Makwan Moloudzadeh: Execution in Iran Halted
Milan, November 16, 2007
President Ahmadinejad and the Iranian judges have granted a pardon to the young homosexual Makvan Mouloodzadeh
The petition for the life of Makvan and the “Flowers for Life in Iran Campaign” – promoted by Gruppo EveryOne and backed by Irqo, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International – have obtained a memorable result. “A sensational victory for human rights”, say Malini Pegoraro, Picciau (Gruppo EveryOne) and Paula Ettelbrick of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. The Iranian judge who annulled the death sentence defined the previous sentence “a violation of Islamic precepts and human ethics”.
On November 2nd, 2007, Gruppo EveryOne promoted throughout the world, through websites, networks and the printed press the “Flowers for Life in Iran” campaign”: http://www.petitiononline.com/everymak/. It entailed a petition for the life of Makvan Mouloodzadeh, a 21-year-old gay Iranian boy accused of the crime known as “Lavat” (sodomy) by Islamic criminal law and sentenced to death. The boy is alleged to have committed the “crime” when he was only 13 years old.
With the collaboration of Arsham Parsi – a member both of Gruppo EveryOne and the IRQO association for GLBT rights in Iran – the activists of Gruppo EveryOne, Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro, Dario Picciau, Glenys Robinson and Ahmad Rafat prepared a dossier on the case of the young man condemned to death. A campaign was initiated to save Makvan’s life and protest against the executions in Iran. A new form of protest already experimented successfully in the campaign against the deportation to Iran of the lesbian woman Pegah Emambakhsh.
The campaign, in fact, invited people from all over the world to sign the petition, and at the same time send President Ahmadinejad, a red rose and a white rose through international floral delivery services with a message attached to them: “The white rose symbolises the respect for the human rights of the young homosexual Makvan, and all the dissidents, women, free thinkers and homosexuals sentenced to death as “enemies of Allah”; the red rose is to say no to the blood of innocent victims shed on the scaffolds prepared for capital punishment”. The Flowers Campaign has obtained considerable favour in all the countries of the free world.
“The two petitions collected over a thousand signatures in a matter of days”, say the leaders of Gruppo EveryOne, “and hundreds of roses reached the palace of President Ahmadinejad in Pasteur Avenue, in Teheran. The invitation: “yes to clemency, no to capital punishment” was attached to the flowers.
Over the next few days the liberal and progressive part of the Islamic world took up the invitation of Gruppo EveryOne to make the pacifist campaign its own. Dozens of activists and political figures from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries sent e-mails, letters and flowers to the President and judges of Iran. Hakan Yildrim, the Turkish GLBT rights activist, defined the campaign as follows: “It is a peaceful campaign for the life of innocent people, in keeping with the Koran. A brilliant idea”. Many Swedish MPs of different parties – Liberals, Greens, Radicals – sent flowers and requests for a pardon to Teheran: Gunilla Wahlen, Mats Pertoft, Camilla Lindberg. On November 5th the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission joined forces with Gruppo EveryOne and Irqo, collecting further support and sending a letter to the government of the Islamic Republic.
The following day Amnesty International joined the campaign amplifying the echo of the petition for Makvan’s life. A few days later the head of the Iranian Justice Department, Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, overruled the previous death sentence, defining it “a violation of Islamic teaching, of Shiite law and human ethics.”
“This is a sensational victory for human rights and further proof of the power of global protest”, said Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of IGLHRC, together with Gruppo EveryOne, Irqo, Amnesty International and other organizations involved in the Flowers Campaign. “It is a victory for everyone concerned”, continue members from EveryOne, “movements for life and peace, but also for Islam, because the Iranian judge paid more attention to the humanitarian campaigns than the governments of democratic countries usually do. The effects of international mobilization proved more important than the empty rhetoric of the powerful international associations, that have difficulty overcoming interests and bureaucracy – making the basic dispositions concerning the protection of weaker minorities, the right to asylum and humanitarian urgencies unfeasible.
Gruppo EveryOne has been the driving force behind a new commitment to human rights, a commitment that is becoming a vast international movement for life, and against prejudice. It is now essential that those in positions of power do not waste this opportunity for change – but begin to hold talks with the movement to seek out solutions indispensable for ensuring a future of peace and coexistence for Planet Earth which is heading closer and closer to human and environmental catastrophes of unthinkable proportions”.
For Gruppo EveryOne, Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro, Dario Picciau, Arsham Parsi, Ahmad Rafat, Glenys Robinson, Salvatore Conte, Irene Campari, Steed Gamero, Fabio Patronelli, Laura Todisco, Loredana Marano, Aisha Ayari, Alessandro Matta, Saimir Mile, Stellian Covaciu, Christos Papaioannou, Udila Ciurar, Lilì, Jasmine.
Website: http://www.everyonegroup.com – http://www.annesdoor.com
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