A Living Symbol of Dissident Iran



By: DORIS STRUB EPSTEIN  
Published: April 30th 2010
in News » Local

Dr. Shirin Ebadi
Pic: wikimedia commons

“Women are emerging as leaders,” said Ebadi.  “They have organized a group called The Committee of Mourning Mothers.  Their children have been killed or imprisoned.  Every Saturday, dressed in black, carrying pictures of their children, the gather together.  Even though they are peaceful, police have beaten and arrested them.”

 

The post-election demonstration has resulted in a grass roots movement,  a cross-section of Iranian people who are increasingly frustrated with the government, called the Green Movement.  It has no real structure like a political party she explained, but rather it is a “horizontal” coming together of religious, political, students and business people. Despite of the violent severity of government crackdowns to suppress the discontent, “the number of supporters increase day by day.”

 

When asked to comment on Iran’s nuclear program and threats to wipe Israel off the map, she brushed the question aside saying it was not important – the support of Iranian dissidents and international pressure on human rights violations should be the focus.

 

She also refused to label the Revolutionary Guard as terrorists because of fear of alienating those within the Guard who are covertly with the Green Movement. The Guard is the brutal military-intelligence-security apparatus that has seized almost all levers of Iran’s government.  According to Iranian writer Reza Aslan, it now controls more than a third of Iran’s annual budget and practically all of Iran’s black market. 

 

The Canadian Coalition Against Terror, which represents victims of terrorist attacks, has asked Ottawa to add the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to Canada’s list of banned terrorist organizations.

 

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon in the last two months has issued statements, calling the Iranian regime noxious, irresponsible and a threat to global security, while condemning its “stifling of democracy” and “ blatant disregard of basic human rights.”

 

The CIPP is a unique non-partisan organization.  Mark Persaud, founder and head, told the audience it reflects Canadian values –“pluralism, rule of law, and respect for minorities.”  The CIPP has initiated groundbreaking projects, national and international, involving numerous groups including the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu communities.  Representatives of all these communities came together at the event, to honour Dr. Ebadi.

Related articles: (Shirin Ebadi, Iran, Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons, human rights, dissidents, revolution)




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