Friday, August 7, 2009

Will They Persecute Ethnic Minorities and Disabled People Next?

by Julie Jigsawnovich

On August 1st the regime in Iran put on a show trial with one hundred defendants, featuring "confessions" widely denounced as having been extracted via torture. This trial included highly respected Iranian intellectuals. On August 5th, Twenty-four simultaneous executions of alleged "narcotics dealers" took place west of Tehran. Iranian friends tell me that political dissidents are often falsely prosecuted and executed as "narcotics dealers." In Tehran, artists and musicians are facing years in prison for their creations.

The regime targets intellectuals, artists, gays--will they persecute ethnic minorities and disabled people next? This has the eerie feeling of a bad dej'a vu. Is this regime capable of violating human rights on the scale of the Third Reich? (Having lived in Germany for awhile, that history is very real to me.) Could Iranian citizens' non-cooperation with the regime, and some police or military non-cooperation with the regime, slow down the crackdown and persecution enough to stop the coup--and preclude outside "intervention" or military strikes on Iran? What should the US gov. do or not do regarding Iran? What should private US citizens do or not do?

Juan Cole examines the prospect of sanctions proposed by neocons in his August 6th post on his blog, Informed Comment, at:

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