NYT: Human Rights Advocates Raise Pressure on Iran
These are excerpts from Friday's New York Times story about a new effort to bring forth democratic changes in Iran, led by advocate Akbar Ganji. It was authored by Nazila Fathi from Tehran:
Human rights advocates in Iran and abroad are increasing their pressure on the Iranian government over a crackdown in recent months on human rights advocates and other protesters. [...]
Separately, students in Iran and groups of Iranians abroad have announced a three-day hunger strike, to begin on Friday, to draw attention to what they said was President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies “that are reminiscent of some of the darkest days of the Islamic Republic.”
The call for a hunger strike was initiated by Akbar Ganji, a rights advocate who was released in March after being imprisoned for five years and who is in the United States. [...]
The group also criticized the government for using the police to break up protests by such diverse groups as bus drivers seeking a raise, advocates of women’s rights and Sufis protesting government order in February to evacuate their place of worship on a legal technicality that they said was a pretext to keep them from practicing their kind of Islam.
“In such an atmosphere, Iran’s democracy movement calls for the unity and support of people of conscience from around the world,” said the statement of the people in New York and Toronto calling for a hunger strike.