Jews, gays rally in Rio to protest Ahmadinejad visit (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 06/17/12)
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Hundreds of Jews, gays and rights activists jointly marched along
Rio´s famed Ipanema beach Sunday to protest Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad´s attendance at the UN summit on sustainable development.
"We want the world to know that religious hatred harms the
environment and Ahmadinejad represents hatred. Sustainable
development encompasses human rights," said Ivanir dos Santos, of the
commission against religious intolerance.
Unlike previous demonstrations organized by the commission, which
groups tens of thousands of people of all faiths, Muslims did not
join Sunday´s rally.
"Muslims do not take part in demonstrations against a fellow Muslim,
even if they disagree with him," dos Santos said.
The marchers carried banners proclaiming in English "Rio does not
welcome Mahmoud Ahmadinejad" and "Iranians we love you".
With exuberant drumming by the cultural group Afro Reggae, they
chanted "Ahmadinejad out of Brazil" as they paraded along Ipanema
"The Iranian president´s visit is an opportunity to criticize his
hateful speech denying the Holocaust as well as the persecution of
homosexuals and Bahais," said Michel Gherman, head of the Hillel
Jewish human rights movement.
Also present were Claudio Nascimento et Joao Silva, the first gay
couple recognized by Rio authorities, who said they had to show
up "because today in Iran, homosexuals are jailed and sentenced to
The O Globo daily, meanwhile, reported Sunday that Rio Mayor Eduardo
Paes canceled the inauguration of a replica of the famed Persepolis
columns offered by Iran, citing "delays in the works."
The event had been scheduled for Thursday in the presence of the
World leaders are to debate prospects for a greener world committed
to poverty eradication and environmental protection at the UN Rio+20
summit, which runs from Wednesday to Friday. (Copyright © 2012 Agence
France Presse. 06/17/12)
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