VIDC calls on Austria to shelter Iranian dissidents

The Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) called on the Austrian government today (Weds) to give refuge to Iranian dissidents.Noting that Germany had announced on Monday that it would accept Iranian citizens, VIDC Director Walter Posch said: “I warmly welcome that step by the German government, and I am waiting for the Austrian Foreign Ministry to express its solidarity with Iranian dissidents.”Posch said Austria’s frontiers should be open to those persecuted by “the authoritarian and violent regime” in Tehran, which was using “the death penalty in compensation for its political incompetence”.”It is time to send to opponents of the regime who are threatened by persecution, torture and death a clear signal of solidarity and to open European frontiers to them,” he added.Posch is a former Austrian MP and human rights spokesman for the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ).VIDC is a non-governmental organisation for development cooperation in Austria. It was founded by former SPÖ Chancellor Bruno Kreisky and then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 as a think tank for global questions of development policy.VIDC says “promotion of a critical point of view about colonialism and racism and creation of an international dialogue on the basis of equality and respect” is its political priority.