Iranian representatives attempting intimidation of activists

There are reports that Iranian representatives and front groups have tried to intimidate activists at Durban II, but they have failed to silence any voices.

On Monday, Iranian dissident Ahamad Batebi claimed he was threatened by a representative of Iran, who told him he would be killed at the U.N.

The same day, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel was verbally abused by members of Ahmadinejad’s entourage, who called him a “Zio-Nazi.” See youtube clip here.

Tuesday, Jewish student activists and Iranians clashed in the Palais des Nations. Wearing clown-hats, the students yelled “Durban II, masquerade.” Some of the surrounding crowd applauded the students, while the Iranians began booing them loudly. A representative of a Jewish NGO attempted to take a picture of the happenings, but was held back by a representative of an Iranian NGO.

During a side event organized jointly by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and the Association for World Education, an Iranian representative (unclear if he was an official delegate or NGO representative) gave a long-winded rant in the question and answer session. He then stormed out of the room, along with a few other members of his organization, over dissatisfaction with the responses to his questions.

The representative objected to the characterization of Iranian persecution of the Baha’is. He claimed that the Islamic Republic only prosecuted those who engaged in conspiring against the government and spying for Israel.

In response, one of the speakers pointed out that not a single Baha’i has been tried. Persecuted Bahai’s, gays, Jews, Sunnis, and other minorities cannot all be spying for Israel, he said.

Responding to the representative’s question about suicide bombing, the representative of the Simon Wiesenthal Center proposed that all suicide terror be condemned and asked why Arab and Muslim leaders are failing to do so. This was the point at which the Iranian representatives walked out.

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