US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
Iranian organisations write to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
The Honourable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Date: 29 January 2006
Dear Secretary Rice,
On behalf of Iranian gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, we write to express our shock, bewilderment and disappointment at the United States action this week in the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Committee of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
It is not long ago when Mr. George Bush announced a shift in US foreign policy and promised that human rights and democracy will be the first priority in US foreign policy. In addition the Bush administration claims that it want to help to spread democracy and human rights in the Middle East and accuses the Iranian Government of oppressing its people.
How can we believe that the US representative in ECOSOC goes against countries like The United Kingdom, France and even Chile and Colombia and vote against Human rights together with oppressive governments like Iran, Sudan and Zimbabwe and deny ILGA, as international NGO advocating human rights for GLBT worldwide including Iran, consultative status?
It is unbelievable that US reversed from its policy in 2002 when it joined sixteen other nations in supporting ILGA`s application for consultative status.
Did the US representative think about the consequences of such policy on millions of youth including GLBT in Iran that are yearning for freedom? How do you want them to believe that USA sincerely want to spread democracy and human rights in the Middle East and support reform in Iran?
As you are aware, Iranian GLBT are oppressed and their “crime” is punished by death penalty in the Islamic Penal Code in Iran. We are struggling to get our human rights recognised and we are deeply disappointed and angry to see that US government is allied with oppressive governments.
As long as human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people occur, it is vital that NGOs working on their behalf are given a place and voice at the United Nations.
After the atrocity terrorist attack on US in September 2001, the Iranian youth were the only youth group in the Middle East to walk with candles and show their support for US and their solidarity with US people. Your action in ECOSOC last week was like a slap on our face and caused a great disappointment indeed.
We, Iranian GLBT hope that democracies in the world will use UN mechanisms and human rights to help oppressed people to gain their rights. Peace, human rights and democracy will be spread not by war and violence or to collaborating with oppressed government denying human rights.
A group of Iranian GLBT webblogers
Arezoo SALEHI (Spokeswoman for RAHA Internet Radio)
Arsham PARSI (Spokesman & Secretary of Human Rights Affairs - Persian Gay & Lesbian Organization)
Aryan VARJAVANDI (Secretary-General of Persian Gay & Lesbian Organization)
Delkadeh (A Persian Socio-cultural GLBT e-magazine)
MAHA (A Persian GLBT e-magazine)
Payam SHIRAZI (Editor-in-chief of Cheragh e-magazine)