Ekbatan Observer

Chronicling Iran's struggle towards political emancipation

17 November 2007

Around the Clock- Let us back into the universe

Around the Clock is a special page of the Ekbatan Observer devoted to monitoring and analysing the human rights situation in Iran.

Reza Bayegan
Saturday, November 17th, 2007

As Iranian human rights activists we are fighting to restore to our nation those rights that are universal and inalienable. These rights are founded on the incontrovertible truth that all human beings are born free and equal. The constitution of the Islamic Republic is incompatible with this omnipresent reality. It is riddled with inconsistencies and discrimination. It stands contrary to all those hard won liberties secured by human beings throughout the ages.

Human rights are not a product of the West. Neither are they the inheritance of one race or culture. They are the upshot of the accumulated experience and collective enlightenment of mankind as a whole. They are the intellectual tribute to the sweat and blood of black African slaves in the cotton plantations of Georgia as well as persecuted and murdered Christians under Roman emperors. These laws abhor the extermination of Jews in Nazi death camps as well as the massacre of Moslems in Srebrenica. The responsibility invoked by these laws does not stop at the gates of Buddhist temples in Burma nor behind the Great Wall of China.

When Mr Shahroudi the head of the Iranian judiciary and his cohort sit down together “to draw up scientific strategies” to introduce realities of Islamic human rights to world nations (IRNA, 15 November 2007) they fail to realize or rather maliciously ignore the meaning of the word ‘universal’ in the title of that historic declaration. They evade the fact that no nation or culture or state can claim to have its own hyphenated version of human rights.

Unlike the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes no distinction between men and women, agnostics and atheists, Baha’is and Moslems. It applies to everyone everywhere without any ambiguities and ifs or buts. What Mr Shahroudi and his “team of experts” can offer to the rest of the world as “scientific” human rights solutions envisaged in their religion is self-evident in the busy gallows and overcrowded jails and torture chambers of the clerical state.

Iranians are fighting tooth and nail for their release from the limbo of the Islamic Republic into the universe of shared values and rights that are the common legacy of humanity the world over.