Date: Oct 17, 1998 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Oct 1998 to 16 Oct 1998

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Oct 1998 to 16 Oct 1998
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There are 2 messages totalling 168 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. CHAIR's Video on Gender-based Persecution has been Selected as a Finalist
2. SUPPORT THE SIT-IN OF IRANIAN REFUGEES IN IRAQI KURDISTAN

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Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 20:20:05 EDT
From: CHAIRNGO@AOL.COM
Subject: CHAIR's Video on Gender-based Persecution has been Selected as a
Finalist

"HIDDEN FACES: WOMEN SEEKING REFUGE"

A video co-produced by the Committee for Humanitarian
Assistance to Iranian Refugees (CHAIR) and other community-
based organizations in New York City has been selected as a
finalist in the South Bronx Video and Film Festival. The video
entitled "Hidden Faces: Women Seeking Refuge" highlights the
cases of women who have fled gender-persecution in various
countries, including Iran, and the barriers faced by women in
the U.S. asylum process. The video will be screened on
Saturday, October 17, 1998 at 2:30p.m. The address
of the festival is 940 Garrison Avenue, Bronx.
Take the 6 train to Huntspoint.

The video was also screened at the Manhattan Neighborhood
Network last Wednesday.

To purchase a copy of the video, please send a check of $20
made payable to CHAIR to GPO, PO Box 7051, NY, NY 10116.
For more information, contact us at 212-747-1046
or chairngo@aol.com.


NORTH STAR FUND 20TH ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL
Celebrating Communities Organizing in New York City
October 17, 1998
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School
122 Amsterdam Avenue and 66th Street
10am to 9pm
Manhattan

CHAIR will have an informational table at the North Star Fund's
20th anniversary festival. The festival includes workshops,
performances, videos, etc.

For more information, contact North Star at 212-620-9110.

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Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 20:19:47 EDT
From: CHAIRNGO@AOL.COM
Subject: SUPPORT THE SIT-IN OF IRANIAN REFUGEES IN IRAQI KURDISTAN

SUPPORT IRANIAN REFUGEES IN IRAQ
Soraya Shahabi, Director, IFIR
October 13, 1998

In recent months, hundreds of Iranian refugees have fled the
Islamic Republic's brutal repression and assaults on peoples'
protests, and reached Iraqi Kurdistan in order to gain protection.
Having registered with the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Suleymaniyah and Erbil, the
refugees have been dealt with irresponsibly and denied decent
living conditions and expedited resettlement. The long waiting
periods for transfer to a safe third country has seriously
endangered refugee lives given the Islamic Republic's surveillance
and terrorist activities and the rule of nationalism in the area.
Over 200 refugees and political opponents have been murdered
by the regime in Iraqi Kurdistan. It is estimated that 3,700 Iranian
refugees are currently residing in Northern Iraq.

On September 13, 1998, 400 refugees living in Suleymaniyah
and surrounding areas initiated a two-day sit-in to protest
the UNHCR's irresponsibility. As a result, UNHCR staff met
with refugee representatives to discuss their demands. The
protesters ended their sit-in temporarily, giving the UNHCR a
15-day deadline to meet their demands. When their demands
were not addressed, 200 protesters began a second sit-in on
September 27, 1998 at the Erbil UNHCR office. The sit-in continues.

The International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) calls
upon progressive groups, parties, individuals and organizations
to support the struggle of Iranian refugees residing in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Their life, liberty, safety and health are in serious danger. Your
letters to the UNHCR authorities will be critical in defending refugee
rights. In your protest letters, put forth the following sit-in
participants' demands:

1- The decision to close the UNHCR branch office in Suleymaniyah
must not act as a barrier to refugee protection and resettlement.
2- All Iranian refugees residing in Iraqi Kurdistan must have access
to decent living conditions and services.
3- Given the insecurity and life-threatening conditions in the area,
refugee casefile determinations must be expedited and all
closed casefiles reviewed.
4- Refugees must be transferred to safe third countries.

IFIR will advocate in defense of Iranian refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan
with international organizations and gain support for their
legitimate demands. Furthermore, IFIR will summon its forty
branches in fifteen countries world-wide to conduct international
actions to promote these rights. Our successful campaigns
in Turkey, Holland, Canada and Germany confirm that
international solidarity is effective. We will not allow any
Iranian refugee, anywhere, to become a victim of anti-refugee
policies and practices.

SAMPLE LETTER

DATE

Ahmed Abdelwahab Gubartalla
Representative
UNHCR
Baghdad, Iraq
E:mail: irqba@unhcr.ch
Fax: 011-873-175-4271 (satcom fax)
Telephone: 011-964-1-718-1266 (Baghdad Headquarters)

Dennis McNamara
Director, Division of International Protection
UNHCR Headquarters
Geneva, Switzerland
E-mail: hqpro@unhcr.ch
Fax: 011-41-22-739-7353
Telephone: 011-41-22-739-8643

Dear Messrs. Gubartalla and McNamara,

I am writing to support the legitimate demands of the Iranian
refugees who are participating in a sit-in at UNHCR Erbil since
September 27, 1998. This sit-in follows an earlier one in
Suleymaniyah.

I urge the UNHCR to address the demands of all Iranian refugees
living in Iraqi Kurdistan, including:

1- The decision to close the UNHCR branch office in
Suleymaniyah must not act as a barrier to refugee protection
and resettlement.
2- All Iranian refugees residing in Iraqi Kurdistan must have
access to decent living conditions and services.
3- Given the insecurity and life-threatening conditions in
the area, refugee casefile determinations must be expedited
and all closed casefiles reviewed.
4- Refugees must be transferred to safe third countries.

I look forward to your immediate action on these urgent issues.

Signed

_________________________________________
Name

_________________________________________
Organization (if any)


For more information: Contact Maryam Namazie
GPO, PO Box 7051
New York, NY 10116
Tel: 212-747-1046
Fax: 212-425-7240
E-Mail: chairngo@aol.com

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Oct 1998 to 16 Oct 1998
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