A NGO (Non-Government Organization) from Brazil, which defends the rights of homosexuals launched a campaign to protest Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's visit to Iran scheduled for next May 15.
The group Estruturação, which promotes the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transvestites, said the purpose of the campaign is to collect sufficient signatures contrary to the closer relations between Brazil and Iran, given the homophobic statements of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
"Ahmadinejad and the country's security forces perpetrate a continued abuse of human rights", said Julio Cardia, president of the NGO, adding that according to the Iranian president "there are no homosexuals in Iran".
Cardia also emphasized that Ahmadinejad has repeatedly denied the Holocaust. ""This visit offends our most basic principles of foreign relations as advocated by Baron of Rio Branco, one of the forerunners of Brazil's international relations," underlined Cardia.
Estruturaçao is collecting the protest signatures against the coming visit together with a digital manifesto in the site http://www.lulalanao.com/, and is planning to make a formal complaint before the Special Secretariat for Human Rights belonging to the Brazilian Presidency requesting an official judgement on the situation.
The campaign is scheduled to continue until May 14, on the eve of President Lula's trip, when the signatures will be officially presented as well as a report from the experts of the NGO Estruturação.