Letter from Jean-Marie Matagne,
To H.E Seyed Mehdi MIRABOUTALEBI
Ambassade de la République Islamique d’Iran
4, Avenue d’Iéna
Fax : 01 40 70 01 57
Subject: the fate of Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.
ACDN (Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire) which I have the honour of chairing, has several times demonstrated its respect for the Iranian people. We have shown an openness to dialogue with the authorities that represent it, although we do not at all share the convictions of the Islamic government. Adhering as we do to the secular principles called in French laïcité, we reject all theocratic regimes.
In 2006 and 2008 when we organised in Saintes the 2nd and 3rd RID-NBC (Rallies for International Disarmament, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) we invited various ambassadors concerned with the topic, including your predecessors Mr Seyed Ali Moujani in 2006 and Mr Ali Ahani in 2008. Both of them came and took part, and we confirmed our invitation to Mr Ali Ahani in spite of being under strong pressure to withdraw it.
I personally was co-signatory with Michel Rocard, former PM of France, and Yehuda Atai, (co-founder of the Israeli Committee for a Middle East without weapons of mass destruction) of an Appeal to Europeans to Prevent War with Iran which was published in Libération on 16 November 2007, and which received support from numerous international personalities.
Our concern to hear the viewpoints of all parties in person and to contribute to a peaceful solution to international conflicts has not prevented us - when there was an opportunity , either in Saintes or at Iran’s embassy in Paris - from telling your predecessors that we condemn the unacceptable state of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in particular the infringements of rights of women, homosexuals, and political opponents of the regime.
It is for this reason, today, that I beg you to intervene urgently with your government and to ask it to annul the capital conviction and the sentence of stoning passed on your fellow-citizen Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Such barbarous methods can only alienate definitively those who are trying to show understanding towards the Islamic regime.
Jean-Marie Matagne, president of ACDN
Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire
31 Rue du Cormier
17100 Saintes (FRANCE)