Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks Community Leaders Support the Pro-Democracy Movement in Iran

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SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On Monday, the Americans For A Free Iran (AFAFI) held a briefing on the occasion of the anniversary of the Iranian people’s June 2009 uprising to express solidarity with the pro-democracy movement in Iran.

A number of prominent Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks religious figures and human rights activists participated in a panel discussion to explore ways that American citizens and their elected representatives can side with the Iran’s pro-democracy movement.

The AFAFI co-founder Reverend James Bessey admonished Tehran’s despotic rule and urged the policy to “support the Third Option, which means, no military solution and no furtherappeasement; we must support Iranian people in their struggle for freedom and democracy.”

Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway, founder and spiritual director of Emmanuel Center for Conscious Living emphasized that “We must support Iranians in their struggle for freedom and democracy.” AFAFI member Mr. Stephenson questioned the religious authority of the regime and stressed, “it is imperative that we help Iranian people as they strive for democracy and peace.”

Mr. Nasser Sharif, President of California Society for Democracy in Iran, admired the concerns expressed by AFAFI representatives and emphasized that Tehran has neither the capability nor the intention to abandon its nuclear weapons program. He said, “U.S. Government hinders the pro-democracy movement by unjustly blacklisting the main opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) which seeks freedom and democracy in Iran. In contrast, Mr. Sharif reminded the audience, leading members of U.S. Congress have consistently stood by the Iranian people.

In an emotional presentation, Mr. Amir Emadi of San Diego State University held up family pictures, noting that 15 members of his family have been arrested or imprisoned because their relatives live in Camp Ashraf, Iraq where 3,400 members of the MEK have taken political refuge. He thanked the more than 30 California Representatives who Co-Sponsored H.Res.704 in support of the Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf or wrote letters to secure the protection of Ashraf residents, including Howard Berman, Brad Sherman, Bob Filner, Dana Rohrabacher and Ed Royce.

On March 17, in a press conference, 224 House members announced their bi-partisan support for the humanitarian rights of Camp Ashraf residents. They included 24 Committee Chairs and Ranking Members, and 103 Sub-Committee Chairs and Ranking Members.

SOURCE Americans For A Free Iran

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