Sunday, August 21, 2016

ADME Condemns Recent Political Executions in Iran

by Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker

ADME Press Release, 28 December 2010:

American Chronicle, 4 January 2011.

New York, NY — Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East (ADME) condemns the illegal and inhumane executions today in the Islamic Republic of Iran of Ali Saremi, a member of the exiled opposition group the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) and of political prisoner Ali-Akbar Siadat, accused of spying for Israel.

Mr. Saremi, 63, was arrested following his 2007 visit to a son in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, home of 3400 members of MEK. Iranian authorities have arrested other people in the past in part for visiting relatives in the camp. Amnesty International reported that in addition to Mr. Saremi, six others are facing execution after being sentenced to death for links with the MEK.

Iran's official news agency, IRNA, stated that Mr. Saremi was hanged for the "crime" of "moharebeh" or "waging war against God". Under Iran's penal code, imposed since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, waging war against God may carry the death penalty.

Mr. Siadat, arrested in 2008, was convicted on charges that included "spreading corruption on earth," "supporting the Zionist regime" and "opposing the Islamic republic." Earlier this year, Siadat was among 192 detainees named by opposition Web sites as political prisoners in Iran.

Prior to his execution, Mr. Saremi had spent a total of 24 years in prison from various incarcerations under the shah and clerical rule. Though arrested in 2007 after visiting his son, his death sentence came in December 2009, after mass opposition protests were held.

ADME calls on the international human rights community to denounce this inhuman and illegal killing of a man who had spent his life promoting freedom and civil liberties in his homeland. We also call for immediate international action to save the life of his daughter, wife and sister, as well as the others who were arrested for their relations to him. ADME further calls for an end to executions in Iran, especially of any political prisoners.

We urge the U.S. Government to bring immediate pressure upon the Iraqi Government to end its psychological torture of the residents of Camp Ashraf by its use of 140 loud-speakers as well as its medical blockade currently imposed on Camp Ashraf.

Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East is a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching our elected officials and the public of the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism and the need to establish genuine democratic institutions in the Middle-East as an antidote to the venom of fundamentalism. 

Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East                   The basis of a democratic state is liberty.    Aristotle

January 3, 2011  

Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton                                                                                            Secretary of State                                                                                                                         
US Department of State                                                                                              
2201 C Street NW                                                                                                     
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:

We are contacting you because of an issue of great concern. We wish to call your attention to the ongoing human rights abuses and steadily deteriorating conditions in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. Ashraf is home to 3,400 members of the Iranian opposition group, the Peoples’ Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) to whom we gave a pledge of protection in 2004. About a year and a half ago, on July 28-29, 2009, at the behest of the Iranian regime of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, Ashraf was attacked by the Iraqi police and Special Forces—in violation of Iraq’s December 2008 pledge to the United States to protect the camp and its residents. Following its attack on Ashraf, the Iraqi government re-imposed an embargo on the camp, denying its residents water, food, oil and medical supplies, something that has been going on for the last two years. So too, upon Nouri al-Maliki’s orders, physicians have been denied access to the camp; its residents have been prevented from seeking medical treatment in Baghdad. Recently, on December 10, 2010, a cancer patient, Medhi Fathi, a long-time resident of Ashraf, died due to being prevented by the Iraqis from receiving necessary treatments. In addition, the Iraqi police—in a tactic of psychological warfare—have installed 140 loudspeakers throughout the camp which they use to broadcast Iranian propaganda at very high volume around the clock.

Now, over this past weekend, the Iraqis have once again invaded the camp and are threatening to expel its residents and return them to Iran in violation of their rights to non-refoulment, where they would face imprisonment, torture, and execution. 

Madame Secretary, there are several reasons why we appeal to you to aid the residents of Ashraf. First is the universal concern for the human rights of all. But, beyond our concern for human rights must be a concern with the image of our nation. In 2004, our government made a pledge to protect the residents of Ashraf. If we turn a blind eye to the abuses that the al-Maliki government is perpetrating against the unarmed residents of Ashraf and abandon our pledge, we will be demonstrating most vividly that America is not a reliable partner. Our enemies in the region are watching our behavior very carefully and looking for any and all signs of weakness. In the Middle East, nothing could be more self-defeating to the long-term interests of this nation than for us to be perceived as unreliable and weak.

Because of these concerns, we ask you to urge President Obama immediately to speak forcefully to these issues and ask you to do likewise.

God bless America.

Thanking you in advance for your assistance in this vitally important matter, we remain,

Sincerely yours,
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker                          Reverend Dr. James Lee Collins          


No comments:

Post a Comment