Remember, this is the kind of regime that radical Muslims want to impose on the world. From the New York Sun, with thanks to Susan:
WASHINGTON – As reports mount of a harsh crackdown in Iran on dissidents, journalists, and minorities, an international panel of nine eminent jurists, diplomats, and human-rights activists is urging the International Red Cross and the United Nations to demand access to the country’s prisons and judicial proceedings.
The call made by the International Moral Court came after it held three days of hearings in Paris last week and heard hours of bleak testimony about systematic human-rights abuses in Iran and the use of torture in the country’s jails. The panel was set up by a committee of prominent Iranian exiles eager to highlight the excesses of their homeland’s clerical regime.
Experts and victims of torture told the panel that barbaric punishments are being meted out, not only to dissidents or suspected political opponents of the regime, but to anyone who offends the austere moral and social codes imposed by the regime, and are being enforced with renewed vigor.
Among the witnesses testifying before the panel, whose chairman is a former U.N. deputy secretary-general, Eric Suy of Belgium, was a Kurdish woman. She testified that after being arrested for suspected ties to an opposition group, she was hanged naked, upside down, and repeatedly raped with a bottle. Other witnesses told the panel of floggings and amputations and public executions of minors.
The panelists also viewed hours of videotapes smuggled out of Iran depicting the application of medieval style punishments imposed by Islamic courts.
One tape showed a male offender on a stretcher having his eyes plucked out.
Another video recorded a male prisoner having his fingers cut off.
A third documented a man, buried up to his chest, being stoned to death, to cries of “Allah Akbar!” – “God is Great!” The panel concluded: “There is sufficient material evidence to determine that gross and systematic violations of international human rights standards have taken place, and are still being perpetrated in the Islamic Republic of Iran. These violations concern, in particular, the civil and political rights, minority rights, torture and other inhumane treatments such as stoning, amputations, and rape. It will be for a court of law to determine if these findings constitute a crime against humanity.”
The founding organizer of the Committee to Pursue the International Crimes of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and a driving force in assembling a broad cross-section of Iranian exiles to help set up the International Moral Court, is Dr. Manouchehr Ganji.
“By hearing from the immediate families of those killed and from many torture victims of the Iranian regime, the Paris Tribunal should help arouse the global conscience and seek to shame governments and multinationals into taking actions in support, and not against, the people of Iran,” he said.
A former U.N. special rapporteur on human rights, Dr. Ganji told The New York Sun that the International Moral Court, which was modeled on the famous Russell and Sartre Tribunal on Vietnam of the 1960s, plans to present the testimony it heard and the panel’s findings to the U.N. secretary-general, Kofi Annan, and to the European Union, in an effort to persuade the international community to take a tougher stand on Iran’s human rights abuses.
The idea to set up the court came to him two years ago, he said, when the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, which then had a chairman from Libya, dropped the post of special rapporteur on human rights in Iran. The panel’s American members are the chancellor of Gonzaga University, Bernard Coughlin, and the feminist writer Betty Friedan, who was absent from the Paris hearings….
According to Western diplomats, there is now a renewed drive by the Iranian authorities to crush dissent and to roll back the limited liberalization pressed by reformists before they lost control of the Iranian Parliament in February. Many reformists were blocked from standing in the parliamentary elections. They say that not only are newspapers being closed by the government, but that there is a tighter approach to public morality, which involves a larger presence of Basij Islamic militiamen on the streets to enforce dress codes.…
Human-rights groups have increasingly been criticizing the U.N. and the European Union for being too timid with Iran when it comes to abuses. In the summer a delegation to Tehran from the E.U. received short shrift from the Iranian authorities.
“They have tried the back-door channel and it is not working,” said the executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, Sarah Leah Whitson….
A Middle East expert with the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Ledeen, has expressed the same view. He has assailed the U.N. for failing to condemn Iran strongly enough for human-rights abuses, noting that a U.N. delegation that visited Tehran in the summer complained about the protracted use of solitary confinement in Iranian prisons but “failed to denounce the more terrible practices such as torture and arbitrary executions.”
While Iranian exiles and human rights groups have endeavored to highlight the abuses, the international press has taken little notice, they complain. In August, the public hanging of a 16-year-old girl, Ateqeh Rajabi, in the northern Iranian city of Neka generated only 11 reports in the English-language press, with only two American newspapers – one of which was the Sun – reporting on the execution. The girl’s crime was having sex out of wedlock.
Separately, the Iran Freedom Support Act was introduced into Congress yesterday. The bill amends the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, and calls for the strengthening of sanctions on Iran, and for the aiding of pro-democracy groups and independent broadcasts in Iran. One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican of Florida, said: “Iran must cease its aggression. Our allies must stop abetting this aggression, and the people of Iran must be free from the regime’s terror and abuse. The Iran Freedom Support Act will help on all three fronts.”