Friday, 13 February 2009

IMHRO condemns pressure on British Council by Tehran

Iranian Minorities’ Human Rights Organisation (IMHRO)



The Iranian government has a history of putting pressure on staff from Western organisations and institutes. Last month the Iranian government charged brothers Arash Alaei and Kamyar Alaei, prominent Iranian/American doctors who had been working in Iran on HIV and Aids treatment and prevention, with spying and plotting to overthrow the Iranian government. Arash Alaei was sentenced to six years in prison and Kamyar Alaei to three years

Reza Washahi, a researcher on minorities said “through banning satellites, filtering and internet censorship and keeping internet low speed, the Iranian government is trying to safeguard its tyrannical regime. The miserable condition of minorities in Iran is their best kept secret.”

Now the Iranian government has put pressure on the British Council by intimidating staff. According to the BBC “most of the 16 locally-appointed members of staff were summoned for interviews at the Iranian Office of the President where it was suggested to them that they should resign from their posts with the British Council”. As a result the British Council has suspended its operations in Tehran.

IMHRO strongly condemns the anti-West attitude of the Iranian government and urges the Iranian government to allow international charities and institutions to work in Iran, particularly in minority areas.



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