Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Monday, May 12, 2003

Crushing of dissent.

RSF has voiced its dismay over the prison sentences, ranging from four to 13 years, imposed on seven journalists by the Tehran Revolutionary Court on 10 May 2003, following a trial behind closed doors. The journalists, who were also stripped of their civic rights for 10 years, were members of the National Religious Movement, a liberal, nationalist Islamic grouping that has been banned since March 2001.

"We are appalled by these unacceptable sentences," RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard said, while noting that the journalists were not given the right to a fair trial. "The Iranian regime has once again demonstrated to what degree any peaceful protest or criticism is unwelcome in the country," he said. The Revolutionary Court was created following the Islamic revolution and has jurisdiction over matters affecting national security and institutions.

"We call on the European Union, which is currently in negotiations with Iran, to make greater efforts to ensure that human rights are respected in the country," Ménard said. Ten journalists are currently imprisoned in Iran, making it the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East.

Of course it is France that is pushing closer EU/Iran ties. Originally they tried to anchor the ties to advances in human rights in Iran. But, in the wake of continuing crackdowns, the French have not uttered a word. Doesn't matter who the dictator is or how many he kills, he will always have a friend in France.

< email | 5/12/2003 01:57:00 PM | link

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