Iranian conference focuses on 'police racism' in the US

Iranian conference focuses on 'police racism' in the US
Iran is hosting a conference with a theme focusing on alleged police brutality and racism against African-Americans.
2 min read
29 October, 2015
A protest against police brutality last week in New York [AFP]
Iran is hosting a three-day conference focusing on police brutality against African-Americans in the US.

The "New Horizons" conference is an annual gathering of international activists hosted by Iran.

"We have invited 30 anti-Zionist black leaders from America to attend," said Nader Talebzadeh, the event organiser said in an interview with Cinema Press, an Iran news outlet.

"Blacks in America are the only group who utilise their right to protest, and Iran is the perfect place to host them and to initiate a direct relationship with this segment of the American population.

"This will be the start of a relationship based on culture, diplomacy and revolution. We hope to serve as an international example," he said.

The conference took place as social movements and activism in the US have been tackling police brutality and racism.

According to a website that maps police brutality, at least 248 black people have been killed by US police forces so far in 2015.

Poet Amir Sulaiman spoke at the conference on the importance of protest against racial discrimination in the US.

"Any person gifted with something, it could be economic, political or cultural or whatever, can show protest, even a mother or a wife who stays at home," he said.

"It is a strange, wonderful, beautiful occasion where the people can come together with mutual respect," he told Mahr news agency.

Iran has generally been supportive of the struggle of African-Americans since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

During the hostage crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini released African-American hostages and women citing solidarity with "oppressed minorities" and the "special place of women within Islam".

Although Iran has attracted some praise from activists for supporting the rights of minorities in the West, in other cases they are not so encouraging of the underdog.

Iran is currently one of the main allies and backers of the Syrian regime, who have been responsible for the majority of civilian deaths which currently stands at around 300,000.