Statement to be published ASAP
March 2, 2012
The Ahwaz Center for Human Rights (ACHR) and the Gulf European Center for Human Rights (GECHR) declare that they will observe the elections to the National Consultative
Assembly of Iran consisting of 290 members and scheduled for Friday, March 2, through a network of qualified observers whose identity is held in secret in order to protect them from being arrested or kidnapped by the Iranian Regime that rejects any international observation at the elections.
Out of 5395 applications for registration as a candidate, 1200 applications have been turned down for different reasons, including those who withdrew their candidacy. Abbas Ali Kadkhodei, the speaker of the Guardian Council of the Constitution and the supervisor of the elections, has not given any explanations regarding the exact reasons for rejecting the applications. According to an anonymous mass media source, 33 current parliament members will not be allowed to candidate after the termination of their current term. 228 other current parliament members’ applications were accepted for the next term.
To run as a candidate one must be a citizen of Iran, between 30 and 75 years of age, he must be considered loyal to the Constitution of Iran and recognize the absolute authority of the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as he should hold a university degree or have a comparable qualification.
The official one-week election campaign started on last Wednesday. The registered number of voters reached 48,3 millions; polling stations throughout Iran have been equipped with 47 thousands ballot boxes.
The candidates can be divided into three major groups: traditional conservatives, the supporters of the current president Ahmadinejad and a number of smaller reformist parties.
The biggest fraction of the conservatives under the leadership of Ali Larijani, the chairman of the parliament, will most probably delegate around 1800 candidates and maintain its majority in the parliament.
Nejad’s re-election in June 2009 has become a start point of unprecedented protests, now this month will be the first time since then to bring another wave of protests and political repression.
Our observers report escalation of pressure of the regime on the oppositional movements during the last weeks.
The authorities suppress freedom of expression more consequently right before the start of the elections, this refers especially to the regions of the Arabs of Al Ahwaz, Baluchistan, Azerbaijan which all require their right to self-determination and boycott participation in the fake elections.
Our observers report that the crackdown on the opposition in Iran goes on in full swing and that shows clearly that Iran’s claims to be a “supporter” of the national protests in the Middle East cannot be true.
By providing our observers we declare our solidarity with the statement of Ann Harrison, the deputy director of the MENA Program of Amnesty International who said: “Any person might risk his life in Iran if he only dares to do anything against the social and political norms drawn by the government.”
Amnesty International reports that in Iran such actions as creating a group via internet, joining an NGO or expressing a view on the current situation contradicting with official opinion of the regime may all lead to arrest.
Gulf-European Center for Human Rights (GECHR)x
Ahwaz Center for Human Rights (ACHR)x