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Window of Anguish (Panjareh Eltehab) » Blog Archive » Attack on Human Rights Center

Attack on Human Rights Center

Written on December 27, 2008 – 9:40 PM | by admin |
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Kayhan: Center Should Have Been Confronted Earlier

Shirin Ebadi after attack to her office in Tehran- photo by AP

The office for the Center for the Defense of Human Rights, which is headed by Shirin ‎Ebadi, was shut down yesterday by security and police officers prior to holding a meeting ‎to commemorate the international Human Rights Day. ‎

The public relations office of the Center for the Defense of Human Rights noted in a ‎statement issued an hour after it was shut by security agents, “In addition to the Center ‎for the Defense of Human Rights, our offices also operated another non-governmental ‎organization called ‘Center for Cooperation in Clearing Mines’ which was founded by ‎Shirin Ebadi and a group of her colleagues. In effect, the offices of two non-‎governmental organizations were shut down with this illegal act. ‎

The Center for the Defense of Human Rights is an internationally recognized ‎organization and a formal member of the International Confederation of Human Rights ‎Societies along with 190 other countries. ‎

The Center has three main missions according to its bylaws: “pro bono representation of ‎political and ideological defendants, support of families of political and ideological ‎prisoners and sustained and orderly reports of human rights violations cases in Iran.” ‎Since, in the past two years, none of the United Nations’ official human rights reporters ‎have been issued visas to come to Iran, many international organizations relied on the ‎Center’s reports, among them Bon Ki Moon, the United Nations Secretary General, who ‎cited the report of the Center for the Defense of Human Rights in the report that he ‎presented at the General Assembly’s December 2008 meeting. ‎

An hour after issuing its first statement regarding the shutting down of the Center’s ‎office, the public relations office of the Center issued a second statement. This statement ‎notes, “In light of the fact that the office for the Center for the Defense of Human Rights ‎has been shut down illegally and without due process therefore, as we have indicated ‎before, any alleged document or evidence that is generated from raiding the office for the ‎Center for the Defense of Human Rights, if it is to be used against human rights ‎defenders to pressure them, is worthless and another sign of the illegal behavior of ‎officers who attacked the Center’s office.” ‎

Following the attack on the Center for the Defense of Human Rights, Kayhan newspaper ‎referred to the group as a “little group” [a name used during the early days of the Islamic ‎Republic to refer to armed groups fighting the regime]. Citing “some European ‎newspapers” (without mentioning their names) Kayhan reported “the mission of the ‎newly-founded little group Center for the Defense of Human Rights to undermine the ‎Islamic Republic of Iran,” and claimed that “the aforementioned Center was established ‎under the guidance and using a special budget of the U.S. Vice Preisdent Dick Cheney.” ‎

Kayhan added, “Creating safe haven for those accused of inciting instability, partition ‎and espionage for foreign intelligence services were among the little group’s missions.” ‎

Noting that since the “interior ministry in 2007 had declared the Center for the Defense ‎of Human Rights illegal and without a permit, the closing of the little group’s office is ‎carried out with a 2-year delay,” Kayhan wrote, “The coordinated response of anti-‎revolutionary groups with foreign circles connected to foreign intelligence services, while ‎justifying the necessity for shutting down this Center’s office, portrays the two-year delay ‎in carrying out this act an indefensible and unjustifiable act.” ‎

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