Sunday, June 05, 2005

The U.S. Helsinki Commission Hearing

A group of us learned that The U.S. Helsinki Commission is going to have a hearing with speakers such as Gloi Ameri (conservative Republican), to adddress the human rights violations in Iran. Although I condemn the Iranian government's arrests of the Iranian political activists, I am concerned that this show of human rights by Washington neo-cons is an abuse of the concept of human rights in order to advance political and economic agendas. I am also concerned that the voices that are going to be represented at this hearing are those of conservative Iranian elites. Here is a letter and a petition we wrote. Please read the letter and sign the petition if you agree. If you don't, no need to post your insults. By the way, non-Iranians are also welcome to sign. :-).

Dear fellow Iranians:
The office of Senator Brownback, the author of the Iran Democracy Act, and Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, has confirmed that on June 9th, the Commission will hold a hearing on Iran “to discuss the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and the prospect for a joint US Europe response.” This hearing is scheduled between 1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. at 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington D.C. It is now confirmed that Goli Ameri, the Co-Founder of Iran Democracy Project at the Conservative think tank, Hoover Institute, and Larry Diamond, a Senior Fellow at Hoover, will be among the panelists.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency, which consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.
Goli Ameri was appointed by President George Bush as one of three public delegates to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Ameri was the Republican candidate for Congress in Oregon’s first district during the 2004 election cycle. Last year, during her campaign, Ameri wrote an open letter to Secretary of State, Colin Powel, encouraging him to take a harder stand on Iran, which stirred much reaction among Iranians. To our knowledge, Ameri has now contacted a selected number of her supporters to attend this hearing. Diamond, who is introduced on Hoover’s webpage as “a specialist on democratic development and regime change, and on U.S. foreign policy affecting democracy abroad,” served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad in 2004. In his Iran Democracy Act, Senator Brownback, the author of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, suggested the establishment of an “Iran Democracy Fund,” according to the model that allocated money for Iraqi opposition groups in exile in 1998.
Considering the political background of the organizers and participants in this hearing, we, a group of concerned Iranians living in the U.S., are worried that the plight of human rights in Iran may be abused for geo-political agendas that will only harm the development of any viable democratic movement, by the imposition of economic sanctions or military intervention. We believe that the voices of the Iranian diaspora should not be limited to the selected few that claim to represent the will of the Iranian people. Despite our objection to the arrest of Iranian journalists and bloggers in Iran, we strongly oppose military intervention or monetary support for “dissident groups” in Iran or in its diaspora, and ask the U.S. representatives to represent our voices, which are often suppressed in such hearings.

If you are against U.S. military and/or monetary intervention in Iran, please sign this petition. We plan to send this petition to the members of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe by June 7th. Please help us circulate this petition by sending it to others in the community.

Thank you.

Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/csce/petition.html


The sidebar image is taken from Mahmoud Pakzad's "Old Tehran", Did Publishers, 1994. Thanks to Jahanshah Javid (www.iranian.com) for sharing it.

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