Vancouver, BC, Canada – July 23, 2009
The Canada-Philippines Solidarity Group for Human Rights (CPSGHR) stands in solidarity with our Iranian friends, many of who are former political prisoners in the Islamic Republic of Iran, who are on hunger strike today. The hunger strike, a weapon used by political prisoners around the world, is aimed to draw the attention of the world to the plight of the political prisoners in Iran.
We are here today in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery to support this hunger strike, as an expression of solidarity with the Iranian people.
No one knows how many people are held in Iran’s prisons and secret detention centers, how many men and women prisoners are imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their views, for asserting their democratic and civil rights and for exercising their legitimate right to dissent. Iranian human rights advocates and activists are well aware of the risks that come with speaking out against government policies. The freedom s of expression and opinion, as well as other civil and political liberties, are violated on a systematic basis in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Canada-Philippines Solidarity Group for Human Rights believes that when people’s rights are violated anywhere in the world, their bodies and minds tortured, their contributions dishonoured, their very humanity disregarded, and their dignity stolen from them, then everyone else’s rights, all our rights, are violated too. What happens to the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran, so many miles away from us, affects all of us.
We remind the Islamic Republic of Iran that it is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and is thus obligated to protect, promote and uphold the rights of its people. We also call on the United Nations to take action on the urgent matter of the human rights of Iranian citizens, especially when the Iranian government prefers to rule with an iron hand.
The Canada-Philippines Solidarity Group for Human Rights adds our collective voice to that of our Iranian friends in calling for the release of all political prisoners in Iran, the immediate end to the use of torture and executions, the immediate end to unjust arrests, detention and imprisonment and the immediate return of the people’s civil and political rights.
Free all Political Prisoners in Iran!
Long Live International Solidarity!
Canada-Philippines Solidarity Group for Human Rights is a member of ILPS