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DECLARATION OF SUPPORT for Civil Society and Political Activists in Iran

Thursday 12 September 2019

In recent days, some activists in Iran have been making appeals to highlight inequalities, oppression, arbitrary arrest and torture by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). Given the fact that the current regime in Iran has been responsible for appalling conditions and the dangerous situation in the country over the past forty years, and threatening the country’s sovereignty, the authors of this appeal call for the resignation of the Supreme Leader of the IRI and a new Constitution for Iran.
The first text of the call is signed by 14 activists, who point out that over the last 40 years, the IRI regime has not only failed to take any steps to address the needs of its citizens, but has continuously aggravated and worsened its unfair and inhuman practices. It should be noted that the elected government and parliament are increasingly used only as henchman to carry out this unworthy ruling practice. The elected executive and legislative bodies have no room for appointing experts to important posts. The appointments of the important offices are from within a handpicked group, which the highest leadership of the country trusts. They hold the resources and the people of Iran firmly in their stranglehold.
In another call, 14 women representing the civil society point out the unfulfilled tasks of the regime over the past 40 years. The call highlights a regime of arbitrariness that does not accept half of society in Iran, many of whom are highly skilled women, as full members of society and does not respect their equal rights. They are denied even the basic rights in a traditionally masculine society, now under a patronizing and very conservative religious leadership. Women in Iran feel that they are humiliated and excluded from society. In many cases, they are at the mercy of arbitrary arrests, detention and convictions, even the death penalty. In this appeal, there is a call on all Iranians to address the urgent and historical need for fundamental change and to take a new common path separate from political affiliation and other considerations. The nation should embark hand-in-hand with their demands on a path for change of the situation.
The IRI regime has over the past 40 years spurred on the repression of many freedom-loving citizens, especially women, religious minorities, environmental activists and many ethnic minorities. Any peaceful protest is punished with torture, oppression and often the death penalty. It is easy to understand that these courageous words and demands require the broad, diversified support of all people, who believe in basic human rights values and reject violence and discrimination. It is to be hoped that this movement will find mass support and open the way for broad forms of nonviolent protests such as strikes and other forms of civil resistance.
The aim of this action will be the establishment of a democratic, secular government that does not engage in wanton violence, arbitrary arrests, torture, executions without due process and fair trial guarantees and interference in freedom of religion. This is the hope and intention of the undersigned, who are focused on a rational policy for the homeland of Iran and on the establishment of democratic structures with equal respect for all citizens. We admire the courageous step of the activists calling for change, who wrote and published this call.
We sign this declaration of support, condemning the arrests of all individuals who have signed the published calls in Iran.
We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all detained activists, who have peacefully sought to claim their rights.

• Dr. Ali Gouche, Specialist in traumatology, legally sworn and certified expert in traumatology, Chairman of the Group of “Doctors and Medical Staff for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran”, Austria, human rights defender in Iran

• Prof. Dr. Siroos Mirzaei, Head of Nuclear Medicine at a hospital in Vienna, Chairman of Doctors for Nuclear Medicine in Europe (UEMS), Spokesperson of the Group “Doctors and Medical Staff for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran”

• Dr. Mahbubeh Hosseinchi, General, Palliative and Geriatrics Medicine, Board Member of the Group of ““Doctors and Medical Staff for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran””, Austria

• Dr. Jaleh Goharie, former member of the medical staff of the University of Vienna, responsible for the Medical Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency and several United Nations institutions

• Dr. Hassan Nayeb-Hashem, General practitioner and human rights defender, Austria

• Dr. Homayoun Alizadeh, Deputy of the Department of Refugees at the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior (1987 - 1995), Representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Africa and Asia (1995 - 2014), national expert of the European Union for the protection of refugees entering Italy/Sicily via the Mediterranean Sea (2016 - 2018)

• Dr. Behrouz Bayat, Expert in Physics with university and industrial background and nuclear policy analyst, human rights defender, Austria

• Dr. Heschmat Nadjafpour, Paediatrician and youth physician, human rights defender

• Pari Rafi, Member of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, Berlin

• Mahmoud Rafi, Chairman of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, Berlin

• Dr. Bijan Eftekhari, Ph.D. Political Sciences, human rights defender, Austria

• Ferydun Edalati Civil engineer, Austrian technical expert, holder of the Golden Engineering Diploma of the University of Graz, human rights defender

• Kimia Soltani, Certified nurse, human rights activist, Austria

• Hassan Naderi, human rights activist

• Dr. Ali Afshari, Visiting Professor at George Washington University and researcher at the American Institute of Food and Drug, USA

• Dr. Merhrdad Amanat, Researcher of Iranian Studies Initiative, UC Santa Barbara, USA

• Dr. Abbas Amanat, William Graham Sumner Professor of History at Yale University. and Director of the Iranian Studies Programme at Yale University, USA

• Dr. Kazem Alamdari, Professor in the Sociology department at California State University, Northridge, USA

• Dr. Mansour Farhang, Professor in political science at Bennington College, and member of the Advisory Committee on the Middle East and Human Rights Watch, USA

• Dr. Mansoor Moaddel, Professor of Sociology and National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism (START), Faculty Member, University of Maryland, USA
• Dr. Nayereh Tohidi, Professor and former Chair of the Department of Gender & Women Studies at California State University, Northridge, women rights defender, USA
• Dr, Mahmoud Monshipouri, professor of international relations at San Francisco State University, USA
• Dr. Misagh Parsi, Professor of Sociology, Normont College, USA ????
• Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, Assistant Professor in economy, Rutgers University, USA
• Dr. Nasser Pakdaman, economist, Paris
• Dr. Hamid Zanganeh, former Professor of Economics at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he tought economics for over thirty years.
• Mag. David Parsian, academic orientalist MSc, library and literature documentation, University of Vienna, Austria.

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