(Gay News, Poland)
WARSAW, July 14, 2006 – As gays
world-wide are preparing to protest the treatment of gays in Iran on the
first anniversary of the execution of two gay teens in
Mashhad, north east Iran, Polish gays are planning a protest as well.
But the Poles
are in what is best described as a difficult situation.
Poland remains the only European
country maintaining a friendly diplomatic relationships with Iran – a
country which threatens the world with construction of a nuclear bomb, is in
constant breach of human rights, and where hundreds of people were are
sentenced to death only last year.
Almost 80 years ago Poland signed a
friendship treaty with Iran. It has never been declared null and void.
What is more, it doesn’t really trouble Polish Foreign Office.
“We maintain friendly relations
with Iran, because they have helped us and we are indebted to them. – for
example, during World War Two 120,000 Poles found a shelter there”, says
Andrzej Łysiak of the Polish Foreign Office as he defended the treaty.
What is more, the treaty has been
renewed and extended several times. For example, as recently as 2003,
Poland and Iran signed an annex on cultural, scientific and education
Polish experts are undecided if the
treaty should be breached. They admit that Iran is making using the treaty
as a propaganda tool, much to the detriment of the international image of
Poland. Yet they say that Poland cannot afford “a crusade in Iran”.
Meanwhile, Iran is meticulously
taking advantage of the situation.
“You cannot isolate us, we are
supported by a big European country – Poland – with which we have good
relations” an Iranian government representative is reported to have said to
an Amnesty International Conference participant in Paris recently.
The preamble of the Polish-Iranian
treaty states: “Full of desire to renew the ties between the Most Honourable
Polish Republic and the Persian Empire which existed in the past and with
strong confidence that strengthening our relations based on the principle of
mutuality and impartiality will contribute to the prosperity and welfare of
their Nations ...”
Left-wing parties here say it is
immoral to be friendly with a country which disregards human rights.
And representatives of the Left
plan to join gays at the protest in front of Iranian embassy in Warsaw on
■ Last summer, gays in Poland protested the
execution of the two gay teens. But the protest in Warsaw was totally
ignored by the local media. That protest was one of many in European
||Polish Gay News - in Polish