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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 February 2011) . . Page.. 108 ..

the latest in a wave of executions, which has seen the Iranian authorities execute at least 71 prisoners since the beginning of 2011. I believe that figure has now gone up to about 120 people, which is an average of more than 20 people each week. And thousands more prisoners are on death row in Iran.

Like a large number of people across the world, I have been watching the democracy protests in Egypt that have now spread across the Middle East and only have to think back to 2009 when we saw those incredibly brave and courageous people in Iran on the streets protesting against the political situation in their country. People of Iran rose up in their millions in cities across the country from June 2009 to February 2010.

With the current protests in the Middle East, the one country which I keep thinking about is Iran and how we must, no matter who we are, listen to and continue to speak up for those people who are now being arrested, as I have mentioned earlier, and executed for speaking up for their rights. I can only imagine how people from Iran here in Australia must feel if they still have family in Iran and are fearful that if they speak out or attend a protest their family in Iran will suffer. It is therefore essential that politicians from all sides not allow what is happening to go on unnoticed and unspoken for and to let people in Iran know that we are watching, that they are not alone and that we will continue to speak about what is happening in their country.

I also want to mention very briefly that on 8 February I attended the launch of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, which was formerly the Spastic Centre. The launch was conducted by the Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope. Mary Porter MLA and Steve Doszpot MLA also attended.

This was a very exciting day for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance because it marked a new chapter in the organisation. They have put together some great promotional materials that go with it too. So I do wish them all the best and every luck for the future as the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. I am sure that they will have great success.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 5.47 pm.

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