Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yet another inalienable right

Saeed Mortazavi is the IRI's inalienable right. Well, having him as part of Iran's delegation to the inaugural session of the Human Rights Council is.

Much ado about nothing? In some ways, yes. Any sovereign country is allowed to choose the members of their delegations to the United Nations and the host country has to issue a visa and grant them diplomatic immunity. However, I understand that today -- the day that Mr. Mottaki spoke in the Assembly Hall -- Mr. Mortazavi chose to go sightseeing in Bern.

Was it because Canada's Minister had issued a formal statement of "disgust"? Or because the EU had threatened that its Ambassadors would leave the room at the beginning of the speech? Or was it due to condemnations voiced by a number of NGOs ?

Perhaps. Or perhaps it was because the weather, or climate, in Bern was better than in Geneva.

Had he listened to our Minister's speech though, he would have been impressed, as I always am, at the commitment of Iran to human rights, and I cannot but quote him: "My country commits itself in working closely with the international community and the members of the Council in making the human rights aspirations of all peoples in the world a reality."

I hope this includes the people of Iran.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Beacon

Manouchehr Mottaki never ceases to impress me with his statements. This time he bade us the good news that human rights will be high on the agenda of his Ministry... and that "detailed reports have been prepared on the human rights issue in the US and many European countries".

Indeed, why bother about human rights in Iran? Just yesterday we saw how women's rights and freedom of expression were respected, today we hear about the right to a fair trial. As for the rest of them, I would just be repeating myself...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ganji and other Iranians

Akbar Ganji delivered the most remarkable speech on the occasion of the 2006 Golden Pen Freedom.

And somehow I wonder how many Iranian journalists, politicians, even human rights activists would totally and publicly associate themselves with all of its content.

And then, aside from those who were in Moscow and a few others, who heard it?... who read it?... Payvand published it in its entirety, Rooz and RFE/RL only quoted parts of it...

Oh! How I wish Mrs. Ebadi had given a similar speech when she received the Noble Prize! She had the whole world as an audience and yet, it was, as mentioned then, quite an "anti-climax".

And Mr. Abtahi only speeks of Mr. Khatami and how if he would "candidate" himself in Palestine, he would "win almost the majority of votes". ???


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sacred Music

Once again Iran and Mali linked through music. This time with India too. On a Moroccan night, in Fes, it was called "The Rythm of speech" -- three remarkable voices, including that of Ali Reza Ghorbani, and percussionists from the three countries as well, in a united ensemble... wish I could have been there... Here's a spectacular photo of all the artists.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Open sesame

Do you know who is the first Frenchwoman to get past the qualifying rounds at Roland Garros since 1997?

Aravane Rezai (just a little Iranian too, perhaps?)

She is playing seeded player no 16 Nicole Vaidisova this afternoon.