Friday, January 6, 2012

Offering Human Rights Award to “ Mother Behkish ”

Offering Human Rights Award to “ Mother Behkish ”
Khadijeh Moghadam, the Women’s Rights activist, received the first Human Rights award of the city of Bochum and offered it to “ Moder Behkish ”

On Sunday December 18, in celebration of the International Day of Human Rights, a ceremony was held in the Christos Church in the city of Bochum. During this “Iranian Night”, and in the presence of the esteemed guest Shirin Ebadi, the winner of Nobel Peace Prize, the city’s first human rights award was presented to Ms. Khadijeh Moghadam, the human rights and women’s rights activist. The ceremony was organized by the Amnesty International, and the Free Iran Organization and with support from the City of Bochum.
The ceremony began with the artistic works of a group of Iranian youth directed by Omid Pouryousef from the band Tapesh 2012. In between the speeches, the beautiful voice of Taktam, a young opera singer, adorned the Iranian Night.

The Mayor Ms. Astrid Peltzman Schulten, greeted Shirin Ebadi and Khadijeh Moghadam and, expressing pleasure in knowing them, gave a speech regarding the violation of human rights in Iran.

Next, the Secretary Genera of Amnesty Internatonal, Mr. Wolfgang Gurner began his report on the subject of the Arab Spring and the uprisings in Arab countries. He criticized the continued violations of human rights in these countries and excessive human rights violations in Iran. He finished his speech by pointing out to the German Government’s policies and its many contracts with these oppressive governments.

Shirin Ebadi began her speech by thanking Mr. Wolfgang Gurner, the Secretary General of the Amnesty International for his detailed explanations regarding the blatant violation of human rights in Iran. She Pointed out other instances of human rights violations in Iran and, criticizing the economic embargo and war as detrimental to the Iranian people, she, once again, emphasized the issue of nuclear energy development in Iran and its danger for the world.

At the end of the program and before receiving the award, Khadijeh Moghadam, began her speech with leafing through a book about the last 33 years and the conditions of a woman, a mother, and a human rights activist. She talked about the sit-ins of mothers in front of the Evin prison in 1979 followed by the release of the political prisoners during the Shah’s regime, and the fact that these same loved ones were put back in prisons of the Islamic Republic.

She spoke about the killings of political prisoners during the decade of 1980 and mass graves in “Golzar-Khavaran, the emergence of the “One Million Signature Campaign”, the “Khavaran Mothers”, the “Mothers for Peace”, the “Laleh Park Mothers”, the arrest of mothers and their supporters that has happened over a hundred times.

She spoke about martyrs like Neda, Sohrab and Kianoush and their grieving mothers, the heavy handed sentences given to those supporting the Laleh Park Mothers and the families of the lost loved ones, the recent judicial summons that Laleh Park Mothers have received, the execution of regular and political prisoners and the execution of children under the age of 18, the condition of political and ideological prisoners, those who have lost lives, those who have been tortured, the pressure on religious, ethnic, and gender minorities…..

Khadijeh Moghadam repeated the words of Dayeh Saltaneh, the mother of Farzad Kamangar, who, after her son was killed, said: “Don’t call us Grieving Mothers, call us Proud Mothers!” Finally, she offered her award to all the grieving and hurt mothers of the last 33 years and to an icon of maternal resistance, the mother of Behkish family, whose six family members were killed by the Islamic Republic. She repeated: We shall never rest….

The program received a huge welcome and the colorful presence of the supporters of Laleh Park Mothers and their representatives from London, Italy, Frankfurt, Koln as well as a large group of Laleh Mothers supporters from the city of Durtmond, had added to the warmth of this union with the Laleh Park Mothers and with the dear Khadijeh Moghadam by a hundredfold.

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