Groups of Iranian political and human rights activists and students staged rallies in Paris, Rome, Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Oslo, Stockholm, Guttenberg and many other European cities, Radio Farda’s correspondents report. RadioFarda Newsroom – July 8, 2004 - In reports from across Europe, Radio Farda correspondents aired voices and demands of participants in the rallies organized by exile groups in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the July 1999 student uprising.
In Scandinavian countries Iranians have been holding rallies in commemoration of the July 9 uprising since last week, Radio Farda’s Stockholm correspondent Elaheh Ravanshad reports. On Wednesday, Iranians and human rights activist staged a demonstration and a photo exhibition of the July 9 rallies and jailed students. In Copenhagen, a rally was held on Thursday afternoon in front of the Iranian embassy. In Stockholm two large rallies are planned for Thursday and Friday.
In Guttenberg, the Iranian students association has spent six months organizing 30 different political groups and organizations under the banner of “United Iran with United Voice,” which will hold a joint rally followed by speeches. “We want to bring the voice of our oppressed compatriots to the people and government of Sweden,” organizer Taher Pala-Seyyed, 24, a pharmacology student, tells Radio Farda.
Reza Boroumand spokesman of the Guttenberg branch of the society for defense of human rights and democracy in Iran, tells Radio Farda “It is for the first time that political groups, regardless of their ideology, from leftist Kurdish party Komoloeh to constitutional monarchists and nationalists, band together in one political action.”
In Rome, the committee to commemorate the anniversary of the July 9 uprising held a rally on Thursday a few hundred meters away from the entrance to the Iranian embassy. “With this demonstration and other actions, we hope to further isolate the Islamic Republic in the world,” organizer Jalal tells Radio Farda’s Rome correspondent Ahmad Ra’fat. In another rally organized by the National Resistance Council on Wednesday in front of the Italian parliament, protesters demanded the release of political prisoners and an end to torture and oppression in Iran.
Also in Rome, the national federation of Italian journalists, in association with the committee to protect freedom of expression in Iran, will hold a roundtable discussion on Friday about the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi on the first anniversary of her death.
In Cologne, several human rights, refugees and political groups joined a rally on Thursday. Demonstrators, wearing pictures of the jailed students, distributed leaflets in German detailing the events of July 1999, Radio Farda’s Cologne correspondent Shahram Mirian says in a live report from the rally.
In Paris, the National Resistance Council held a press conference to announce its support for jailed students, spokesman Mohsen Rezai tells Radio Farda’s Paris correspondent Mir-Ali Hosseini. “In our conference today we unveiled a list of 21,676 victims of political executions since 1980; most of them were executed in secret and the regime never announced their names,” he adds.
In The Hague, the National Resistance Council held a demonstration. A high ranking member of the Netherlands’ Liberal Party and several prominent Dutch human rights activists are scheduled to speak in the demonstration, which is being held in front of the regime’s embassy, rally participant Shahed Soltani tells Radio Farda’s Shahram Mirian. Also on Thursday, a demonstration in support of jailed Iranian students is being held in Düsseldorf, Mirian says.
In Berlin, the society of Iranian political refugees held a rally on Thursday afternoon. Three German student parliaments and the friendship society of Israelis and Palestinians have sent messages of support to the rally, head of the society of Iranian political refugees Hamid Nowzari tells Radio Farda’s Shahram Mirian. The German Social Democrat party, Green Party and the social democratic party of Iran have also sent messages of support, he adds.