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May 08 2007

Swedes Protest against visiting Iranian foreign minister

Swedes Protest against visiting Iranian foreign minister

Human Rights & Women’s Rights in Iran were on the minds of up to 200 protesters in Stockholm, Sweden on Monday. Iran has been refusing to grant woman equal rights, Iran has been imprisoning political opposition. Perhaps worst of all Iran has ignored all international diplomatic efforts and has been continued it’s uranium enrichment and Nuclear Weapons Program. The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on Iran in March and has demanded the country suspend its uranium enrichment programme.

Protesters in Sweden were angered that Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was allowed to enter Sweden and address Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Police gathered while eggs were thrown in protest from the shouting crowd.

Swedish newspapers published articles from Swedish publishing and writers’ organizations in which Carl Bildt and Maud Olofsson are urged to issue a strong protest against the Iranian regime’s mistreatment of women pushing for equal rights in the country.

Two weeks ago, two leading figures in the Iranian women’s movement were each sentenced to three years in prison for “conspiracy with the intention of damaging national security”. The two women, Parvin Ardalan and Nooshin Ahmadi Khorosani, were among the instigators of a campaign for equal rights which managed to gather one million supportive signatures. The authors of Monday’s article called for the verdict against the women to be overturned and for Foreign Minister Bildt and Deputy Prime Minister Olofsson to encourage the EU to take action on their behalf. Several Iranian women’s organizations in Sweden have condemned the Swedish government for allowing Mottaki to visit. They have also called for Sweden to break off all political and cultural ties with Iran.

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