On July 8th 1999 Iran saw the largest pro-democracy student demonstration, since the overthrow of the Shah's Regime. Thousands of student activists and student leaders were arrested, some were sentenced to death, many to lengthy prison sentences. In the past 9 years everyone has been released except one prisoner, BEHROUZ JAVID TEHRANI. He is a 30 year old man who has fought against the Regime within the prison walls, has always stood tall and strong and no amount of torture or ill treatment has ever silenced him.
Below is a translation of his statement from prison in memory of July 8th 1999 pro-democracy student demonstrations.
Keeping in mind that the translation was done by me and that I am by no means a professional translator, however I believe we should try to spread Behrouz's message as wide and far as possible
The original farsi article could be found at http://pejvakzendanyan.blogfa.com/post-388.aspx
Saturday July 5th 2008-07-08
Published by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
The message of Behrouz Javid Tehrani for the anniversary of July 8th 1999 (18 Tir) Pro-democracy Student Demonstrations.
In the Name of Iran’s Prosperity,
I don’t think anyone could forget the summer of 1999. It had been two years since the Reformists had come to power, and almost all of those who originally had any hope in the Reformists and reformation of this Regime realized that reform was impossible. Anyone that still supported or spoke of reform was one way or another related to the Regime.
It was during that time that the tragedy of the death of the Foruhar’s as well as the chain murders of activists by the Ministry of Intelligence Officials made the people and in particular students so angry that it made their blood boil.
At that time the closing down of a newspaper was enough to lead to a major student protest. The best time of my life was during the months of June and July of 1999. It was during this time that the Iranian youth cried out against the frustration of 100 years of dictatorship. We showed the world that we recognized dictatorship under the disguise of religion.
On July 8th 1999 we showed the Mullah’s who thought by creating a police state they could silence the people, how powerful we were. The Regime at this time became very corrupt. In order to act innocent Khamenei (the Supreme Leader) cried on television screens, while his employees and supporters hired many thugs to mix among students and create a bad impression of the students and activists within the society. I have seen and met many of these thugs in prison in the past 9 years, and have spoken to them and learned about the fact that under the order of the Regime and the Basij army they mixed among the students in order to create a bad impression of the students and activists within the society.
On July 8th 1999 we started on a path which unfortunately has not been completed to this day. We have seen and familiarized ourselves with all the tactics of the enemy. It is time for us to finally complete the job we started 9 years ago.
Dear Students, Youth and the Iranian People, Please commemorate the 9th anniversary of the pro-democracy student demonstrations by gathering in front of “Kuye Daneshgah”, Tehran University, lighting candles and bringing red flowers, in protest of a day where the Iranian students were brutally oppressed. Do not allow the Regime to create an atmosphere of fear and anxiety and prevent the Iranian people from commemorating this very important day.
Long Live Iran Always
Behrouz Javid Tehrani
The only political prisoner remaining from July 8th 1999
Raji Shahr Prison (Gohardasht)
July 5th 2008