Human rights activists rallied in New York City
Friday night in support of election protesters in Iran, saying they would keep
up international pressure on the Tehran government for as long as necessary.
More than 300 activists and opposition supporters, many sporting green
bracelets, scarves and headbands and holding green ballons, gathered at the edge
of New York's Central Park during a heavy rain storm. Larry Cox, of Amnesty
International, one of the rally organizers, said they were there to show their
solidarity with the people of Iran. "We are going to stand in solidarity with
those people now and for as long as it takes for them to win the fight for
freedom and dignity and human rights," he said.
He urged the Iranian
government to listen to "the courageous voices of their own
Shala, a woman in her 40s, who stood defiantly under an
umbrella, urged the world to take action to stop further violence against
protesters in her motherland. "This is not about politics anymore, everyone
knows that. It is about human beings. They are slaughtered every second in my
country and nobody is doing anything!," she said.
Hadi Ghaemi, director
of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, told the rally the time
has come for accountability. "For too many years, the government of the Islamic
Republic of Iran has gotten away with impunity," he said.
majority of the people in the crowd were there to feel a connection with their
friends and relatives in Iran, like this woman, who did not want to give her
name. "I am here to feel united with the people who are being killed in my
country. To share the sorrow that they are having by losing their children, and
the tolerance they are assuming all these 30 years that I have been outside of
Iran. I would like to tell them that I am with them and I think of them and I am
as upset as they are," she said.
The street demonstrations that initially
took place nearly every day in Iran following the disputed election have largely
subsided due to a heavy police presence. But the demonstrators in New York said
they would continue holding rallies for as long as necessary.