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A delegation from the International Committee against Stoning, spearheaded by its spokesperson Mina Ahadi, was invited by Millenium Institute to come to Brazil for a series of engagements.
Ms do Rosário expressed her and president’s Dilma Rousseff’s solidarity with women facing violence and stated that they are ready for an open dialogue with Mina Ahadi and her work. Mina Ahadi talked about the suffering and fear of those mothers and fathers whose children will be executed any day, as well as of the anguish of children whose parents have already been executed. She talked about the situation of Sakineh Ashtiani and her lawyer Houtan Kian, both of whom are still imprisoned and still face execution.
Mina Ahadi gave a 20 minute speech on the human rights violations in Iran and the case of Sakineh Ashtiani. She then took part in the panel on ‘democracy, freedom and human rights’ together with Javier El-Hage, director of the Human Rights Foundation and moderated by Paulo Uebel, director of Millenium Institute Maria do Rosário stressed the Brazilian government’s willingness to not only support the victims of human rights violations but to also save them.
Ms Ahadi asked the Commission to approve a resolution condemning any act that violates human rights, especially against women and with a specific condemnation of stoning in Iran. The senator promised to present the resolution in the plenary of the Commission with the voting results being made public.
The last meeting of the day was in the Palácio do Planalto (Presidential Palace) with Marco Aurélio Garcia, Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs to the president.
Ms Ahadi spoke about the late night, secret phone calls she gets, sometimes directly from those imprisoned, asking her for help to save them from execution. She appealed to Garcia and the government to continue towards a clear stance on human rights.
Rio de Janeiro
On Friday, 6 May a seminar entitled ‘Human Rights in the Middle East’ was held at IBMEC University in Rio de Janeiro at which Ms Ahadi was the main speaker. The seminar was moderated by Leonardo Paz and Paulo Uebel from Millenium Institute was also on the panel. The talk centred on Ms Ahadi’s life and her work to save women and men from execution, especially stoning, and the life of people in Iran under the Islamic Republic.
Ms Ahadi stated that she was very happy about the meetings and expressed her hopes that the Brazilian government would sever its diplomatic relations with Iran and continue the promising path the government had taken up recently with a clear stance on human rights. She said: ‘The very fact that we were meeting government officials today already sends a strong signal to Ahmadinejad and the Islamic regime’.
For more information on ICAS and Mina Ahadi go to ICAS website.