The International Humanist & Ethical Union has been deeply disturbed by the recent developments related to the publishing of the novel “Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie.
The conduct of the fundamentalist Islamic leader Ayatollah Khomeini and that of the Islamic Republic of Iran must be denounced by every member of the world community, irrespective of religious creed or ideological conviction.
It is totally unacceptable that anyone, on any grounds, assumes the right to incite to murder.
It is contrary to every existing human rights standard to attempt to suppress the freedom of expression with the threat of violence and other methods of blatant intimidation.
It is a gross violation of established norms of relation between states and constitutes a flagrant violation of the commitments the Islamic Republic of Iran has undertaken in international law. Such conduct which is openly in breach of both the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter place the perpetrator outside the international community itself.
The International Humanist & Ethical Union calls upon its members and affiliated organisations to categorically protest with their respective governments and demand that they protest in the strongest possible terms Iran’s conduct with every means at their disposal, namely to demand that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran respects the obligations it has undertaken and renounces all similar acts in the future.
Press release March 1989
'Iran and Salman Rushdie', Humanists International, Board of Directors, 1989