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The West Must Bear Witness to Iran's Prisoners

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Last month in New York, in the shadow of the sham "human rights conference" known as Durban III, I had the honour of attending a counter-conference organized by the human rights organization UN Watch. At this conference, leading dissidents and human rights activists from Iran, Syria, Cuba, Burma, North Korea and China assembled to shine a light on the extreme human rights violations that the UN's corrupt "Human Rights Committee" would rather ignore.

One of the most touching pieces of testimony at the UN Watch conference was a letter smuggled out of Iran's notorious Evin Prison, read aloud by Iranian human rights activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi. I have put this letter into the record of the proceedings of the Senate of Canada as a show of solidarity with the suffering of its author, a brave and principled ayatollah whose only crime was to advocate in favour of the separation of religion and government.

According to Amnesty International, poor prison conditions, torture and ill treatment have left Ayatollah Boroujerdi in a dangerously precarious state of health. I read his letter aloud to the Senate to honour his courage and that of his family and supporters and to let them know that we in the Senate of Canada bear witness to their struggle and to the leadership and criminal treatment of this good man.

Here is his message:

A message from Ayatollah Kazemeyni Boroujerdi to the 66th annual UN General Assembly:

Honorable UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, respected and esteemed representatives of the countries around the world, ladies and gentlemen of the free world,

The abominable oppression and subjugation of the people of Iran by the Revolutionary Guards, under the ruling dictatorship is so egregious, and their apparatus for its cover-up so systematic that the world at large never learns of the actual horror stories and the crimes committed by the Islamic regime against the humanity of the people of Iran.

I am hereby informing you, the defenders of human rights, that the innocent people of Iran are deprived of their most basic human and civil rights while their natural resources and national wealth and assets are being squandered on saturating the world with a universal propaganda campaign devised for an expansionist agenda of these sinister claimants of faith.

The wave of poverty, despair, fear and helplessness has created a desperate atmosphere in my country but the regime relentlessly censors and prevents the information about the condition of the poor citizens of Iran to be disseminated.

I am appealing to all people of faith, and reverence to divine Justice, to come to the aid of a nation that was deceived in the name of God 32 years ago; that exchanged the throne and crown for a politicized Islam. Now Godlessness and Immorality has encroached on all levels of our society and has shattered the peoples confidence and trust in faith and spirituality.

Now that the hope of democracy in the Islamic world is spreading and the foundation of human rights is being established throughout the region, the international community's support for the struggling people of Iran is needed for Iran to reach independence and self determination and also establishment of peace in the Middle East.

This humble preacher who has continually spoken out against the incursion of religion in government and politics, has spent over 2000 days in the nightmarish prisons and torture chambers of the Islamic regime's Dictatorship. Every single day, I have been denied council, and my wife, children, extended family and defenders have been systematically threatened and actively abused.

I thank you for your time and willingness to lend an ear to the Iranian plight and eagerly await your support for the oppressed people of our nation.

Seyyed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi