War and Capitalism are permanently linked, opposition to both is considered “perversion” . This explains the acts of legal violence against anti imperialists and conscientious objectors. Below is a touching narrative by one brave and conscientious man whose only crime is that he refuses to participate in organized and institutionalized violence. Asian Human Rights Commission has issued an urgent appeal on his behalf. we appeal to all progressive people to take up the cause!

SA

 

 

 

SOUTH KOREA: A man is awaiting imprisonment for his beliefs

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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from ‘World Without War’, a non-governmental organization that Mr. MOON Myungjin, who refused to do compulsory military service based on his beliefs and conscience, is about to receive rigorous imprisonment through legal procedure. We wish to draw your attention to the fact that his imprisonment is another example in the country where approximately a thousand young men have been imprisoned annually, which has been going on for more than 50 years. They have been criminally prosecuted and imprisoned due to the failure of the government to provide an alternative service for those who refuse to take up arms either based on their beliefs or religion.

CASE NARRATIVE: (the statement below is written by Mr. MOON Myungjin)

The reasons for my objection to taking up arms

1.
Going to jail instead of enlisting in the army has been one of the most crucial issues in my life. There is no one specific moment when I have chosen to refuse military service, nor is it easy to explain the reasons for my objection in simple terms. One thing is clear. It has become harder and harder to convince myself that I should take up arms as a soldier. So, this declaration will be a note that briefly describes my thought processes in arriving at the decision to become a conscientious objector.

I first pondered upon the state, the armed forces and war when the US-led war against Iraq broke out in 2003. I came to question what ‘national interest’ is, after having been to a protest against the Korean government’s decision to dispatch troops to Iraq. I asked myself who the national interest was meant for. I began to experience a discrepancy within my own thoughts and beliefs. I had been identifying myself with the state. I did not question the Korean saying ‘The physical strength of the individual is the strength of the nation’ learned through the national education system. I began to realize that the real world was far from what I had learned and believed it to be. This came about after experiencing the violence of the police against protestors. I had always considered the police to be ‘advocates of justice’.

I came to have firmer and clearer thoughts about my conscientious objection while engaged in the protest against the expansion of a US military base in Pyeongtaek in 2006.The villagers just wanted to spend their lives working the land on which they had grown up. Instead, the government mobilized the armed forces and riot police to evict them. In the early morning of May 4, I saw ruthless violence by the army and the police with my own eyes when their operation to crack down on the villagers as well as the protestors started. People either responded just as violently, or helplessly froze in the face of the overwhelming state violence. At that moment, on the one hand I was prepared to react in a nonviolent way in an effort not to become a devil while fighting back against the devil; on the other, I just felt a primal fear to see the armed forces, known to exist for national security, attack its own people as if they were the enemy.

For me the military is where the ability not to see a human being as human is internalized. While going through the experiences of seeing the violence of the riot police and armed forces in Pyeongtack, the candlelight vigil triggered by the import of US beef with mad cow disease and another forced eviction which took the lives of six people in Yongsan, I wondered how violence could be exerted by one human being against another. I tried to make myself understand how one person can fire a missile to where there exist people like him/her while I was watching the war in Iraq and Afghanistan on television. My conclusion was that you can point a gun only when you see others as not having the same feelings and needs as yourself. Now the meaning of being involved in the armed forces has come to me to act like a robot, there to be mobilized and to obey in favor of the state interests.

2.
Awaiting the day I will (perhaps) be put in prison, I think of the children I met during my teaching practice this spring. It was indeed a pleasant experience to realize that I did matter to them; to see the kids wanting to grab my hands while walking together to the canteen and also wanting to have meals sitting beside me. I felt truly alive to see the kids coming to play rock-paper-scissors with me to have fun, writing me a letter expressing thanks for me passing back the pencil case which had fallen on the floor, and the kids telling me they wanted to become a student teacher like me. I wanted to willingly empathize with the happiness and the pain of each child.

Pedagogy that I studied in my university years raised questions of the nature of education and how growth and development in human beings happens. The question of what education is for led me to think about how I live my life and what I value most at the moment. Although it was only a month’s experience of teaching practice, I was able to conclude that the aim of education is to learn how to love each other. I believe that although we keep facing conflicts, we could develop ourselves through knowing the extent and limits of the self from the conflicts, and connecting with each other.

I understand ‘security’ as a stage where people can live feeling safe. It does not contribute to ‘security’ at all to learn to regard other human beings as less than human, and to train killing skills. I do not want to imagine myself going into the military, which is supposed to exist for national security, and adopting the feelings of fear and hostility against what is called ‘the enemy’. I have not wanted to join the mechanism whereby militarism, like the hierarchical and male-dominated culture, to which I am subjected, neglects individual conscience, prevails and reproduces by virtue of it being the military.

3.
I remember visiting Laos PDR last month to participate in the first meetings of states parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In Laos, one person a day on average loses his/her life due to unexploded ordnance of cluster bombs. This means that millions of cluster munitions the US dropped during the Indochina War still remain, affecting the people’s lives. With regards to cluster munitions, which have been already stigmatized as non-humanitarian weapons within the international community, the South Korean government still argues the need for cluster bombs, allegedly referring to the importance of national security, while South Korean companies such as Hanwha and Poongsan profit by producing and exporting cluster munitions.

The government is asserting that it should take a tougher stance against North Korea in view of the recent incident in Yeonpyeong Island. At the same time, the MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System), of which the Korean armed forces are proud, was described positively in the Korean media. However, it is not the North Korean artillery, but somebody’s life and our humanity that is devastated by the South Korean artillery. Not only should North Korea be criticized, but also South Korea should accept responsibility for the current state of heightened tension. Just as there have been several deaths in the South, there must also have been some people injured or killed in the North during the recent military conflict. The more we develop fear and hostility against each other continuously, the more tears will be shed by those affected by the violence.

No one being deserves to be killed. Both South Korea and the surrounding countries should stop playing the game of spending more and more on war expenditure. It is only a few in the ruling class and the munitions industry who take advantage of constantly waging hostility and increasing armament expenditure. Violence leads to a vicious circle of another retaliation and more violence. My conscientious objection is both the least and the best stance that I can take against this vicious circle of violence.

4.
Thanks to my objection to military service, I have been able to reflect upon my own way of life. As already mentioned in somebody else’s declaration, I would have been able to deepen my thoughts on feminism and pacifism while pondering upon my conscientious objection, rather than the fact I was already pacifist before I decided to be a conscientious objector. I became a vegetarian and started riding a bicycle, having been inspired by the people I met through the peace movement group ‘World Without War’. I came to think a way of life in which I earn less, consume less and do as little harm as I could to the world. Looking back, it could be presumed that what constitutes the person I am now has come about since I started thinking of being a conscientious objector and while engaged in the peace movement.

On the contrary, it has been stressful sometimes for me to imagine the prison term which may come. At one stage, it was painful to envision myself in prison whenever I plan for the future. It was never easy to face my mother who tried to persuade me to reconsider my decision, saying I might have regrets after I finish the prison term. I was both saddened and angry to fall out with my parents who would argue it does not have to be me going to jail instead of military service, whereas I still feel some kind of guilt about going against what my parents have expected of me.

Last but not least, I would like to acknowledge the influence and the inspiration that I have received from my comrades, which have helped shape my thoughts. I believe that although it is me who has chosen to refuse military service, it is not a decision derived entirely from my own original thinking. I suppose the reason that I have been able to confirm my decision to become a conscientious objector was not because I have firm and flawless beliefs, but because I have been fully inspired by others around me who practice a nonviolent way of life. For me, it would be more accurate to say that I have come naturally to take this choice of being a conscientious objector in the context of how I live, than as a special and exceptional choice.

I hope my conscientious objection would resonate among people, and so reassess the reasons for the existence of the armed forces. I would have liked to question the militarism in Korean society, which goes beyond the matter of relativism, such as one’s freedom of conscience competing against another’s freedom of conscience. I wish my conscientious objection to enable me to still be able to empathize with other human beings, as well as remain sensitive to their pain in the future.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Conscientious Objection to Military service in South Korea

For the past several decades, conscientious objectors against military service have been going to prison. Yet it was only after 2000 that the issue became known to the public. That the cumulative number of conscientious objectors who served prison sentences exceeded ten thousand at the time profoundly shocked Korean society. Long considered an issue for Jehovah’s Witnesses only, conscientious objection became a social ‘movement’ with the public declaration of the first non-Jehovah’s Witness conscientious objector, the pacifist and Buddhist Oh Tae-yang in December 2001. In early 2002, “Korea Solidarity for Conscientious Objection” (KSCO) was formed by 36 civil and social organizations. They began to raise public awareness about conscientious objection through various activities such as discussion forums, lectures, public hearings, campaigns, and written articles.

The criticism and scolding against the conscientious objection movement were tremendous at first. The idea of national security was so absolute in the anti-communist Republic of Korea that more armament was considered socially ‘good’, while any kind of counter-argument was severely repressed. In South Korea, society went through a series of militarist regimes where a 100% enlistment rate was set as a social objective and the conscription-based military system was sanctified. It was not possible to bring up discussions on probable changes in the military system. Under these circumstances, it was difficult to expect not only reflections on the military as state-monopolized violence but also different points of view based on democracy and tolerance. A movement for change, however, was slowly created by the tremendous amount of time in jail and the pain that conscientious objectors endured. This was coupled with the efforts made by both recent conscientious objectors who publicly announced their objection and their supporters.

Afterwards, the duration of the usual prison term sentence for conscientious objectors was cut down from three years to one and a half years. In 2002, a case of conscientious objection was appealed to the Constitutional Court for review for the first time, and in 2004, a conscientious objector received a verdict of not guilty for the first time. In late 2004, assemblymen Mr. Im Joing-In and Roh Hoe-Chan each submitted a Military Service Act Amendment Bill to the South Korean National Assembly. In late 2005, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea announced a recommendation to introduce alternative service. This was a first time for a Korean national institute to do such a thing. In addition, the international community, upon recognizing the situation for Korean conscientious objectors, began to apply pressure on the Korean government. For example, the UN Human Rights Committee repeatedly ruled that the Korean government should consider alternate service for Korean conscientious objectors.

Thanks to these social changes, it appeared that the imprisonment of conscientious objectors which had continued for more than 50 years after liberation might end in the very near future. On September 18, 2007, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced plans to allow conscientious objectors to perform alternative civilian service, which was supposed to start in January 2009. In addition, at the Universal Periodic Review held in Geneva on May 7, 2008, the Chief of Human Rights Division of MND confirmed the position of Korea to introduce alternative service for conscientious objectors. But once the conservative Lee Myung-Bak government took office, MND suddenly changed its position. Having made little effort to prepare for alternative service with an excuse of ‘national consensus,’ MND publicly announced it would ‘nullify’ the introduction of alternative service for conscientious objectors in December 24, 2008. Their supposed basis for the decision was an opinion survey which was a very small part of the research commissioned by Military Manpower Administration in which there were more responses against alternative service. While the more-than-500-page-long research paper concludes that alternative service must be introduced, MND arbitrarily chose to use only part of the survey data for their own interests. The hard-fought changes by the civilian society were so easily overturned by the regime change. Up until now, more than 15,000 have been imprisoned for their objection to military service since Korea’s liberation from Japan in 1945. And in particular, more than 5,000 have gone through imprisonment since 2000, the year when the issue of conscientious objection began to be discussed in public.

Yet it was not only the CO movement participants who thought that the situation was unjust, but the militaristic and nationalistic Korean society had been changing slowly over the course of time and as the CO movement has continued. In the summer of 2008, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea officially expressed concern and sent a statement to MND, urging it to quickly introduce alternative service for conscientious objectors. This issue has been continuously raised in the judicial branch as well. There have been a series of requests with the Constitutional Court for a determination of constitutionality of the Homeland Army Reserve Act. In the current situation where legislative solutions are very unlikely, the Constitutional Court’s possible decision for conscientious objectors remains one of the possibilities. In 2010, UN Human Rights Committee pressed the Korean government once again by having its second ruling on individual CO communications. WRI, an anti-war organization which undertakes CO activities internationally, spread the news about Korea’s situation throughout the world.

In South Korea, about a thousand conscientious objectors are presently in prison.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please send a letter to the authorities listed below and express your deep concerns about this case as well as the inaction of making alternative service possible.

Please be informed that we have also sent a separate letter to the UN Special Rapportuer on freedom of religion or belief.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

SOUTH KOREA: A man should not be punished for his beliefs

Name of accused: Mr. MOON Myungjin, conscientious objector
Case & Charges: Case no. 2011GODAHN55; First trial held on March 16, 2011 at Single Criminal Court #3, Seoul Western District Court; article 88(section 1) of the Military Service Act

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the case of Mr. Moon Myungjin, who would not perform military service on the grounds of his beliefs and is going to be criminally prosecuted and imprisoned as a result.

According to the information obtained, Mr. Moon Myungjin who refused to be drafted within the prescribed period of time, whereupon he was accused under article 88(section 1) of the Military Service Act, was prosecuted and the first trial is scheduled to be held at Seoul Western District Court on March 18, 2011. Following previous cases, Mr. Moon would be put under court custody as soon as the court declares the sentences against him. I am also informed that it is most unlikely that Mr. Moon will be free from criminal imprisonment by the courts as there are hundreds of accused who had received one and a half years imprisonment before him. The hard fact is that there little room left for the lower courts to convert such decisions already made.

I am aware that the Constitutional Court delivered a decision on August 26, 2004, in a case unrelated to the current case of Mr. Moon. It rejected, by a majority vote, a constitutional challenge to article 88 of the Military Service Act on the grounds of incompatibility with the protection of freedom of conscience protected under the Korean Constitution. I would like to draw your attention in this judgment, to the fact that the Constitutional Court expressed that the legislature of South Korea has the responsibility to ease the conflict between freedom of conscience and the duty of a citizen as prescribed by the law. They should therefore consider taking appropriate action.

Sadly, as more time has passed, neither legislatures nor the concerned authorities, including the Ministry of National Defense, have made efforts to amend or make a law introducing alternative military service for the conscious objectors. All the more, the youth have become criminals. Having criminal records, they have been socially discriminated against and restricted in living.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to point out that the question has arisen that persons are going to be punished for a long time due to the inaction of the government. If a person is punished for such reasons, there will be also be a time coming in which the courts have to review earlier cases. The government might then have to undertake unbearable compensation for those who have been imprisoned due to such inaction. Furthermore, the court will not be free from criticism for taking no initiatives as the Seoul Nambu District Court made a judgment of acquittal to one conscientious objector in 2004.

I urge that a person who refuses to do compulsory military service on the grounds of his beliefs or religion should no longer be punished and imprisoned. The concerned authorities, in particular the President as well as the Ministry of National Defense, should introduce alternative service in order not to wrongly imprison the youth of the nation any more.

I take this opportunity to remind the government of South Korea of the need to establish a mechanism to provide the authors of the individual communications to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which South Korea is a state party, with effective remedies such as decriminalization of conscientious objectors, including compensation. In this regard, the Korean government has so far failed to establish or even discuss such mechanisms to implement the jurisprudence by the international human rights instruments including the UN Human Rights Committee. It will be nothing but a voice in the wind for the government to implement changes without having such a system in place in its domestic laws.

Yours sincerely,

—————-

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Lee Myung-Bak
President
1 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu
Seoul, 110-820
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Fax: +82 2 770 4751
E-mail: foreign@president.go.kr or president@cwd.go.kr or president@president.go.kr

2. Mr. Lee Gui-Nam
Minister of Justice
88 Gwanmon-ro, Gwachon-si
Gyonggi Province 427-760
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Tel: +82 2 503 7023
Fax: +82 2 2110 3079 / 503 7046
E-mail: webmaster@moj.go.kr

3. Mr. Kim Joon-Gyu
Prosecutor General
Supreme Prosecutor’s Office
1730-1, Seocho3-dong
Seocho-gu, Seoul
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Fax: +82 2 3480 2555
Tel: +82 2 3480 2000
E-mail: koreapros@spo.go.kr

4. Mr. Kim Kwan-Jin
Minister
Ministry of National Defense
No. 1, Yongsan-dong 3-ga
Yongsan-gu, Seoul
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Tel: +82 2 748 1111
Fax: +82 2 748 6895
E-mail: cyber@mnd.go.kr

5. Judge
c/o Single Criminal Court #3 (ref. 2011GODAHN 55)
Seoul Western District Court
99 Mapo-ro
Mapo-gu, Seoul
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Tel: +82 2 3271 1114

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission

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’عدلیہ دائرہ کار سے تجاوز کر گئی ہے‘

علی سلمان

بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، لاہور

عاصمہ جہانگیرعدلیہ کا کام ارکانِ پارلیمان کی اخلاقیات کی جانچ پڑتال نہیں

پاکستان انسانی حقوق کمشن کی چیئرپرسن عاصمہ جہانگیر نے این آر او کے بارے میں سپریم کورٹ کے فیصلے پر تبصرہ کرتے ہوئے کہا ہے ’عدلیہ اپنے دائرہ کار سے تجاوز کرگئی ہے اوریہ بہت ہی خطرناک بات ہوگی کہ سپریم کورٹ اراکین پارلیمان کی اخلاقیات پر فیصلے دے۔‘

عاصمہ جہانگیر نے بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام سے گفتگو کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ جس طریقے سے فیصلہ آیا اور مانیٹرنگ سیل بنائے گئے اور سارے اراکین پارلیمان کو ایک طرح سے وارننگ دی گئی کہ ان کے کردار کی چھان بین ہوسکے گی ’وہ سمجھتی ہیں کہ عدلیہ اپنے دائرے سے باہر نکلی ہے۔‘

انہوں نے کہا وہ اس بات کی توقع نہیں رکھتی تھیں کہ عدلیہ اب اس بات کی جانچ پڑتال شروع کردے گی کہ ممبران کے اخلاقیات کیا ہیں۔

عاصمہ جہانگیر نے کہا کہ اراکین اسمبلی تو الیکشن لڑ کر آتے ہیں لیکن جج تو اپنی ساکھ کی وجہ سے آتے ہیں اگر ممبران پارلیمان کے لیے معیار اتنا بلند کردیا جائے کہ کوئی اس پر پورا نہ اتر سکے تو پھر عدلیہ کا معیار تو اس سے بھی بہت بلند ہونا چاہیے۔

انسانی حقوق کمشن پاکستان کی سربراہ نے کہا کہ ’یہ جوڈیشل ایکٹوازم نہیں ہے بلکہ عدلیہ اپنی اتھارٹی کو بہت زیادہ آگے لے گئی ہے۔اب اس نے مانیٹرنگ سیل قائم کرنے کی بات کر دی ہے۔یہ بھی دیکھا جائے گا کہ کس میکنزم کے مطابق کام ہوگا۔‘

’عدلیہ کی سپرویژن تو ہوتی ہے لیکن مانیٹرنگ سیل ہم نے آج تک نہیں دیکھا کہ اس طریقے بنائے گئے ہوں۔‘

انہوں نے کہا کہ وہ سمجھتی ہیں کہ تقسیم اختیارات کا نظریہ متاثر ہوا ہے۔’عدلیہ کو اپنے رویے پر غور کرنا چاہیے اس کا اپنا ایک مقام ہے اور اسے اپنے اس مقام پر واپس چلے جانا چاہیے۔وہ کسی خاص معاملے یا کیس میں اپنی دلچسپی نہ دکھائے۔‘

’وہ انصاف ضرور کریں لیکن یہ مخصوص نہ ہو بلکہ مساویانہ انداز سے ہونا چاہیے کیونکہ یہ نہ صرف ملک کے لیےبلکہ خود ان کے لیے بھی اچھا نہیں ہوگا۔‘

ایک سوال کے جواب میں انہوں نے کہا کہ وہ اس فیصلے کے خلاف اسی صورت میں اپیل کرسکتی تھیں جب اس عدالت سے بڑی بھی کوئی عدالت ہوتی۔انہوں نے کہا کہ سپریم کورٹ کے سترہ رکنی بنچ نے ایسا فیصلہ سنا دیا ہے جس کی کہیں اپیل بھی نہیں ہوسکتی۔

’انسان آخر انسان ہوتا ہے اس سے غلطی ہوسکتی ہے اسی لیے اپیل کا حق رکھا جاتا ہے۔ یہ بھی سوچنے کی بات ہے کہ اتنے بڑے فیصلے کردیئے جائیں اور اس کی کہیں اپیل بھی نہ ہوسکے۔‘

انہوں کہا کہ وہ یہ نہیں کہتیں کہ عدلیہ فیصلے نہ دے لیکن جو بھی کرے بہت سوچ سمجھ کر کرے۔

عاصمہ جہانگیر نے کہا کہ اس سے کوئی انکار نہیں کرسکتا کہ جن لوگوں نے لوٹ مار کی ہے ان کے مقدمات عدالتوں میں چلنے چاہیے اور یوں اجتماعی معافی نہیں ہونی چاہیے لیکن عدلیہ نے جس انداز میں فیصلے کیے ہیں اس پر انہیں تحفظات ہیں۔

دریں اثناء انسانی حقوق کمشن آف پاکستان نے ایک بیان جاری کیا ہے جس میں بعض افراد کے بیرون ملک نقل وحرکت پر پابندی کو بنیادی حق کی خلاف ورزی قرار دیا ہے اور کہا ہے کہ کمشن کو اس بات پر پریشانی ہے کہ حکام نے ایگزٹ کنٹرول لسٹ آرڈیننس کا اطلاق کردیا ہے جسے کبھی بھی منصفانہ نہیں سمجھا گیا۔کمشن کی سربراہ عاصمہ جہانگیر نے کہاکہ پیشگی نوٹس اور مناسب وجوہات بیان کیے بغیر پابندی عائد کرنا اس بنیادی حق کی خلاف ورزی ہے جس کی ضمانت ملک کا آئین دیتا ہے۔انہوں نے کہا کہ جن لوگوں کے خلاف عدلیہ میں مقدمات چل رہے ہوں ان کے بیرون ملک سفر پر پابندی عائد کرنا ضروری نہیں ہے ان کے فرار کو روکنے کے لیے عدالت میں قانونی سطح پر یقین دہانی حاصل کی جاسکتی ہے۔انہوں نے کہا کہ ایگزٹ کنٹرول لسٹ کو ماضی میں سیاسی طور پر حراساں کرنے کے لیےاستعمال کیا جاتا رہا ہے اور اب ایگزٹ کنٹرول لسٹ کا عدالتی فیصلے کی آڑ میں من مانے طریقے سے استعمال کسی آفت سے کم نہیں سمجھا جائے گا۔انہوں نے کہا کہ قومی دولت لوٹنے والوں کے خلاف جو قانونی کارروائی کی جارہی ہے وہ کافی ہے، حکام کو بے جا غصے اور جوش میں آکر ایسے ناجائزاقدام نہیں کرنے چاہیے جنہیں وہ انصاف سمجھتے ہوں۔

Source: BBC Urdu

Asma Jahingir is the chairperson of Human Rights commission of Pakistan.

His honourable eminence Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri passed away in the city of Qom in Iran. H.E Montazeri was one of the “grand Maraja” of Shia Islam. He was one the leaders of Iranian Revolution and was appointed as the successor to supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini. He developed serious differences with Khomeini on the situation of human rights and liberties in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Angered by his dissent Khomeini dismissed him and a junior cleric Syed Ali Khamenei  who  was only a mid-ranking clerik or Hojjatoleislam was elevated to the rank of Iran’s supreme leader after Khomeini’s death.

Though Hossein-Ali Montazeri was one of the principle architect of theocracy in Iran and he was the only senior Shia cleric who supported Khomeini’s controversial doctrine of Viliyat-e-Fiqqihe or the “rule of cleric”, he soon realized the follies of this doctrine and the evil of Islamic republic. He openly protested against political executions, lack of civil liberties and restricting  rights of women in the Islamic Republic.

He was perhaps the only cleric in Iran to criticize Khomeinie’s infamous fatwa against the great British novelist Salman Rushdie.

He was the strongest and most vocal critic of the Islamic republic within the clerical establishment of Qom. He was also a persistent and brave critic of evil regime of Ahmedinijad and Khamenei. He protested the massive election rigging and use of violence to suppress the people of Iran by the evil regime. He gave a call for public mourning for 3 days on murder of student protester , the nightingale of peace, Neda Aga Soltan.

Aga Montazeri will also be remembered for his brave stance on human rights of the Bahai community in Iran.

He will be remembered as one of the principle architect of clerical rule in Iran but also as one of its finest critics and defender of human rights.

Once again Iranians have demonstrated that this revolution will not end till Iran is free of Mullahs. One must understands that movement is going on despite unprecedented tyranny. Activists have been murdered, tortured and raped [both males and females]. The yazid of Iran refuses to step down but let it be known to him that Iran will not surrender. Today every one is Iran is shouting

Death to Dictator

Death to Dictator

Curse on Ahmedinijad and his anti semitism

Death to the evil regime

Death to Imperialism

Long Live People of Iran

Shaheryar Ali

From : The BBC

Thousands of opposition supporters have clashed with security forces during a government-sponsored rally in Tehran.

Iran’s reformists had been warned not to try to turn the pro-Palestinian Quds (Jerusalem) Day marches into anti-government protests.

Reports say opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and former President Mohammad Khatami were attacked.

The opposition has been banned from holding rallies since the disputed presidential election in June.

As part of the Quds Day events, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech in which he repeated his view that the Nazi Holocaust was a myth.

Tear gas

The Quds Day rallies are held annually on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

ANALYSIS
BBC former Tehran correspondent Jim Muir
BBC former Tehran correspondent Jim Muir

Thousands of opposition protesters rose to the call of their leaders.

It was the first time in two months they have been out on the streets in numbers.

There have been mounting calls in right-wing circles for reformist leaders to be arrested, as hundreds of their followers have been. That could be the next phase of the drama.

The protests may not have achieved much in themselves but they have shown that the movement is still alive and defiant and the country, and its political system, remain deeply divided.

That is not what Mr Ahmadinejad wanted to see as he prepares for important exchanges with the outside world.

The day began peacefully, with thousands of Mr Ahmadinejad’s supporters marching through central Tehran.

But despite warnings by the authorities not to try to hijack the event, protesters shouted slogans in support of Mr Mousavi, a key opponent of the president.

Reports say there were clashes between police and protesters as the march progressed, with some arrests. Stones were thrown, and police used tear gas.

Iranian state-run channel Press TV showed footage of an opposition rally, with many supporters wearing green, the colour adopted by supporters of Mr Mousavi.

Mr Mousavi was forced to leave the rally after his car was attacked, the official Irna news agency reported.

Witnesses said supporters helped Mr Mousavi into his car when hardliners approached and the vehicle sped away as a crowd tried to hold the hardliners back.

Reformist website Parlemennews.ir reported that Mr Khatami was pushed to the ground and his turban knocked off, before police intervened.

POST-ELECTION EVENTS
12 June: Millions vote in presidential election. Turnout put at 85%
13 June: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared winner with 62.6%. Rival candidates challenge the result and allege vote-rigging
Mass opposition protests in days that follow. At least 30 people are killed and 4,000 arrested
19 June: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backs the result and warns against further protests
1 Aug: Trials begin of hundreds arrested over the unrest. Senior opposition leaders among the defendants
5 Aug: President Ahmadinejad sworn in for second term

In his speech at Tehran University, Mr Ahmadinejad again criticised the creation of Israel.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Mr Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust was “abhorrent as well as ignorant”.

“It is very important that the world community stands up against this tide of abuse,” Mr Miliband said.

For the past 30 years, the sermon on Jerusalem Day has been given by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The BBC’s former Tehran correspondent Jim Muir says Mr Rafsanjani is normally regarded as a pillar of the Islamic power system, but he quietly sympathises with the opposition.

This year he has been stood down in favour of a hard-line preacher.

Mr Mousavi was defeated by President Ahmadinejad in June’s election, which opposition leaders claim was rigged.

In the aftermath, there was a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters, with a number of deaths and hundreds of people arrested

The victims of Gojra violence have been able to get the case registered. This happened due to the intense agitation by the christians who refused to bury their loved ones and put their bodies on the railway tract and blocked the railway traffic. The immediate intervention by President Zardari and the international pressure forced the pro Taliban government of Punjab to register the case!

The victims of Gojra have clearly implicated PML-N and the Punjab police for the violence. The PML-N city president of Toba Tek Singh has been nominated in FIR so as the highest level of police administration.

With this the Chief Minister of Punjab must take responsibility of the carnage and resign. The city president of his party and his police officers have been accused by the victims. Not a single word has been uttered by the  pseudo secular elite of Pakistan against Shahbaz Sharif.

Because the victims have implicated PML-N’s city office bearer as well as officers of Punjab police, its important that Shahbaz Sharif must resign so that victims can get impartial access to justice.

Shaheryar Ali

Report By: Online News Network

Case registered against 20 known, 800 unknown people involved in Gojra riots

GOJRA: City police Gojra has registered case against 800 people including DPO, DCO and city president PML-N Toba Teak Singh on seven charges including murder, attempt to murder and terrorism following Saturday’s violent incidents in Gojra.

The city police on the request of Church Bishop, Almas Hameed Masih registered case against 20 known and 800 unknown people under the section 462, 302, 380, 354, 295B, 149, 148 and 7ATA. The FIR bears the names of PML-N City president Abdul Qadir Awan, Tahira alias Machi, Bashir Kasai, Nomi Kasai, Moulvi Nisar, Maulvi Usman, DCO Toba Imran Sikandar Baloch, DPO Inkisar Hussain, Subhani, Khalid Panwala, Hamad, Latif, Mouchi Councilor, Qari Noor Ahmad Awan Colony, Faisal Butt, Jani and Noor Hussain. Earlier, the bereaved families of the victims staged protest against the killings by laying bodies of their loved ones on railway tracks. And demanded immediate arrest of the people responsible for the violence.

GOJRA_LHowever, the bereaved families end their protest after the Minister of Law Rana Sanaullah has shown them the photocopies of FIR registered in the police station and assured them strict action against the responsible of the incident. Senior provincial minister Raja Riaz Ahmad, Federal Minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, member Punjab assembly and provincial ministers were also present on the occasion. Meanwhile Angry protesters on Sunday burned more then 50 houses while dead bodies of seven people after post-mortem at Tehsil Headquarter Hospital were handed over to theirs heirs. Police has arrested more then 60 including 11 wanted culprits during several raids from last night.

According to details, four people who were burnt due to riots belonged to one family. As soon as the dead bodies reached in Christian colony people shouted slogans amid cries against government and expressed their hatred upon the murders tooth and nail. They said that RPO and DPO Toba Tek Singh are responsible for the heinous acts thus due to hollow claims we lost over lives and property.

The peoples who were arrested by police includes Maulana Abdul Khaliq, Qari Abid-ur-Rehman Shah from the ban organization Sippa Sahaba, Hafiz Imran from Jamiat Ahl-Hadis.

It must be worth mentioning that heirs of deceased urged that they will not bury the dead bodies until Chief Minister of Punjab visits Gojra in this regard.

Case has been registered against 17 known and 783 unknown people on charges including those of killing, attempt to kill and terrorism following Saturday’s violent incidents in Gojra.

Religious Bigot Shahbaz Sharif

Religious Bigot Shahbaz Sharif

The case was registered on the request of Church Bishop while the families of the victims staged protest against the killings by laying bodies of their loved ones on railway tracks.

The bereaved families demanded immediate arrest of the people responsible for the violence.

Rangers, who took control of the city, have started patrolling in Gojra. Strongly deploying the onslaught on a minority community in Gojra, a tehsil of Toba Tek Singh, which left many women and children injured and torched their houses, Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti has asked Ulema and others leaders to play their due role to decrease the miseries of Christian Community.

On the special directives of President Asif Ali Zardari, he is visiting Gojra. While talking to host of journalists on Sunday he termed the incident as an instance of inhumanity and brutality adding that none who believes in welfare of people belonging to minority community can support such kind of menace.

He termed it an international conspiracy adding such people want to foil the image of Islam and Pakistan

Shaheryar Ali

Horrific reports coming from Gojra Punjab Pakistan, the Pakistani media maintained a criminal silence and blacked out the violence till People’s Party co-chairman and president of Pakistan Mr Asif Ali Zardari took strict notice of the Anti-Christian pogrom.

Gojra Violence

Gojra Violence

The banned sectarian organization Sipah-e-Sahaba, a violent criminal gang which calls itself “Army of Companions of Muhammed” was build by Pakistan’s secret agencies during period of General Zia-ul-Haq to create an Anti Shia mania in Pakistan to check the popular People’s Party whose leadership had Shia origins. The organization has been banned nominally but continue to work openly in Pakistan especially in Punjab where it enjoys government support.

Made up of ethnically Punjabi immigrants the organization which has its base in Sareiki speaking Southern Punjab, it is supported by the Lahore administration to terrorize the local seriki speaking landed aristocracy most of which is religiously Shia or Sufi minded Sunni-Barelvi sect and politically supporters of Pakistan Peoples Party. By creating ethnic and religious hatred the establishment keeps the popular demand of a separate Seriki province under control.

This organization was one of the first groups from Pakistan to join Al-Qaida, its various splinter groups are active with Taliban. It also participates in Afghan and Kashmir Jihad, one of the reasons for which it is protected by Pakistani establishmentAnotherhousetorchedbyMuslims

According to reports, this organization instigated violence using a mosque by alleging the blanket charges of desecration of Koran and blasphemy.

The Islamist organizations have frequently used these blanket charges to instigate violence. Almost every time these charges are false. No one has ever been convicted or punished in Pakistan after anti minority violence, the police, the courts and the government all are complicit in this evil tradition

The Right wing government of Punjab is continuously de-contextualizing the Islamic extremism problem in Punjab blaming the “mythological Indian-Jewish hand” in the terrorism. The anti minority organizations like Tehrik e Khatam e nabuat receives state funding to conduct its conferences by Shahbaz Sharif the latest darling of Pakistan’s pseudo secular intellectuals.

ImranTalibphotoWhen the violence started the police failed to protect the minorities, christian woman and children were burned alive. The mob refused to allow the fire brigade. During all this carnage Shahbaz Sharif’s police stood silent.

Latest reports suggest that Punjab police has refused to register cases against those who killed the innocent people. The christian protesters have blocked the railway line and refused to burry the dead till Punjab government registers the case.

It must be noted that chemical bombs were used by muslim mob to burn the christian houses. This technique has been mastered during burning of another Christian Village , Shanti Nager. The culprits never brought to justice.

Reacting to the fresh incident of violence against Pakistani Christians, Mr. Joseph Francis, the National Director of the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLASS), has said that the July 30 attack on Christian residents of Korian has “reopened wounds” of Christians which they suffered in the wake of 1997 attack on Shantinagar, a Christian village, as well as it has brought back “tragic memories” of Muslim violence in Christian villages of Bhamniwala and Sangla Hill.

his is the fourth biggest blasphemy-related incident of violence in seven months of this year,” Mr. Francis said, and pointed out the Christians were being subjected to atrocities, whose ancestors “had polled a casting vote for the creation of Pakistan.”

It must be noted that Pakistani media fails to report these incidents objectively. Most of the time a black out is maintained. According to ANS news women and children were amongst those who were burned alive. 2 churches were desecrated and copies of Bible were also torn apart.

Its time that conscientious Pakistani should raise their voice against the evil right wing Punjab government and the Blasphemy laws .

When these atrocities were being committed ats of heroism were also being committed. Pakistani communist Shabir Ahmad of Labour Qomi Movement risked his life and saved many Christians when mob was burning their homes. we salute Comrade Ahmad and the communist movement of Pakistan.

The issue in covered here, here and here and please see my earlier articles here and here as well

Pic: Imran , teenager accused of Blasphemy


Thanks to Asif Ali Zardari’s intervention, the media black out of Anti Christian pogroms in Gojra has ended.  Shahbaz Sharif’s “great administrative skills” fully exposed. The law enforcing agencies which are now ordered to attend the monthly district meeting of PML-N through a written directive stood silently when muslim mob burned down 50 homes of Christians and looted 100 more. 9 Christians have been killed , more feared dead as the rubble is removed. It must be noted that the Muslim mob refused to allow the fire brigade to save burning human beings. The violence was instigated from a mosque  under control of a “banned” organization [Banned organizations enjoy state patronage in Islamic Republic especially the Islamic Republic of Sharifistan]. The violently bigoted pro Taliban Rana Sanaullah visited the area and i am sure like past he will see “Indian hand” behind it. Mr Sanaullah and govt of Punjab has seen Indian hand in almost all islamic terrorism.

The government of Punjab has systematically supported Jihadi and sectarian organization. Please raise your voice to save Pakistani Christians because the stalwarts of Jinnah’s Pakistan are busy celebrating the “historic” decision where the old PCO judges , pardoned their own high treason and kicked out new PCO judges and once again implemented the doctrine of necessity [as conceded by Justice Tariq of lawyers movement]. The comrades of the black revolution are busy in their thuggery in Lahore [Lawyers have started gangsterism after their success in Lawyers movement].No one is there to see whats happening to Christians after the “daily revolutions of Pakistan-———

Shaheryar Ali

Pakistan Christian Post Reporting:

Pakistan: August 1, 2009. (PCP) It was an other day of mourning for Christians when Muslim mob attacked at Christian Town and gunned down 9 Christian women, children and men and burnt down 50 homes in Gojra.
The first was identified as Inyat Masih among dead and fleeing Christian of Gojra are hiding to save life to identify other dead Christians.

The march of Muslims started from Railway Station Gojra at 12:00 noon today was attended by thousands of local and from near by villages marched towards Christian Town. The Christian Town Gojra is residence of two thousand Christian families who settled here over fifty years.

When Muslim marchers approached Christian Town, some two hundred Muslims hiding their faces with traditional Islamic scarf opened fire on Christian houses.

Protesters

Protesters

The Christian fled from home but who trapped were executed by face covered Muslims with automatic firearms. The Muslim attacker looted 100 homes and set on fire more than fifty Christian houses.

These Militants used a particular type of chemical which is hard to extinguish to burn Christian homes This chemical was used first in the village of “Shanti Nagar” which was set on fire in February 1997. Later this chemical was used in “Sangla Hill Town” and recently used to burn 60 homes of village Korian on night of July 30, 2009.

Sunny Gill based in Karachi told PCP that he called his relatives in Gojra on their Cell Phone after watching news of attack on a local TV channel and they were crying and telling “they have burnt whole colony and they have no shelter to stay in Gojra now” They are very far from Karachi and do not have money to reach to him in Karachi. There are hundreds of Christians stranded and in hiding in Gojra and near by villages.

According to information of PCP, received by calls and e-Mails by relatives of Christians of Gojra, 4 women, one child and 4 men are dead due to gun shots and many have burn injuries.

According to news agencies, four women and one child were burnt alive by Muslims and burnt dead were received by federal Minority Ministry.

Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have condemned statement issued by a minister in Punjab government that “ Muslim marcher were peaceful and some one shot fire on rally to ignite anger among them”

Dr. Nazir S Bhatti expressed concern on media reports which reported attackers to be Sunni Muslims because Christians had always cordial relation with Sunni Sect of Muslims in Pakistan. Such reporting can flare up riots which Christians are not bear to afford because Christian do not guns to protect them.

“PCC demands Punjab government to adopt strict security measure to main law and order to ensure safety of life and property of Christians.

Picture Credit: BBC Urdu