Monday, November 11, 2013

Toronto Protest Rally Condemns Reprisal Hangings of Baloch, Kurds in Iran, Supports VBMP Long March

Toronto, November 10, 2013 – A joint protest rally by Baloch, Kurds, Al-Ahwazi Arabs, and progressive/liberal Iranians expressed their anger at the reprisal hangings of 16 innocent Baloch youth at the Zahedan prison by the Iranian clerics. The gathering of political activists expressed their solidarity with the long march by Voice for Baloch Missing Persons for the enforced disappearances in Balochistan. The Toronto protest rally was representative of various organizations and ideologies including Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, Kurdistan Democratic Party (Iran), Kurdistan Democratic Party (Iraq), Balochistan People’s Party, Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada), Ahwazi Democratic Popular Front, Iranian People’s Fedaian (Majority), Iranian People’s Fedaian (Minority), Tudeh Party of Iran, and Unity for Democracy for Iran. A large number of protesters including women showed up at Mel Lastman Square today to demand an end to summary executions and reprisal hangings of innocent civilians in Iran. These mass executions are routine under orders from Vilayat-e-Faqih (Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists) without the right to a lawyer or an open fair trial in a civilian court. Since the coming to power of President Hassan Rouhani in August 2013, there has been a sharp rise in summary executions of political prisoners in Iran. In the three months of his rule, more than 200 prisoners were hanged including a large number from Balochistan. Two Kurdish political prisoners have been executed and the sentence of execution of seven other Kurdish prisoners has been confirmed by the Islamic Judicial Center. On October 25, 2013, 16 political prisoners from Balochistan, bordering Iran and Pakistan were put to death by hanging. These hangings came as retaliation for a clash between Mersad, a paramilitary group and another armed group. Participants holding placards, banners, and flags of Kurdistan, Al-Ahwaz and Balochistan chanted slogans: “end summary executions”, “abolish Vilayat-e-Faqih”, and “dismantle the fascist dictatorship of Islamic Republic of Iran.” Protesters also demanded freedom for the oppressed nationalities of Iran.
Zaffar Baloch,

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