Friday , 7 October 2022

The members of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, express concern about the dictatorial rule of Iran, in a letter to US President Biden

Shabtabnews – In a letter to President Biden the members of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, expressed concern about the dictatorial rule of Iran, and its suppression of religious freedom and the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities.

The letter also stated ” we are especially concerned about the planned visit of President Ebrahim Raisi to the United States for the meeting of the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations.

“Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”  Article 2 further provides that: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national origin, property, birth or other status.

Article 18 also provides that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes the freedom to change religion or belief, and the freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

Furthermore, the letter stated that : “We believe that the Conventions on the Protection and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide are set out in Article II as a commitment with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, such as: killing members of the group or to deliberately inflict on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births with the group; and forcibly transferring children of one group to another group. What has occurred in Iran violates all treaties, laws, and norms of international law, and cannot be tolerated.  Experience has shown that any policy of appeasement simply permits the violation of human rights to continue and the violation of international norms to exist.”

The letter ended by requesting firm action by stating : ” We must make sure that religious freedom is a key point of discussion in the JCPOA talks or it will simply result in further suppression and execution of religious minorities and political prisoners in Iran.  Taking the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRG) off the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list simply legitimizes the terror caused by them within the country and Middle East.  IRG is a tool of suppression of religious and ethnic minorities within the country. Releasing vast sums of money to Iran simply makes the continued criminal and suppressive activities of religion more powerful and dangerous.  We, therefore, petition your administration to deny the visa to President Ebrahim Raisi to attend the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations as a Head of State. “

For the full text of the letter see below link: