Statement in Support of Student Encampments for Palestine

    Statement in Support of Student Encampments for Palestine As of late April, student encampments have sparked up in universities across Canada as part of the global movement in support of Palestine, heeding the call for divestment and echoing a longstanding tradition of student peace activism.   This brave statement by Canadian students and academics, which has overwhelming support from the broader community, is a positive step towards reaching a just and sustainable peace in Palestine and West Asia. ICC is in full support of this global and grassroots movement and urges academic institutions to support these students in their calls for divestment, which is beneficial to the preservation of the dignity and interests of Iranian Canadians.   The American Civil Liberties Union, says:  Freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly and petition — this set of guarantees, protected by the First Amendment, comprises what we refer to as freedom of expression. The U.S. Supreme Court has written that this freedom is “the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom”. Without it, other fundamental rights, like the right to vote, would wither and die.  Freedom of speech should be guaranteed for all citizens—limiting it in universities, which exist for the purpose of creating and discovering knowledge, is especially unreasonable. The broad movement of student encampments is a protest against the continued investment of Canadian academic institutions in the Israeli state—despite the latter’s violation of international laws and Geneva Conventions. Challenging narratives, asking difficult questions, making people uncomfortable—that's the price of living in a democracy. These are not threatening behaviors, as confirmed by the judge who ruled against the injunction against the McGill encampment.   As Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges put:  It exposes the abject failure by the ruling elites and their institutions to halt genocide, the crime of crimes. These students watch, like most of us, Israel’s live-streamed slaughter of the Palestinian people. But unlike most of us, they act. Their voices and protests are a potent counterpoint to the moral bankruptcy that surrounds them.  Violation of international law while ignoring ICJ recommendations and UN Security Council resolutions enables and perpetuates the cycle of violence in the region. We once again urge universities to follow the lead of their academics and students, protect their right to free speech and free assembly, and pay attention to their voice, which calls for peace and freedom for all. 
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    Statement on suppression of freedom of speech

    It is deeply troubling in the time of the genocidal killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians, to witness the suppression of freedom of speech of students and academics, and the threats against political dissidents around the world.  ICC is heartbroken to see various forms of state violence and takes a stance to condemn any form of intimidation, violence, imprisonment, or criminal prosecution that violates an individual's right to freedom of speech; such as the sentencing of Iranian rapper, Toomaj Salehi, to death; a sentence which we hope will never be executed.   The ICC strongly believes in the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, ICC advocates for a grassroots-led approach in the fight against violations of human rights instead of foreign interventions in domestic politics in any country.   ICC emphasizes that any form of sanctions against the Iranian people violates their human rights to pursue a healthy and prosperous life, and therefore we oppose the adoption of any such policies by the Canadian government.  
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The Iranian Canadian Congress is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-religious organization established in 2007 to represent the interests of Iranian-Canadians and encourage their participation in Canadian society.

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