UnNews:Iran criticised after death of Artist
2 May 2009
RASHT, Iran Leaders of countries from around the world are today holding Iran's President responsible for the murder of a well known artist yesterday morning. Less than a week after he revealed himself once again to the world, Vincent Van Gogh was arrested in Iran and charged for murder. Iranian police took Van Gogh into custody early Tuesday morning after he approached them holding, what appeared to be, a recently severed ear in his hand. The ear, traditionally known as a personal sign of affection from the artist, was seen by the police, as a confession to a yet to be reported murder.
Speaking on behalf of his country, Jan Peter Balkenende spoke out against the actions taken by the Iranian government; "Earlier this week we were delighted when it appeared that Van Gogh, considered a national hero here in the Netherlands, was discovered to still be alive," he said, speaking from his offices in the Netherlands, "however this more recent news has come as a swift and devastating blow to our country's moral. We are demanding that the UN begin an investigation to look into the decisions that led to death of Van Gogh and the lack of deportation back here, to his country of origin." Vincent Van Gogh, originally thought to have died in 1890, was an artist whose mental health has forever been a popular subject. David Brooks, who runs a website dedicated to the artist's paintings, explained to us that, "although there are several points in our lives where we feel as though removing one's ear is the only solution to a problem, in the 19th century this was greatly frowned upon. As we know now that the act of removing one's ear is often a symptom of a mental health disorder, it would be safe to say that Van Gogh could have possibly suffered from a number of illnesses such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder or Heterosexuality."
Many Conservatives have criticised Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's President, for being narrow minded and have suggested that Van Gogh's execution is a result of their liberal minded views on sexuality. David Cameron, the head of the Conservative Party in England, has been cited as saying, "It's sickening that someone can be so introvert and so narrow minded that they can't take into account other people's sexual preferences and are so blinded by their religion, that they feel that they have the authority to put an end to a persons life so easily."
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who have been focused on Van Gogh's case since his arrest, have been holding protests around Rasht and other provinces of Iran today protesting about the lack of notice given to the Netherlands government. Khalq Mojahedin, an Iranian activist spoke of how the lack of professionalism on behalf of the police was outrageous, "We had been informed by a higher member of the police that a death sentence may be given, however it depended on the outcome of a game of Scrabble. We believe that Van Gogh's sentence was a result of a Triple Word Score although we are waiting for a recording of the game to confirm. We would like to say that we are outraged that Vincent was not allowed to be present at the game and that his family were only informed of his sentence as it was being carried out."
Vincent Van Gogh was hung yesterday morning in the Death Chamber in Rasht Prison. Although it is unknown what will happen to the body the people of the Netherlands are hoping it will be returned to them for a formal burial.
- Robert Tait "Outcry as Iran executes artist over juvenile conviction." Guardian Online, May 02, 2009