Official Statement of the SDHRI Iran Parliamentary Elections 2016

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“Solidarity for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran” which is formed by some 25 political, human rights, labor, educational and ethnic groups and NGOs, demands democratic conditions for conducting of free and fair elections of the tenth parliament coming up in March 2015.

We desire democracy for Iran, meaning the government of the people by the people for the people. That also means a non-ideological political regime where people are free to choose, believe and pursue any faith, religion, political or economic preference. A system based on the vote of majority and respect for the rights of minorities, where all citizens regardless of faith, ethnicity or sex or political orientation are treated equal under the law; and where all people without discrimination can strive and reach any or the highest positions of leadership in the country solely based on qualification; and where the International Bill of Human Rights is the guiding light of the government and the society.

In the Islamic Republic, there have never been free elections or even free legislature, due to candidate pre-selections and authoritarian hold on the parliament. Therefore, we demand of the IRI administration to provide for the first time in its history the required conditions for free and fair elections. The never observed Articles 23, 24, 26 and 27 of the IRI Constitution can be respected for the first time.

Solidarity for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran announces the demanded democratic conditions for the upcoming parliamentary election as follows:

  1. All prisoners of conscience, political, ethnic or religious, must be released per Article 23 of the IRI Constitution forbidding inquisition.
  2. Meetings, gatherings and activities of the political parties and NGOs must be freed, per Articles 26 and 27 of the IRI Constitution.
  3. All press must be declared free per Article 24 of the IRI Constitution.
  4. The Guardian Council must not engage in preselection of the candidates for its legal responsibility is only oversight to insure honest elections.
  5. The Imams of the mosques and the military brass must not use influence or make statements promoting or demoting a candidate.
  6. When registering the candidates, Ministry of Interior must use only an identification questionnaire and not inquire about the person’s religion, political leaning nor require allegiance to any organization or person.
  7. Election observers must also include all participating political parties.
  8. Candidates must announce the amount and sources of their campaign money. All candidates who have had a governmental position before or have been a member of parliament before must reveal by reporting to the oversight committee their net worth at the beginning of their governmental or elective posts to date and explain the sources. Refusing to report or reporting falsely will disqualify them from candidacy.
  9. State radio and television organization must give all candidates equal time in their locality to present their views or debate.
  10. A committee of UN Human Rights Council observers must be invited to observe the election and vote counting processes.

A parliament such elected can be the start of a peaceful, intellectual and gradual political movement for legislations required in a free and democratic society in which all people without discrimination or sanctions can engage in the political process and in determining their own destiny; and where all people willingly and happily will try for progress, strength and dignity of their motherland.

Solidarity for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran 

Hermidas Bavand (President), Heshmat Tabarzadi (Spokeman), Kourosh Zaim (Political Secretary)

Tehran – November 30, 2015

Declaration of Formation

Solidarity for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran

In the name of Happiness of the Iranian Nation

Our country today is in such a sensitive and dangerous situation that staying silent or indifferent toward the country’s destiny not only will not slow down the inevitable downfall, but may cause acceleration of social and political collapse.

Ideological one-sidedness, forcing of people to follow a one-sided look at family and society by the limiting, and often violent enforcement of, anti-human rights laws and denial of even the very basic citizens’ rights, has caused an anti-religion backlash. The people of a country with thousands of years of religious culture are now driven toward faithlessness and hatred of religion by the anti-human rights policies of the governing body, which has led to moral decline. A nation known for highest social morals, good thoughts, good speech and good deeds is declining to the lowest levels ever known in history.

Today, our country finds itself in deepest conditions of political and moral decay and, as the result, alarming rise of addiction and felony. The governing establishment has been drowned in so much corruption, graft and felony that cleaning it up will be an extremely difficult task. The poverty caused by the economic collapse has created widespread unemployment, brain drain, flight of capital, poverty, collapse of family unit, addiction, prostitution, thievery, hopelessness and suicide.

Disregard of International obligation and commitments, rebellious behaviour and continued unwise and belligerent foreign policies of the Islamic Republic has caused imposition of devastating sanctions by the international community thus blocking all forms of meaningful development such as that of oil and gas industry, petrochemical industry, oil and gas pipelines. In addition, it has endangered our sovereignty at certain border areas, has cause aggressive policies by the international community against our national interests such as in Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea, Arvand and Hirmand rivers, which all have become playfields for our neighbouring countries.

On the economic front, illegal import monopolies in the hands of officials and cronies, religious and military organizations are responsible for uncontrolled importation of poor quality cheap agricultural and industrial products leading to virtual destruction of local production, leaving our agricultural and industrial sectors in ruins. Our economy has transformed from industrial and agricultural production into a brokering operation. Reduction of activity in development, industrial and agricultural production has caused rise of unemployment and poverty to highest levels ever experienced in our history, such that only 20% of population control 80% of total wealth, over 60% of population have dropped under poverty line and is getting worse due to unchecked double digit inflation.

Since the ruling group do not believe in the rule of law and ignore the most basic citizens’ rights, civil protest movements formed by special interests groups like women, students and workers have been on the rise and growing. The government in order to extinguish the ever increasing civil protests has resorted to illegal and violent behaviour such as beating up women and youth in the streets, threatening political activists, arrests, imprisonment and wide spread executions.

On the other hand, violent and medieval court orders such as stoning, dismemberment and vengeful execution of even under-age youth, has painted an ugly picture of Iran and made it the most despised in the world community.

The animosity the regime displays toward rich Iranian history and culture, and the trend of systematic destruction of our cultural heritage which has been taken place since the establishment of Islamic Republic, has taken an astronomically devastating surge during the past four years of the new government. Our ancient relics and monuments are called worthless broken pottery and stones. The leader of Islamic republic refers to respected ancient Iranian personalities such as Cyrus the Great as tyrant and his world heritage mausoleum along with tens of other unique world heritage sites becomes target of deliberate destruction. Iranian natural environment and ecology has been target of greed and profiteering of Islamic republic officials and their cronies and savagely destroyed. More than one third of our forests have been destroyed, rivers, lagoons and lakes have dried up and wildlife, which ensures equilibrium of living nature, has become but non-existent.

Now, our great nation, the founder of human rights and the rule of law, and who have always believed in and professed friendship and equality of all peoples, integrity and honesty, and the three slogans of Good Thoughts, Good Speech and Good Deeds as the symbol of being Iranian, deserves a government based on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. For this reason, and in line with this ancient Iranian want, a group of Iranian national personalities and members of political parties and civil and professional organizations who believe in and are committed to the geographical sovereignty of Iran, democracy, republicanism, political and economic independence, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Iranian culture, have gathered to declare their united front under the banner of Solidarity for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran.

We call on all political, civil and professional organizations and national personalities who believe in the following principles to join us. We request of all Iranians and freedom activists around the world to come to our assistance toward achieving the following goals:

One: Protecting and guarding the geographical sovereignty of Iran

Two: Observance of the Unite Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related conventions and protocols.

Three: Establishing the rule of a law created by the free will of the people.

Four: Revising the current Constitution by deleting and/or modifying Articles that deny the will of people and human rights.

Five: Secularism (separation of religion from the state)

Six: Emphasis on democracy, human rights and basic freedoms.

Seven: Emphasis on equal rights for all Iranian ethnic groups and cultures.

Eight: Emphasis on equality of man and woman.

Nine: Removing all forms of discrimination based on religion, belief, gender, race or ethnicity.

Ten: Guarding Persian language which is the foundation of Iranian culture, sovereignty and national identity, while respecting and accepting all other languages and dialects spoken in Iran.

Eleven: Abolition of capital punishment and denial of forms of violence and torture whether from official or unofficial channels.

Twelve: Economic and social development coupled with social justice and prevention any unjust profiteering and exploitation.

Tehran: May 10, 2009

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