The coalition STOP THE BOMB called on the Evangelische Akademie Loccum, a center belonging to the Lutheran Church Hannover, to recall the invitation of representatives of the Iranian regime to a conference on the Iranian civil society.
The Iranian regime’s ambassador to Germany, Ali Reza Sheikh Attar and Kazem Sadjadpour from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are invited to speak at the conference on April 18, 2013.
The title of the conference is “A New Policy for the Middle East. How can the Iranian civil society be strengthened? ” For this conference, the Evangelische Akademie applied for funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Sheikh Attar is accused to being directly responsible for numerous killings in the Kurdish areas of Iran. Michael Spaney, spokesperson for STOP THE BOMB Germany, asks the Evangelische Akademie to follow the example of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Saxony and the Neuhardenberg Foundation, which have canceled similar events with the Iranian ambassador due to protests. “We particularly expect that the representatives of the CDU and SPD in the convent of the Academy, among them Björn Thümler, chairman of the CDU parliamentary group in Lower Saxony and Stefan Schostok, SPD candidate for the office of mayor in Hanover, will speak out against the participation of Attar and Sadjadpour. In case this will not happen, we are calling on the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, not to promote this conference, which serves as a stage for the Iranian regime. “
Saba Farzan, a publicist and head of Iran research at the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin criticized in an open letter the overall design of the conference: ” To pretend that this conference is designed to strengthen the Iranian civil society is a mockery of the young Iranian generation and their courage.”
Dr. Stephan Grigat, a political scientist and co-founder of STOP THE BOMB, refers to the principal problem of a dialogue with representatives of the Iranian regime. “It is particularly absurd to discuss with Sheikh Attar, a confidant of Iran’s president Ahmadinejad or with a representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry which in 2006 organized the Holocaust denier conference, about how to strengthen the Iranian civil society. But regardless of the particular topic, every invitation of representatives of the dictatorship of the Ayatollahs in Iran legitimizes the Iranian regime and weakens the Iranian opposition in Iran and in exile. The Iranian regime is well known for the persecution of gays, the oppression of women and bloody repression against the freedom movement and for repeated threats of annihilation against Israel. The Iranian nuclear and missile program will provide the possibility for the regime to make these threats real in the near future. “
Hiwa Bahrami, the spokesman of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in Germany, calls for the cancellation of the participation of Sheikh Attar: “The West has to finally profess its unambiguous support of the Iranian opposition rather than going on in leading a fruitless dialogue with the murderers of the Iranian freedom movement and the anti-Semitic Holocaust deniers. All dangers posed by this regime, can ultimately only be resolved if this regime is overthrown. “
Ali Reza Sheikh Attar is born in 1952 in Isfahan, central Iran. As a Basiji he is dispatched to Kurdistan like thousands of others who had responded to Khomeini’s Holy War decree on the Kurds of Iran in 1980s.
He was rewarded the governor of two Kurdish provinces of Kurdistan and Orumieh from 1980-1985. According to documents, in his capacity, he carried out demolition of many Kurdish villages to cut off support from the local Kurdish population to the Kurdish resistance movement. Among the villages are:
Villages of Gicha, Piranjok and Korey Saru (Spring of 1982) in the suburbs of Orumieh
Villages of Kelan and Diman in 1984 in the suburbs of Orumieh
Village of Kane Sipi in 1985 also in the suburbs of Orumieh
He has also ordered and carried out the execution of hundreds of Kurdish and other opposition activists in his capacity as the regime-appointed governor of the two Kurdish provinces.
Source: Stop the BOMB