Irish Times, 14 June 2010 - UP TO 30 people gathered on O’Connell Street in Dublin on Saturday to protest against the Iranian government, exactly one year on from the country’s disputed presidential election in 2009.
As part of a global day of action, members of Amnesty International’s Irish branch assembled outside the GPO to launch the organisation’s campaign to free Iranian prisoners, jailed for expressing their political beliefs. About 5,000 prisoners, including journalists, students, political activists and clerics have been imprisoned for opposing the present regime. Many prisoners say they have been tortured and a number have been executed, according to a report by Amnesty.
Amnesty International Ireland executive director Colm O’Gorman said: “The Iranian government is determined to silence all opposition. If genuine charges exist against prisoners, they should receive a fair trail, without threat of execution.” A small crowd of protesters, mostly Iranians living in Ireland, held a separate demonstration adjacent to Amnesty’s protest. They chanted “Down with the terrorist regime of Iran, and down with the dictator”.
Amir Seifi, a protester from Tehran has lived in exile for the last 10 years because he was a political activist opposing the Iranian government.
“I was politically active as a student and had to flee Iran because I feared for my life. The Iranian authorities would not hesitate to do anything to us for protesting against the regime. I can never go back while the present government is in power.” Laleh Tarighi’s father was executed for opposing the regime, immediately after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. She says her family in Tehran are still subjected to regular harassment by the Iranian authorities.