Canadian Media Ignores Iranian Human Rights Protest in TorontoJune 10, 2010
June 10, 2010
Persian2English– On June 7, 2010, Toronto residents protested against torture and abuse inflicted on political prisoners and prisoners of conscious in Iran, but their efforts went ignored by the Canadian media. The goal was to grab the attention of various media sources to gain broader attention on the severe violations of human rights that occur daily in Iran. The protesters were hopeful that the media would pay attention, which ultimately meant the cries of imprisoned Iranians would remain alive. Toronto citizens advocated with signs and slogans that promoted democracy, the very system of government that free media in countries like Canada depend on.
The protesters marched from Toronto’s main square to the building of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). As the protest grew louder, many were hopeful that a representative from CBC would address the protesters, but this never happened. Despite the lack of media coverage for the protest, Torontonians stayed persistent and read a letter addressed to the United Nations, written collectively by a few Iranian human rights organizations. The zero response by the media has left many human rights activists wondering, “Does Canadian media care about the Iranian people?” The images of brutality sent from Iran flood the internet on a regular basis. It is assumed the media is aware, so why the lack of interest?
Specifically, it is more significant for Canadian journalists who believe in democracy to report on oppression and abuse, since residents in Iran are imprisoned and tortured for writing and speaking the truth, a right that many people in the West take for granted. The people in Iran yearn for freedom. They yearn for free press. They yearn for people who live in a democracy to care enough to spread their silenced voices.
People oppressed in countries around the world depend gravely on the media to provide an outlet for their silenced voices to be heard, because their own governments turn their backs on them.
Video of the June 7th Toronto Protest
The Monday protests in Toronto were just a small taste of what is to come as people around the world plan to hold large protests to recognize the atrocities committed against humanity in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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SAMPLE LETTER TO SEND MEDIA. SOME MEDIA EMAILS INCLUDED:
Dear (Insert Name of Company Here):
On June 7th, we took to the streets of Toronto to beseech the media to give citizens of Iran who suffer under a veil of tyranny and oppression a voice to express themselves. We advocated with signs and slogans to let the world know that Iran wants a democracy, the very system of government that free media like you depend on. Journalists in Iran are imprisoned for writing the truth, a right that we all too often take for granted. The people in Iran yearn for freedom. They yearn for free press. They yearn for you to care and spread their silenced voices.
Spurred on by fellow Toronto citizens, we marched from the city’s main square to the building of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to ask the media to be a vessel for the voices of imprisoned activists and writers who are awaiting persecution, execution, or are sexually abused daily. However, these voices have gone ignored by the Canadian media.
Not one member of CBC even stepped out of the building to acknowledge the protesters. When we read aloud an important letter to the UN in front of the CBC building, we hoped that you would give a voice to the voiceless. Instead, we got ignored.
Why did you choose to be oblivious to their voices while they remain brutalized? People oppressed in countries around the world depend gravely on the media to give them a voice when their own governments turn their backs on them.
The Monday protests were just a small taste of what’s to come as people around the world will express themselves fervidly against the atrocities being committed against humanity. And so we ask, if they are fighting so passionately for human rights then why have you not done your part?
(Insert Your Name Here)
List of Media Email Addresses:
LETTER TO THE UNITED NATIONS FROM VARIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS.
THIS IS THE SAME LETTER THAT WAS READ ALOUD OUTSIDE THE CBC BUILDING IN TORONTO:
We are a group of students, human rights advocates, and Iranian civil activists in Toronto and the GTA who are free from any political orientation. We have gathered in front of the CBC News building to deliver a message that is united with Iranian political prisoners as well as the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom. We condemn the acts of human rights violations in Iran by the Islamic Republic regime. We would like our demands to reach the United Nations.
We demand from the United Nations to:
1. Send special reporters to Iran to record the human rights violations.
2. Demand the unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscious in Iran.
3. Eliminate the stoning and execution of political prisoners in Iran.
4. Demand the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Iran by Iranians.
We want the United Nations to support the establishment of a secular democracy in Iran and to not ignore human rights violations due to politic matters that occur behind closed doors.
At the end of his six year position as the UN Special Rapporteur, Phillip Alston stated on June 11, 2010 that the UN human rights councils ignored his reports on executions in Iran. The selective actions of the United Nations in addressing human rights violations raises questions on the credibility of the organization.
On June 10, 2010, we ask the United Nations High Commissioner to not consider the lies told by representatives of the Islamic Republic and instead find practical solutions.
We have gathered to unite our voices to say: “Do not ignore human rights violations in Iran and help us gain awareness instead so the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is fully implemented in Iran.”
URGENT CALL FOR ACTION: SEND LETTERS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND THE MEDIA TO STOP EXECUTIONS IN IRAN
ما جمعی از دانشجویان، مدافعان حقوق بشر و فعالان مدنی ایرانی ساکن تورنتو و حومه، فارغ از هر گرایش سیاسی و فکری، امروز در برابر ساختمان سی بی سی، جمع شده ایم تا ضمن اعلام همبستگی با زندانیان سیاسی در ایران و مبارزات آزادیخواهانه مردم ایران، و همچنین محکوم کردن نقض حقوق بشر در ایران توسط جمهوری اسلامی ایران، خواستهایمان را به گوش سازمان ملل متحد برسانیم
ما از سازمان ملل متحد می خواهیم
گزارشگرهای موضوعی را برای ثبت نقض حقوق بشر به ایران اعزام کند
برای آزادی بی قید و شرط کلیه زندانیان سیاسی و عقیدتی در ایران کوشش کند
سنگسار، اعدام کودکان و اعدام زندانیان سیاسی را محکوم کرده و برای ریشه کن رکردن اعدام و سنگسار تلاش کند
برای اجرای اعلامیه جهانی حقوق بشر در ایران با ایرانیان همراه شود
ما همچنین از سازمان ملل متحد می خواهیم از استقرار یک نظام سکولار دمکرات در ایران پشتیبانی کند و نقض حقوق بشر در ایران در زدوبندهای سیاسی نادیده نگیرد. همانطور که گزارشگر ویژه سازمان ملل، فیلیپ آلستون، در پایان کار ۶ ساله خود در روز جمعه ۱۱ ژوئن گفت، شورای حقوق بشر سازمان ملل متحد به گزارش های او در مورد اعدام ها در ایران توجه نکرده است و با برخوردهای گزینشی در مورد نقض حقوق بشر در دنیا، اعتبار حرفه ای خود را زیر سوال برده است. از این رو، در آستانه جلسه تکمیلی بررسی پرونده نقض حقوق بشر ایران در روز ۱۰ ژوئن، ما از شورای حقوق بشر می خواهیم به دروغ های نمانیدگان جمهوری اسلامی تکیه نکند و در عوض به دنبال راهکارهای عملی اجرای کامل حقوق بشر در ایران باشد
جمع شده ایم تا یکصدا فریاد بزنیم: ایرانیان امروز به حمایت شما نیاز دارند. حقوق بشر را وجه المصالحه قرار ندهید و برای تحقق و اجرای کامل مفاد اعلامیه جهانی حقوق بشر ما را یاری کنید
هفت ژوئن ۲۰۱۰
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