Protesters rally worldwide for human rights in Iran

Oct 10, 20090 comments

Daily49er, July 30- United 4 Iran held two protests Saturday by UCLA to pent frustration with Iran’s political turmoil Demonstrators rallied at two Westwood locations July 25 to protest human rights violations in Iran and the results of June 12’s Iranian presidential election. The rallies were coordinated by United 4 Iran, a nonpartisan group of individuals and human rights organizations, as part of a worldwide day of protest held in more than 110 cities, drawing hundreds of people in and around UCLA. In the aftermath of the disputed June election, thousands of Iranians took to the streets in the capital city Tehran and other major Iranian cities. The official state-sponsored result was a landslide victory of nearly 63 percent of the vote for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Backers of former prime minister and opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi saw the large victory margin as a direct indication of an invalid vote count. The Islamic Republic quelled the protests in recent weeks using tactics that human rights groups labeled as brutal and excessive. Arrests of thousands of Iranians and reports of public beatings and shootings have been disseminated from the country through social networking sites and the proliferation of media outlets despite the Iranian government’s attempts to control all media information. Both groups protesting that Saturday evening wanted to bring attention to the lack of civil and human rights in Iran but politically, each rally had separate messages represented by different flags. At the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard, several hundred marchers waved pre-Islamic Revolution Iranian flags with their message to end the political system in Iran as a whole. Hamid Bayati, 57, echoed this sentiment as the way to establish real change for the Iranian people. “My No. 1 goal is regime change because without regime change, there is the same rule and law,” he said. The sound of a megaphone led chants punctuated with drivers honking car horns in support. The messages ranged from “No more Ayatollah” and “Democracy in Iran” to “Obama, pay more attention to Iran,” urging U.S. President Barack Obama to take a more active role. At UCLA, more than a thousand demonstrators met at Westwood Plaza, while many wore green and flew green flags in support of Mousavi. Protesters gathered around a stage to watch artists perform hymns and speakers push for another election. Aziz Karaman, 74, left Iran for the United States 30 years ago, around the time of the revolution. Karaman, who supports a revote, described Mousavi as a more moderate leader. A complete regime change, in his eyes, is a pipedream. “Regime change is farfetched,” Karaman said. “Mr. Mousavi will come and show some cracks in the political system and gradually will improve the situation.” Pamela Moghadam, 52, began her protest at Westwood Plaza but decided to make her way to the Federal Building. She and her sister carried banners condemning Ayatollah Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, comparing them to Nazis and drawing horns on their heads. She said a stronger call to action for regime change is the only way to stop the human rights violations. “The election of Mousavi would not accomplish anything,” she said. “I’m not here for Mousavi because when he was in power, a lot of young people in prison were being killed. There is no reason to give him another chance. I am here just to support freedom for Iran, democracy, and freedom for young people to gather without the fear of getting killed.” You may see this article at its source.