cities worldwide Saturday as part of the United for Iran Global Day of Action. // OAS_AD(‘ArticleFlex_1’) // ]]> // Another event in the Valley is planned today. A peaceful protest and candlelight vigil will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the ASU bridge area on University Drive between Mill Avenue and Rural Road in Tempe. Many people have been killed, injured and arrested in Iran for protesting the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. The Global Day of Action was meant to “support the people of Iran in their struggle for democracy, freedom and basic civil rights,” according to organizer United for Iran, a collaboration of individuals and human-rights organizations. Renee Behinfar, of Scottsdale, planned the Phoenix rally. She said she has been disgusted by the images she has seen of how Iranian protesters have been treated, citing images of students with their arms tied behind their backs and women being beaten and thrown to the ground. “The Iranian citizens should not be treated this way,” said Behinfar, who is half Iranian. She learned about the Global Day of Action last week and planned the event in four days. “It’s important for the city I live in to be represented,” Behinfar said. Sepi Bakhtiari and her family left Iran for Europe following the Iranian Revolution. They moved to the U.S. in 1984. Bakhtiari, who lives in Scottsdale, said she attended the Phoenix rally to support the youth and the people in Iran. “We’re proud of them,” she said. “Unity is the most important thing.” One of the reasons Scottsdale resident James Baumann showed up to the rally was to call for change. Baumann’s significant other is Iranian and has family members living in Iran. Baumann said the rights of life, liberty and assembly are universal rights the Iranian people should be able to have. “We can come to the Capitol and not be attacked,” he said. “We think that should be replicated in Iran.” You may see this article at its source.