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City's Iran protests continue

Kilgour,Wajsman speak to coalition

P.A. Sevigny/ The Suburban

26 February 2010

Despite all the public executions, indiscriminate murder, wholesale arrests, multiple beatings and the sudden “disappearance” of hundreds, if not thousands of people, many believe the fight for Iran’s freedom is far from over.

“The mullahs must be stopped,” said Sharam Golestanih. “All of them, including Ahmadinejad, must be held accountable for all of their crimes against the people of Iran.”

In the midst of last Saturday’s frigid afternoon, about a hundred people joined Golestanih as the city’s Persian community continued to denounce what Iran’s theocratic tyrants are doing to their country and its people. Following the massive crowds who marched through the streets last summer, last Saturday’s crowd was just as passionate about their beloved Iran and what they described as the mullah’s “crimes against humanity.”

In a word, Golestanih said murder properly describes Iran’s history over the past 30 years. After at least three decades of theocratic rule in Iran, the entire nation knows about the thousands of people who were executed or who simply “disappeared’”— never to be heard of again. While he was reluctant to say the country was on the verge of a civil war, he did say there was a limit to how much repression the government can impose before its people begin to push back. As of last June’s election, many believe the push is on but the government’s repression has been fierce.
“The entire world must learn what’s going on in Iran,” he said. “Severe sanctions must be applied before it’s too late.”

Even as Golestanih and other protesters all consider Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, and the country’s ruling theocrats to be guilty of serious crimes against humanity, they also said the entire world, especially Israel, should take Iran’s nuclear potential seriously.

“These people are serious,” he said, “ and they will stop at nothing until they achieve their goals and get their bomb.”

As dozens of flags snapped in the breeze, one of Canada’s leading advocates for human rights took the stand. During a short bilingual speech, former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour denounced Iran’s theocracy as a brutal tyranny after which he invoked history’s verdict on all such tyrannies as nothing but a doomed and costly failure. Pierrefonds-DDO MP Bernard Patry brought words of solidarity and said “We need to stand behind those Iranians who fight for real democracy. We stand with those who believe in an open, liberal society in Iran. An Iran where free and transparent elections are the norm and not followed by government crackdown.” During his remarks, Suburban editor Beryl Wajsman once again called up the basic ideas of the Enlightenment to thank his audience for their presence on such a cold day. Inasmuch as their presence recognized the value of their own rights as free citizens in a democratic country, he also said their presence was a testament to those who were fighting for their own freedom against the mullahs who rule the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler also sent a letter to support the day’s protest. Laval-Les Îles MP Raymonde Folco, who is out of the country, also sent a message of support to her executive assistant.

After 30 years in the country as both a political refugee and a new immigrant, Majid Motehaver told The Suburban he was proud to be a part of the day’s demonstration.

“After all the killings, this isn’t about politics,” he said. “This is about the future of Iran and all of its people.”

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