Open letter to His Excellency Ban Ki moon, relating to decision to attend the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 by Reza Pahlavi
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His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations
New York, NY
Your decision to attend the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), this week in Tehran, draws special attention to the unique role of the Secretary General as the leader of the United Nations, an institution that, in 1945, set as the preamble of its charter the following mission statement:
“To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…”
In turn, the Non Aligned Movement has established the driving principals of the UN charter as the requisite basis of qualification for membership by candidate countries: Known as the “Ten Bandung Principles" it is noteworthy that “Respect for fundamental human rights” is the very first item of the charter of the NAM conference -- Your Excellency is to attend in Tehran this week.
With great irony and quite unfortunately, the clerical regime of Iran’s continued, systematic and gross violation of human rights -- within and beyond its borders -- is a sad truth and an established fact that has been brought to your attention by a myriad of organizations, world citizens and leaders, including the UN’s own Human Rights Council and Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran.
Your Excellency’s attendance of the Tehran NAM conference is being watched very closely because of the unique mandate and opportunity afforded to your office at such an important and high-visibility conference, with the expectation that the dire condition of the thousands of political prisoners languishing in your host's prison cells will not be forgotten under any circumstance or diplomatic protocol.
Clearly, the Tehran conference will seek to detract, through lavish conferences, receptions and dramatic communiqués, the remotest attention from the thousands of men and woman, young and old suffering from cruel, unusual, life threatening conditions and torture at the hands of your very hosts. However, because of your personal awareness of the facts, there is a high level of confidence that you will not forget or leave un-addressed the plight of our political prisoners as they will be left with very little hope if the regime is given a pass by the international community, and not held accountable by a world body as important as the United Nations.
At the moment when the regime’s ‘supreme leader,’ Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, inaugurates the Tehran conference, he will do so while holding the very pen and key that has ordered and locked thousands of our nameless compatriots in prison cells and torture chambers throughout Tehran, the city host to you and all heads of states attending the NAM conference.
To the regime, it matters little who from, or why, a voice may rise in complaint, protest or grievance. Legitimate, well-founded or not, from friend or foe, the regime’s response to an alternate opinion is usually swift, punishing, cruel, crushing and often accompanied with great bravado: because they simply don’t feel -- and are not held -- accountable!
To that end neither Ayatollah Seyed Hossein Kazemeiny Boroujerdi nor Mr. Mir. Hossein Musavi, respectively a prominent clergy and a candidate for the presidency of the Islamic Republic, have been spared the regime’s wrath: both individuals have suffered deterioration of their health while held as political prisoners of the regime.
In Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s case, even though a learned cleric, he has not been exempt from intense regular physical torture; while, Mr. Mir Hossein Musavi’s detention has included heavy psychological torture and targeted denial of timely medical attention.
While the tide is fast changing as demands for accountability fuels the winds of change that are filling the sails of civil disobedience and peaceful defiance throughout Iran, high profile international attention to our plight is essential and often energizing as the Iranian people themselves will invariably chose right from wrong and bring light to darkness.
Your Excellency, I favor your high profile attendance of the NAM Tehran conference as I view it as a grand opportunity to shed light on the systematic disregard and violation of human rights by your hosts.
An immediate halt of such violations, followed by the release of all political prisoners is the rightful demand of the Iranian people who have every expectation that the Secretary General of the United Nations will not disregard their plight or abandon them at their time of greatest need.
With high esteem and personal regards,