Recently the Globe and Mail published an article written by Iranian Canadian Journalist Maziar Bahari titled “Why we have to talk to Tehran.”

Not many people including myself had ever heard of Mr. Bahari until his arrest by the Islamic Regime during the June Presidential [S]elections of this year. Mr. Bahari was in prison for about four (4) months before he was released in October. As a result of his arrest and imprisonment he gained a type of “fame” as a dissident and political prisoner, something he certainly did not have prior to his arrest.

The content of Mr. Bahari’s article follows the same logic as many well known reformists who advocate for “dialogue” between the Islamic Regime and the International Community regardless of the systematic and wide spread human rights violations committed by the Regime. In his article Mr. Bahari states: “After being jailed, interrogated and beaten by the Revolutionary Guards for 118 days for reporting honestly on the disputed June 12 presidential elections, many expect me to oppose any dialogue. But the West still needs Iran and should continue talking to it – no matter what it has done to people like me.”

Any form of dialogue with the Islamic Regime would do nothing but to help further legitimize the Regime and allow them to continue to carry out their systematic and widespread human rights violations against the Iranian people. Many European countries have kept an open dialogue with the Regime for years and that has not resulted in improvement of the human rights violations. After 30 years there is no reason to believe things will change now.

Mr. Bahari is not the first dual citizen “political prisoner” who rose to fame after few months of imprisonment in Iran, and then knowingly or unknowingly started advocating the so called reformist propaganda which is ultimately pro-Islamic Regime propaganda.

Mr. Ramin Jahanbegloo is another former “political prisoner” who became quite well known after his arrest in April of 2006. After four (4) months of imprisonment he was released on bail and eventually made his way back to Canada, where for the past few years he has made numerous pro-reform statements. In an article he wrote in the Huffington Post in June of this year Mr. Jahanbegloo states: “On the one hand, those, like Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karubi, who have been among the architects of the Islamic regime and the challengers for the presidency, believed that the Islamic nomenclature allowed scope for reform and renewal. They now find themselves at the head of a pro-democracy and pro-reform movement that seeks to defy the very essence of illiberalism and authoritarianism in Iran.”

Mr. Jahanbegloo uses the terms “pro reform” and “pro-democracy” in the same sentence as if they were the same concept, when in fact they are vastly different. The pro-reform movement seeks to reform the current Islamic Regime, working within its existing frame work, whereas the pro-democracy movement seeks to remove the Islamic Regime from power completely ( all fractions of it including hardliners and reformers) and to create a new and democratic system.

Both Mousavi and Karoubi have reiterated on numerous occasions after the [S]elections that they are supporters of the Islamic Regime, and that they will do everything in their power to protect this system. We must not forget that both of these individuals have had a significant hand in systematic and widespread human rights violations against the Iranian people for the past 30 years, and even today they have no intention of changing the system. At best they want to bring about a set of reforms within the framework of the Islamic Regime. These individuals are NOT pro-democracy leaders and should not be referred to as such.

By making such statements at best Mr. Jahanbegloo is causing confusion within the minds of those who might not be as familiar with the current political situation in Iran, trying to send a message that criminals such as Mousavi and Karoubi are pro-democracy leaders. This statement is nothing if not misleading. At worst Mr. Jahanbegloo is doing exactly what the Regime needs (knowingly or unknowingly) by trying to give dictators and supporters of the Islamic Regime legitimacy within the International Community.

Roxana Saberi was another dual citizen “political prisoner” who rose to “fame” after her arrest in January of 2009. She was released after four/five months of imprisonment and was able to go back to the United States.

On June 11th Ms. Saberi wrote an article in the Washington Post where she clearly distinguished between the so called hardliners and reformers, focusing on human rights violations committed by Ahmadinejad. Perhaps she had forgotten about the fact that Ahmadinejad has been the president of the Islamic Regime for four (4) years, whereas systematic and widespread human rights violations against the Iranian people has been going on for 30 years by the Islamic Regime as a whole, including by so called reformists such as Mousavi, Karoubi and Khatami. One cannot and should not distinguish between hardliners and reformers as ultimately they are both an integrated part of the Islamic Regime which is responsible for 30 years of torture, rape and executions in Iran.

I cannot end this article without mentioning Ms. Haleh Esfandiyari, another Iranian/American intellectual who was arrested in 2007 and imprisoned for close to four (4) months in the Evin Prison. Upon her release Ms. Esfandiyari went as far as praising the Evin Prison and her interrogators, going on about how wonderful and politely she was treated and how she was able to follow her vegetarian diet in the Evin Prison.

If one did not know better one might think Evin is a hotel rather than a prison known for torture, rape and execution of innocent political prisoners.

By no means am I suggesting that these individuals are related to the Islamic Regime in any way. What I am suggesting is that the Islamic Regime will use any tool including “political prisoners” to boost its legitimacy and to stay in power in whatever shape or form that it can, for as long as it can.

Before I wrote this article I did not realize that each one of these individuals was imprisoned for about four (4) months. (Four must be a magic number for the Islamic Regime)

Looking at the arrest and release of these individuals, their rise to “fame” after their release and the type of statements they have made after release certainly raises a question mark in my mind and I hope it does the same for the readers.
We must think about why thousands and thousands of political prisoners are tortured, raped and murdered in Iran without anyone knowing their names, while a handful of “political prisoners” who do not have an anti-Regime stand become famous almost overnight, becoming the symbols of dissent and political prisoners in Iran... It’s certainly food for thought...

Down with the Islamic Regime

Long Live Freedom in Iran

By: Sayeh Hassan

Ms. Kajol Shyekh Mohammadi was arrested 53 days ago in the city of Mahabad. According to reports from Azarmehr Association of Women of Kurdistan Sepah’e Pasdaran forces arrested her in her home and confiscated many of her personal belongings including her passports and her identification documents.

It must be noted that a week before her arrest Ms. Shaykh Mohammadi had had an operation on her stomach and she was in poor health at the time of her arrest. Her health has gotten much worse since arrest and she has not been able to see a doctor as of yet.

Ms. Shaykh Mohammadi’s husband was forced to leave Iran two years ago due to threats on his life by security forces. She has lived alone with her two children for the past two years, and her immigration case to Sweden (where her husband lives) was recently accepted. Unfortunately she was arrested immediately after receiving this acceptance from Sweden.

After going through series of difficult interrogation and seriously suffering health wise she began a hunger strike 48 hours ago.

Down with the Islamic Regime
Long Live Freedom in Iran


Kurdish people have been tirelessly fighting against the Islamic Regime for the past 30 years. They have been killed in highest numbers alongside many other minorities in Iran. As a result Iranian Kurdistan is heavily armed by Revolutionary Guards and Kurds are harassed and abused on a regular basis. Kurdish activists, teachers, writers and students are arrested and subjected to torture in order to force them to confess to crimes they have not committed. Currently there are many Kurdish students and activists who are serving heavy prison sentences. There are also at least 12 Kurdish activists who are currently facing execution due to their political activities. It must be noted that all of these individuals were subjected to torture and were sentenced to death after sham trials behind closed doors, in most cases without the presence of their lawyers. Most recently a Kurdish activist Ehsan Fatahiyan was executed despite great national and international pressure to stop the execution.

Since the execution of Ehsan Fatahiyan, the discussion about “Separatism” has unfortunately taken a forefront on social sites such as Facebook as well as numerous websites and blogs.

According to Mr. Fatahiyan’s last letter from prison which was released shortly before his execution he belonged to the Komale Party, which is active in Kurdistan of Iran and is considered a “separatist party” by some activists and political party’s. The Komale Party in Iran is an armed organization that fights against the Islamic Regime.

For the many years that I have been involved in the fight against the Islamic Regime, I have unfortunately witnessed some discrimination against Kurds and Kurdish activists by non Kurdish activists and/or political party’s. The major reason for this is that Kurdish activists are generally seen as separatists and therefore generally excluded and ignored by other “Nationalist” Regime opponents. The same thing is true for other minorities such as Azaris’, Baluch and Arab minorities who are also seen as “separatists” by some.

In my opinion some of this is due to the Islamic Regime’s propaganda which goes out of its way to take advantage of the strong Nationalism which exists in Iran, to try to create a rift and division between various ethnic minorities. Another part of the problem has to do with ourselves and our own inability to accept others with different opinions or political ideologies. Speaking about democracy is important but we must also be looking for practical and realistic solutions to implement the democracy we are advocating.


The reality is that Iran is made up of numerous ethnic minorities and there is nothing wrong with their demands to be able to speak their own language, to have social and economic prosperity and to govern themselves within a federalist system. This is not and should not be considered as separatism.
Having said that, there is no doubt that there are some individuals and groups in Kurdistan of Iran who want and advocate for total separation from Iran. I have seen at least one Kurdish organization issue an extremely racist statement after Ehsan Fatahiyan’s death, urging Kurds all over the world to defend their own rights and arguing that non-Kurds are do not care about Kurds, which is totally fabricated as could be seen through both the national and international campaign and support to save Ehsan Fatahiyan’s life.


There is nothing constructive about such statements, as it does nothing but to create anger and hate between different groups and ethnicities. I condemn both extremes, and I hope for a time when we can put these differences aside and look at issues in Iran practically and realistically. Spreading hate against each other will not bring us any closer to our goal for a free and democratic Iran.

Lastly I have been very disturbed to see comments like “death to separatist” written on Facebook under Ehsan Fatahiyans pictures. These comments were made because Mr. Fatahiyan was a member of the Komale Party, and as an Iranian who is not Kurdish I find these slogans extremely offensive.

Second Mr. Fatahiyan was arrested, “tried” in a sham trial and executed in a dictatorship state, where people are forced to confess to things they may not have done under torture, where “trials” usually last 10 minutes or less, behind closed doors, without a jury and usually in the absence of a defence lawyer and sometimes even the accused. Under such circumstance nobody should be judged, labelled or be found guilty of an offence, especially something as serious as separatism.

Perhaps if Iran was a democracy and Mr. Fatahiyan had taken up arms against the state and this was proven in open court in a fair trial then he could have been labelled as a separatist, but an individual who decides to fight against the Islamic Regime and risks his life doing so, deserves respect regardless of his political views. Let’s also remember that for people inside Iran who are against the entire Regime, who do not want to support sham reforms there are not a lot of options, and some of them join groups who are already in existence even though those groups might not be perfect alternatives, they might not even be good alternatives, but they are the only alternatives available to young people who are serious about overthrowing the Islamic Regime in Iran

Ehsan Fatahiyan was a young man who was against the Islamic Regime in its entirety. He was tortured and sentenced to death, however he did not back down, not until the last second. Even at the time of his execution he did not allow the Regime Agents to touch him and carried out his own execution dying with dignity. In my eyes that makes him a hero.

I hope that we can all respect Ehsan’s memory even if we do not agree with his political stand and to prevent certain groups or individuals from using his name and what he stood for to spread hate propaganda. Ehasan was one of the thousands of Iranian young men who was murdered for speaking out against dictatorship. He was a freedom fighter and he will remain that way in the hearts of people of Iran and Kurdistan

Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran


According to news from Azarmehr Association of Women of Azarmehr the execution team in Sanadaj, along with Grosi, the head of Judiciary in Kurdistan are traveling to the city of Saqz tomorrow (November 14th 2009), most probably to carry out the execution of Kurdish activist Shirkoh Moarefi.

On Thursday afternoon (November 12th 2009) at 6pm Mr. Moarefi was transferred to the solitary cells reserved for prisoners who are to be executed shortly.

Mr. Moarefi was arrested on October 31st 2008 in the city of Saqz. After months of interrogation and torture he was sentenced to death in a “show trial”. The death sentence was appealed by Mr. Moarefi’s lawyer however it was confirmed both in the Court of Appeal and the highest Court in the country.

There is great concern over the fact that the execution team has not left Sanandaj and it is believed that this is the beginning of a killing spree by the Regime in Kurdistan.

News report provided by Azarmehr Association of Women of Kurdistan
Translated by: Sayeh Hassan


Mr. Shirkoh (Bahman) Moarefi is a 30 years old Kurdish activist who was arrested on October 31st 2008 in the city of Saqz. After months of interrogation and torture he was sentenced to death in a “show trial”.

He was convicted of acting against national security and being a Mohareb (enemy of God). Mr. Moarefi has been transferred to the solitary confinement cells where prisoners are taken before execution. It must be noted that last month in a confidential letter the head Prosecutor in Iran asked the Judiciary in Sanandaj to execute ALL political prisoners.

Shortly after this letter a young Kurdish activist named Ehsan Fatahiyan was executed by the Regime on November 11th 2009.

Currently there are 12 Kurdish activists awaiting execution in Iran and there is great concern that the first three to be executed are Mr. Shirkoh Moarefi, Mr. Habibollah Latifi and Ms. Zeynab Jalaliyan.

List of Kurdish Political Prisoners Awaiting Exectuion

1. Ehsan Fatahiyan (Executed)
2. Shirkoh Moarefi
3. Habibollah Latifi
4. Ms. Zeynab Jalaliyan
5. Farhad Chalesh
6. Ramezan Ahmad
7. Rostam Arkiya
8. Fasih Yasamini
9. Rashid Akhkandi
10. Hossein Khaziri
11. Farzad Kamangar
12. Ali Heydariyan
13. Farhad Vakili

News report provided by Azarmehr Association of Women of Kurdistan
Translated by: Sayeh Hassan

I attended a protest in front of the Empire Express Walk Theatre on Yonge Street in Toronto tonight at 5:30pm.

The protest was in response to the “Canada’s 1st Iranian Short Film Festival” which is organized by the Young Cinema Society, a group directly linked to the Ministry of Culture (also known as the Ministry of censorship) in Iran.

Shockingly, the First prize of the “Festival” is named in honour of “Seifollah Daad”, the Director of the “Anti Semitic” film, the “Survivor” and writer of screenplay of the film “the Son of Morning” the life of “Khomeini” directed by Behrooz Afkhami.

The Islamic Regime in Iran through Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, known as “Ministry of Censorship” has been restricting and censoring artists inside the country for the past 30 years. Iranian Artists inside Iran cannot publish their art such as books, records, films, and must apply and receive the approval by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. The suppression of “freedom of expression” and the state of censorship in Iran has had generated extremely difficult atmosphere for the artist which has led to the creation of “Underground Cinema/Arts” in Iran.

Also, while the Islamic Regime is busy murdering dissidents in Iran, as it did yesterday by murdering Ehsan Fatahiyan a young Kurdish activist, it is also organizing film festivals and other cultural events to try to show a civilized and humane side to the International Community.

Tonight we made sure that the people of Toronto and especially those who attended the festival saw the real face of the Islamic Regime. The protest started around 5:30 pm and I arrived around 5:45pm, I had made a poster, to show my great concern about recent human rights violation in Kurdistan, which featured the picture of Ehsan Fatahiyan on one side, underneath it I had written “murdered by the Islamic Regime” on the other side I had posted the pictures of other Kurdish activists who are currently facing execution and wrote “Who is Next?”

There were about 50 people or so gathered in front of the theater from artists in exile to numerous opposition groups as well as many independent anti-Regime individuals like myself who shared the same concern; "we do not want Islamic Regime Cultural Lobbyists in Canada."

Eventually most of the protestors came into the theatre and started shouting “Down with the Islamic Regime, Down with the Terrorist Regime, and "house of terror must be closed” with a loud and united voice. The people in the mall gathered around the protestors on all floors watching the protestors and asking about the reason behind our protests and some even supported our action. Security was called and they tried to force the protestors to leave the theatre, both exits to the theatre was blocked to prevent any more protestors from entering the theatre. However we were relentless and kept on shouting “Down with the Terrorist regime of Iran” and " Terrorist get out of my country; Canada" After a few minutes the organizers of the film festival closed shop and went into hiding somewhere inside the theatre to avoid the protest, while a few Regime agents started taking pictures of the protestors, to try to intimidate them.

As we kept on shouting “Down with the Islamic Regime” more and more people gathered around us. The security threatened on numerous occasions to call the police, however we refused to leave and continued with our peaceful protest.

I find it disturbing that agents of a terrorist Regime are free to roam around Canada and organize various so called cultural events even film festivals while freedom loving Iranians are threatened with arrest when they try to voice their objections to this terrorist Regime in a peaceful manner.

Once security realized that we were not going anywhere they called the police. It took about 25-30 minutes for the police to arrive and in the meanwhile we kept on holding our posters and banners and shouting our anti-Regime slogans.

Eventually 4-5 very large police officers arrived and threatened to arrest us if we did not leave immediately. Eventually we did leave peacefully but while still shouting “Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran.”

Outside of the theatre we continued shouting anti Regime slogans for about 20 minutes and a number of activists made various speeches about the protests and why we had gathered there.

It was an amazing night, where Iranians united against the Islamic Regime in the fight for freedom. We must and will continue organizing and attending such protests where Islamic Regime agents and lobbyists, through the use of propaganda try to show a non-existent humane side of the Islamic Regime.

For all the Ehsan’s, Akbar’s, Majid’s Hosseins and Feyze Mahdavi’s we must continue our fight against the Islamic Regime abroad.

Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran

The picture was provided by Mr. Faramarz Shiravand a Journalist and the Managing Editor of the monthly Rowshangar Magazine.


Edit: This is a video from last nights protest

Mr. Amer Goli, a Kurdish student was arrested and taken to an unknown location today after participating in a protest in the city of Sanandaj.

Today protests were organized at 5pm at the Azadi Square in Sanandaj in reponse to Ehsan Fatahiyan’s execution. According to news report from Azarmehr Association of Women of Kurdistan the police attacked the protestors and many protestors were wounded while others were arrested and taken to unknown locations.

After the protest security forces attacked the homes of students and political activists and arrested at least one other student Mr. Amer Goli. It should be noted that Mr. Amer Goli’s mother Ms. Fatemeh Goftari is a member of Azarmehr Association of Women on Kurdistan and is currently serving a jail sentence because of her involvement with this organization. As well Mr. Amer Goli’s brother Mr. Yaser Goli is serving a 15 year jail sentence on charges of propaganda against the Regime.

Translated by: Sayeh Hassan


Below is a tribute to Ehsan Fatahiyan written by Ms. Negin Sheykhol-Islami Vatani, founder of the Azarmehr Association of Women of Kurdistan, a well known and distinguished human rights activist and more importantly a great friend.
Rest in peace Ehsan...



ببخش که با زبانی به جز زبان مادری مان با تو سخن می گویم ،این ‌همان بهانه یست که تورا به سبب ‌آن بردارکردند.اما بگذار دا‌‌عیان تمامیت ارضی ایران امروز با خواندن خبر تولد دوباره تو جشن بگیرند ،و به خیالشان با رفتن تو و هزاران ا‌حسان دیگر می توانند نام کورد وکوردستان را محو کنند .زهی خیال باطل ... سالهاست با به زنجیر کشید نمان خواستند یوغ بردگی را به گردنمان نهند و اراده ومن بودن را ازمان بستانند ... تا خواستیم کلامی از حقیقت بگوییم به نام تروریست و تجزیه طلب بردارمان زدند و جهانیان هلهله شادی سد دادند که یک تروریست کشته شد.اما باز زهی خیال باطل ،با بردار کشیدن توصدها احسان دیگر متولد شدند،از این رو تولدت را تبریک می گویم.
بگذارتروریست مان بخوانند .مگر نه این که آنها حتا از جسم دربند تو هراسان بودند و با نیرنگ تو را به چوبه دار سپردند اما تو قهرمانانه به استقبال مرگ رافتی و اجازه ندادی صندلی مرگ را اززیر پای تو بکشند و ‌آن را به تابوی مقاومت تبدیل کردی وخود قهرمانانه از روی آن پریدی ،درود بر تو وسرزمین ات کوردستان ،زاد گاهی که هیچ گاه ازآن من و تو نبود ،اما برایش کشته می شویم ،و فریاد سر می دهیم تا داعیه داران تمامیت ارضی ایران هلهله شادی سر دهند و دروبلاک های شان از آزادی و پیروزی جنبش سبزشان بگویند و با فخربر فیس بوک شان بزنند، بگذارید کردها اعدام شوند، ما را چه خیال است!!! آنها که از جنبش ما پشتیبانی نکردند!؟
صدای آمریکا و بی بئ سی هرگاه منا فع شان ایجاب کند از ما می گویند ،اما این بار آنها نیزاز توترسیدند وسکوت را پیشه کردند .سکوت آنها از بردباری و ‌نجابت شان است ،بگذار سخت گیر نباشیم.درود بر شما مدعیان حقوق بشر نما .... ما را تروریست بخوانید، و درپوشش حقوق بشر با نقاب های سیاه چهرتان به جنگ راستی و درستی بروید ما را چه باک است ،دیروز شما می کشتید امروز دولت کودتا ،با بهانه تروریست ،اگر روناک ها و احسان ها و زینب ها تروریست هستند ، پس 45 میلیون کورد دیگر نیز تروریت هستند.
نگین شیخ الاسلامی وطنی


Despite widespread internal and international pressure to halt his execution Ehsan Fatahiyan was executed in the early morning of Wednesday November 11th 2009. Like other brave Iranian heroes before him, Ehsan embraced his death, and did not allow for the executioner to pull the stool from under him when he was being hanged. He chose to do it himself, taking control of his last moments on earth.

I first heard of Ehsan’s name about nine months ago in February of 2009. He had just been sentenced to death and I along with a group of brave Kurdish students in Iran wrote about him and tried our best to publicize his case, perhaps this is why the news of his murder is so devastating, because it feels like I’ve known him for a long time.

I can only imagine the devastation his family, friends and comrades must feel on such a day and all my sympathies, prayers and thoughts go out to them. I can only hope that Ehsan knew that he was not alone and that there were thousands of people who cared about him and wanted him to live.

The fact that he did not allow for the executioner to pool the stool from under his feet reminds me of another hero Majid Kavousifar who went to death with a smile on his face and no regrets. We have lost so many young men and women in the past 30 years, so many Ehsan’s, Akbars, Majids and it does not look like the killing machine of the Islamic Regime will ever stop.

I will always remember Ehsan, as I remember Akbar Mohammadi, Majid Kavousifar, Valliolah Feyze Mahdavi and so many others and make this promise that as I have done for many years I will do everything in my power, use all my resources and energy to help with the fight to overthrow the Islamic Regime from power. This I promise.

Rest in Peace Ehsan and rest assure that your path will continue...

Down With the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran

By: Sayeh Hassan

A protest has been announced at 2:30am in front of the Sanandaj Prison in support of Ehsan Fatahiyan. Mr. Fatahiyan’s family and other individuals who oppose Mr. Fatahiyan’s death sentence will gather to show their support for Mr. Fatahiyan.


According to the latest news from Committee for the Families of Kurdish Political Prisoners Ehsan Fatahiyan has been transferred to the solitary ward of the Sanandaj Prison, where prisoners are taken immediately before execution. The execution team which is scheduled to carry out Ehsan’s execution has also entered the Sanandaj Prison premises.

As a result the political prisoners have started a riot and there are reports of physical altercations between prisoners and prison guards. Also all communication between prison and the outside has been halted, and prisoners are not allowed to have any visitations or make any phone calls.

Many other political prisoners from various prisons have joined the hunger strike in support of Ehsan Fatahiyan. Prisoners from Evin and Rajaishahr prison including Mr. Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili have joined the hunger strike. Other prisoners in Mahabad, Orumiye and Ghore prisons have also joined the strike. The mother of Habibollah Latifi, another Kurdish activist sentenced to death and currently in Rajaishahr prison has also joined the hunger strike in support of Ehsan Fatahiyan.

On a more positive note both Amnesty International and Defend International have issued Urgent Action alerts in support of Mr. Fatahiyan, which I hope will put some serious pressure on the Islamic Regime. We no longer need to write to these two entities as they have already issued the statements. But we can still write to other human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch.

The face book campaign to save Mr. Fatahiyan from execution is going very well and has expanded dramatically. I want to send a big thanks to everyone involved especially the organizer Mr. Reza Hiwa which I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the past few days. We’ve also managed to collect more than 5000 signatures on our petition in less than two days. Many people have also changed their facebook profile picture to Ehsan’s picture to show support and solidarity. I urge everyone to do the same, we must show the Regime that Ehsan is not alone.

Lastly I had previously written about a church in Toronto that organized a prayer session for Mr. Fatahiyan in support and solidarity. I urge all other religious entities both online and offline to do the same. We are all doing everything we practically and possibly can to try to save Ehsan from execution, but some prayer and hope can also go a long way.

Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran

By: Sayeh Hassan
Please feel free to use my material but with proper sourcing.

As of 6:30 pm Sanandaj time the names of some of the political prisoners who are on hunger strike in support of Ehsan Fatahiyan are as follows:

1. Adanan Hassanpour
2. Fardin Moradi
3. Jabril Khosroyi
4. Habibollah Latifi
5. Anwar Hossein Panahi
6. Jahandar Mohammadi
7. Sivan Rahimi
8. Hoshyar Ahmadi
9. Sirvan Mohammadi
10. Bahman Saeedi
11. Jahanbakhsh Amadi
12. Saeed Sargar
13. Rahmat Oraminezad
14. Vali Rostamy
15. Tahya Ahmadi
16. Lotfollah Lotfollahi

This is Ehsan Fatahiyan's Letter from the Sanandaj Prison which was sent to me by a Kurdish Journalist Mr. Arez Andaryari.

متن نامه ی سرگشاده احسان فتاحیان به این صورت است

:
واپسین شعاع آفتاب شبانگاهی،

نشان دهنده ی راهی ست، که خواهان در نوشتن آنم،

خش خش برگ ها زیر قدم هایم،

میگوید

: بگذار تا فرو افتی،
آنگاه راه آزادی را باز خواهی یافت

.
هرگز از مرگ نهراسیده ام، حتی اکنون که آن را در قریب ترین فضا و صمیمانه ترین زمان، در کنار خویش حس می کنم

. آن را می بویم و بازش میشناسم، چرا که آشنایی ست دیرینه به این ملت و سرزمین. نه با مرگ که با دلایل مرگ سر صحبت دارم، اکنون که (( تاوان )) دگردیسی یافته و به طلب حق و آزادی ترجمه اش نموده اند، آیا میتوان باکی از عاقبت و سرانجام داشت؟ ((ما)) ای که از سوی ((آنان)) به مرگ محکوم شده ایم، در طلب یافتن روزنه ای به سوی یک جهان بهتر و عاری از حق کشی در تلاش بوده ایم، آیا آنان نیز به کرده ی خود واقف اند؟
در شهر کرمانشاه زندگی را آغاز کردیم، آنجا که بزرگیش ورد زبان هم میهنانم است، آنجایی که مهد تمدن میهنم بوده است

. قطور ذهن ام بدان سویم کشید که تبعیضی را و وضعیتی ناروا را بفهمم و از اعماق وجود درکش نمایم که گویای ستم بود، ستمی در حق من چنان فردی انسانی و در حق من چنان مجموعه ای انسانی، پیگیری چرایی ستم و رفع آن به هزاران فکرم راهبر شد. اما وا اسفا که آنان چنان فضا را مسدود و حق طلبی را محجور و سرکوب کرده بودند که در داخل راهی نیافتم و ورای محدوده های تصنعی به مکانی دیگر و مامنی دیگر کوچیدم: ((من پیشمرگه ی کومله شدم))، سودای یافتن خویش و هویتی که از آن محروم شده ام من را بدان سو کشاند. دور شدن از خواستگاه کودکی هرچند آزاردهنده و سخت بود، اما هیچ گاه باعث انقطاع من از زادگاهم نشد. هراز گاهی به قصد تجدید دیدار و بازیابی خاطرات روانه ی خانه ی نخستین میگشتم، اما یک بار (( آنان )) دیدار را به کامم تلخ کردند، دستگیرم کردند و به قفسم انداختند. از همان آغاز و با پذیرایی انسان دوستانه ی دستگیر کنندگانم!! فهمیدم که همان سرنوشت تراژدیک و غمناک همراهان و رهروان این راه پررهرو به انتظار نشسته است: شکنجه، پرونده سازی، دادگاه سرسپرده و شدیدا تحت نفوذ، حکمی کاملا ناعادلانه و سیاسی و در نهایت، مرگ.
بگذارید خودمانی تر بگویم

: پس از دستگیری در شهر کامیاران به تاریخ 29 تیرماه سال گذشته و پس از چند ساعت مهمان بودن در اداره ی اطلاعات آن شهر، در حالی که دستبند و چشمبندی قطور حرکت و دیدن را برایم ممنوع نموده بود، فردی که خود را معاون دادستان معرفی می کرد شروع به طرح یک سری پرسش بی ربط و مملو از اتهامات واهی نمود. بدین ترتیب اولین دور بازجویی های عدیده ام کلید خورد. همان شب به اداره ی اطلاعات استان سنه منتقل شدم و سور واقعی را آنجا تجربه نمودند: سلولی کثیف با دستشویی نامطبوع و پتوهایی که احتمالا ده ها سال از ملاقاتشان با آب و پاکیزگی میگذشت! از آن به بعد شب و روز دالان پایینی و اتاق های بازجویی با چاشنی کتک و شکنجه ی طاقت فرسا، به تسلسلی پایان ناپذیر و سه ماهه تبدیل شد. بازجویان محترم در جهت ارتقای منزلت شغلی خویش و در سودای چند پشیزی ناچیز و بی ارزش، در این سه ماه به طرح اتهاماتی عجیب و غریب میپرداختند که خود بهتر از هرکس به کذب بودن آنها ایمان داشتند. علی رغم آزمودن تمامی روش ها و در عملیاتی مسلحانه شرکت نموده بودم، اتهاماتی که در بسیار در اثبات آن کوشیدند. تنها موارد اثباتی عضویت در کومله و تبلیغ علیه نظام بود که بهترین گواه در یگانه بودن اتهامات رای دادگاه بدوی است , شعبه ی اول دادگاه انقلاب اسلامی سنندج حکم به 10 سال حبس توام با تبعید به زندان رامهرمز داد. ساختار اداری و سیاسی ایران همیشه دچار آفت تمرکز گرایی بوده است اما در این یکی نمونه که به ظاهر قصد تمرکز زدایی از امر قضا را داشتند. به تازگی اختیار و صلاحیت تجدید نظر در احکام متهمین سیاسی را در بالاترین سطح - حتی اعدام - از دیوان عالی گرفته و به محاکم تجدید نظر استان سپرده اند , با اعتراض دادستان کامیاران به حکم بدوی و در نهایت تعجب و برخلاف قوانین موضوعه و داخلی خود ایران , شعبه ی چهارم دادگاه تجدید نظر استان کوردستان حکم 10 سال زندان را به اعدام تبدیل نمود. بر پایه ی ماده 258 قانون آیین دادرسی کیفری محاکم تجدید نظر تنها در صورتی مجاز به تشدید حکم بدوی میباشند که حکم صادره از حداقل مجازات مقرر در قانون کمتر باشد. بر طبق کیفر خواست دادستان ئ اتهام وارده _ یعنی محاربه(دشمنی با خدا) - حداقل حکم در این مورد یک سال است حال خود فاصله ی 10 سال توام با تبعید را با این حداقل مقایسه کنیدتا پی به غیر قانونی, غیر حقوقی و سیاسی بودن حکم اعدام ببرید.
البته ناگفته نماند که مدتی کوتاه پیش از تبدیل حکم

, مجددا" از زندان مرکزی سنندج به بازداشتگاه اداره اطلاعات منتقل و در آنجا از من خواسته شد طی یک مصاحبه ویدیوئی به اعمالی ناکرده اقرار و کلمات و جملاتی در رد افکار خویش برزبان آورم . علی رغم فشارها ی شدید, من حاضر به قبول خواسته نامشروع آنان نشدم و آنها نیز صراحتا" گفتند حکمم را به اعدام تبدیل خواهند نمود, که خیلی زود به عهد خویش وفا کردن و سرسپردگی دادگاه را به مراجع امنیتی و غیر قضایی اثبات نمودن. پس آیا انسان می تواند بر آنان خرده ای بگیرد؟!
قاضی سوگند خورده که همه جا

, در هر زمان و در قبال هر فرد و موضوعی بی طرف مانده و صرفا" از دریچه ی حقوق و قانون به جهان بنگرد, که امین قاضی این سرزمین به قهقرا رفته می تواند ادعا نماید که سوگند را نشکسته و بی طرف و عادل باقی مانده است؟ به زعم بنده چنین قضاتی به تعداد انگشتان یک دست هم نمی رسند. هنگامی که کل سیستم های قضایی ایران به اشاره یک بازجوی بی دانش و عاری از هرگونه سواد حقوقی , دستور بازداشت, محاکمه, محبوس نمودن و مرگ افراد را اجرا می نماید, آیا می توان بر یک یا چند قاضی خرده پای یک استان همیشه تحت ستم و تبعیض خرده گرفت؟ آری, خانه از پای بست ویران است......
حال علی رغم این که در آخرین ملاقاتم در داخل زندان با دادستان صادر کننده کیفر خواست

, وی به غیر قانونیبودن اجرای حکم در هنگامه ی اکنون اذعان داشت, اما برای دومین بار قصد اجرای حکم را دارند. نا گفته پیداست که اینچنین پافشاری کردن بر اجرای حکم به هر نحو ممکن , نتیجه ی فشارهای محافل امنیتی و سیاسی خارج از قوه ی قضائیه است . افراد عضو این محافل تنها از زاویه ی فیش حقوقی و اغراض و نیات سیاسی خویش به موضوع مرگ و زندگییک زندانی سیاسی می نگرند, برای آنان ورای اهداف غیر مشروع خویش هیچگونه ((مسئله))ای قابل طرح و تصور نیست, حتی اگر اولین حق همزاد بشر یعنی حق حیات باشد. اسناد جهانی و بین المللی پیشکش, آنان حتی قوانین و الزامات داخلی خود را نیز هیچ و بیهوده می انگارند.
اما سخن آخر

: اگر به گمان زورورزان و حاکمان, مرگ من موجب حذف مسئله ای به نام مسئله کردستان خواهد شد باید گفت زهی خیال باطل . نه مردن من و نه هزاران چون من مرهمی بر این درد بی درمان نخواهد بود و چه بسا آتش آنرا شعله ورتر خواهد نمود. بی گمان ((هر مرگ اشارتی است به حیاتی دیگر)).
احسان فتاحیان

زندان مرکزی سنندج


According to news reports from Committee of Families of Kurdish Political Prisoners, today (Monday November 9, 2009) political prisoners in Sanandaj Prison started a hunger strike in support of Ehsan Fatahiyan. As it was reported earlier Mr. Fatahiyan himself started a hunger strike yesterday afternoon.

Currently there are more than 40 prisoners who are on hunger strike in support of Mr. Fatahiyan. Some of these individuals are Mr. Habibollah Latifi, Mr. Adnan Hassanpour, Mr. Anward Hossein Panahi, Mr. Arsalan Evliyayi and Mr. Jabril Khoroyi.

These prisoners have started the hunger strike even though the Sanandaj Prison is currently infested with the Influenza virus and at least 20 of the prisoners on hunger strike are suffering the Influenza. Mr. Latifi and Mr. Hassanpour are two of the prisoners suffering fromt his disease, however so far no effort has been made to treat these prisoners.

It should also be noted that women’s ward in Sanandaj prison has also joined the hunger strike in support of Mr. Fahatiyan. Ms. Ronak Safazadeh and Ms. Fatemeh Goftari are two of the female prisoners who have joined the hunger strike.

Translation By: Sayeh Hassan


According to news report from Azarmeh Assocation of Women of Kurdistan (Women of Azarmehr) Mr. Ehsan Fatahiyan has started a hunger strike as of Sunday afternoon (November 8th 2009) in protest of his death sentence which is set to be carried out on Wednesday November 11th 2009. Mr. Fatahiyan is currently in Ward 2 of the central Sanandaj Prison.

Number of other Kurdish political and social prisoners including Mr. Adnan Hassanpour, Mr. Anward Hossein Pnahani, Mr. Arsalan Avliyayi, Mr. Habibollah Latifi and Mr. Lotfollah Lotfollahpour have announced that if Mr. Fatahiyan is executed they will all go on a hunger strike and will not end the strike until death.
Committee of the Families of Kurdish Political Prisoners has announced in a statement that it is extremely concerned that Mr. Fatahiyan’s execution will only be the beginning and will be closely followed by execution of other Kurdish activists who are currently awaiting execution.

This Committee has sent a warning to the Regime indicating that if these executions are carried out they will organize nationwide protests which will overthrow the Islamic Regime.

Further a facebook page has been created by Mr. Reza Hiwa in support of Mr. Fatahiyan with frequent updates on his situation. A petition has been posted on this page, and I urge everyone to visit this page tonight and sign the petition, as we do not have a lot of time.

A prayer session was conducted today in Church of Solid Rock Ministry in Toronto, Canada today in support of Mr. Fatahiyan. Everyone in attendance prayed for Mr. Fatahiyan’s freedom, as well as the freedom of all political prisoners in Iran and other countries. Although I was not present, I find this to be a wonderful idea, and a great way of showing solidarity with political prisoners. I urge other places of worship to follow suit and organize such prayer sessions to raise awareness about the atrocities taking place under the Islamic Regime’s dictatorship.

Lastly Please contact the numbers listed below and ask them to pressure the Islamic Regime into stopping Mr. Fatahiyan’s execution. Please once again remember that we do not have much time, the execution is set to be carried out on Wednesday November 11th 2009.

Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights: +41 22 917 90 00

Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (Middle East Office): +41 22 928 9153

Office of the United Nations in Britain: +44-20-74135500

Please keep on checking my blog for frequent update on Mr. Fatahiyans’ situation.

Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran


The death sentence of Ehsan Fatahiyan, a 27 years old Kurdish activist is set to be carred out on Wednesday November 11th 2009. A letter was written by the Judiciary to the Court in Sanandaj confirming the date of Mr. Fatahiyan’s execution on November 11th 2009.

Further Mr. Fatahiyan’s lawyer has been informed of this date and has been summoned to the Sanandaj prison on that day to watch the execution of Mr. Fatahiyan. According to Mr. Fatahiyan’s family, he is being executed because the Regime considers him one of the key figures of the recent anti-Regime uprising in the city of Kamyaran. It must be noted that Mr. Fatahiyan has been in prison for the past 18 months.

Mr. Fatahiyan is 27 years old and was born in the city of Kermanshah, but resided in the city of Sanandaj. While in solitary confinement Mr. Fatahiyan was subjected to severe torture in order to obtain a false confession, however even under those harsh circumstances Mr. Fatahiyan has never confessed to carrying arms or being involved in an armed struggle. To this day Mr. Fatahiyan has maintained that he has never carried arms and has never been involved in armed struggle. He believes his death sentence has political reasons.

Mr. Fatahiyan was convicted of the charge of being a “Mohareb” (enemy of god) and originally sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment, however on appeal the death sentence was imposed.

As Mr. Fatahiyan is in the imminent danger of execution I urge all human rights activists and international human rights organizations to take up his case and to help save him from execution. Tomorrow might be too late, let’s not lose another innocent young man in the gallows of the barbaric Islamic Regime.

Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran

Open Letter to the Empire Theatres
Regarding “the 1th Iranian Short Film Festival” in Toronto Sponsored by Islamic Regime

Empire Empress Walk
5095 Yonge Street
North York, Ontario

Dear Sir/Madam,

According to the reports by the Fars News and Persia Film, from November 6th to November 12th 2009, that your Theatre is hosting the “Canada’s 1th Iranian Short Film Festival” organized by Iranian Young Cinema Society (attaché of cinema department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance), Persia film Inc. and the Cultural Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Ottawa. This ‘festival” was originally planned for the Summer of 2009 in Richmond Hill, Ontario – the 20th Anniversary of mass execution of the Political Prisoners in Iran. This Festival was cancelled during the atmosphere of the uprising in Iran and brutality of the Islamic Regime in Iran and under the pressure of activists.

Shockingly, the First prize of the “Festival” is named in honour of “Seifollah Daad”, the Director of the “Anti Semitic” film, the “Survivor” and writer of screenplay of the film “the Son of Morning” the life of “Khomeini” directed by Behrooz Afkhami.

The Iranian Artists in Exiles are very concerned about the fact that The Empire Empress Walk has agreed to host such a festival. We assume that The Empire Theatres is unaware of the issues.

The Islamic Regime in Iran through Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, known as “Ministry of Censorship” has been restricting and censoring artists inside the country for the past 30 years. Iranian Artists inside Iran cannot publish their art such as books, records, films, and must apply and receive the approval by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. The suppression of “freedom of expression” and the state of censorship in Iran has had generated extremely difficult atmosphere for the artist which has led to the creation of “Underground Cinema/Arts” in Iran.

It is a fact not only that the organizers of this festival are closely related to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran, but that this is not the first time the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance of the Islamic Regime in Iran is sponsoring such a hypocritical event. The Iranian Regime has been using these types of cultural and artistic events as propaganda to convince the International Community that it respects the Rights of Iranian Artists and their Rights to Freedom of Expression.

In light of the suppression of Freedom of Expression imposed on Iranian Society, artists, and arts community by Iranian Regime and the great restrictions and censorship put on Iranian independent artists inside Iran by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, We urge you in solidarity with Iranian independent artists and the Iranian People not to host this “Festival” and the festivals organized and supported by the Islamic Regime of Iran.

Thank you for your support and consideration,

Yours truly,

Joseph Akrami, Film Producer in Exile
Faramarz Shiravand, Journalist

Empire Empress Walk
5095 Yonge Street
North York, Ontario

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to our attention through Iranian Arts in Exile Committee that you are hosting a festival of short films at the Empire Theatres on 5095 Yonge Street on November 6th to November 12th 2009. As you may be aware this festival is funded and organized by the Iranian Young Cinema Society (attaché of cinema department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran.)

This festival is named in honour of “Seifollah Daad”, who was closely linked with the Islamic Regimes’ Cultural Ministry for years before his death. He was also the Director of the “Anti Semitic” film, the “Survivor” and the writer of screenplay of the film “the Son of Morning” about the life of “Khomeini” directed by Behrooz Afkhami. (Afkhami is the Iranian filmmaker who even became a member of the Islamic Regime Parliament and presently is running classes/seminars on screenplay writing at two locations in Toronto).

We are very concerned about the fact that your theatre has agreed to host such a festival, given the fact that Iranian Artists inside Iran must receive the approval of the Ministry of Culture in order to publish their films, records, books and other forms of art. This is extremely difficult given the state of censorship in Iran which has led to the creation of “Underground Cinema/Arts” in Iran.

The fact that the organizers of this festival are closely related to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran and are funding such an event is nothing short of hypocrisy. While restricting and censoring artists inside the country, the Islamic Regime is using these types of cultural events as propaganda and trying to convince the International Community that it respects freedom of expression and the rights of Iranian Artists.

In light of the great restrictions and censorship put on Iranian independent artists inside Iran by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and the lack of freedom of speech and expression imposed on artists and the Iranian Society in general by the Regime we urge you to show your support and solidarity with the Iranian People and independent artists living in a jail called Islamic Republic of Iran, rather than with the Islamic Regime, by not hosting festivals that are backed and supported by the Islamic Regime of Iran.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Yours truly,

Sayeh Hassan, Criminal Defense Lawyer and Pro-Democracy Activist

Lila Ghobady, Journalist & Human Rights Activist in Exile

Below is my translation of numerous reports from Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran in regards to today’s protests in Tehran.

According to news reports from Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran the protests in Tehran started early this morning and people were marching towards Hafte Tir Square and other major intersections in Tehran.

Security forces were present in large numbers in most major intersections trying to prevent people from protesting. The presence of security forces was especially heavy in Hafte Tir Square.

In a second news report Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran state that security forces, Basij, Pasdaran etc.. have attacked the protestors in Hafte Tir Square and are beating men, women, children and elderly protestors mercilessly. Despite the attacks by security forces people are continuing their protests and shouting “death to dictator.” Hundreds have been wounded and hundreds more have been arrested and taken to unknown locations.

According to another report protestors have taken over the north part of Hafte Tir Square while the security forces have taken over the south side. There are protests in all major areas of Tehran including Enghelab Square, Vali Asr Square and Taleghani.

Furthermore as of 4:00pm Tehran time thousands of people were protesting in Motaheri Street. People were shouting slogans such as “Khamenei is a murderer, his government is void, death to dictator, and Obama, either with them or with us!!”

Protestors were attacked by security forces, many were beaten while many more were arrested. As of 5:30pm protests were continuing in Tehran.

Video’s from Today’s Protests

This is a secret video of security forces with batons chasing the people

Video of people shouting Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic

Video of a young protestor being arrested by security forces

This is a great article by Faramarz Shiravand, about the Regime sponsored Film Festivals in Toronto. I urge everyone to act immediately, either through circulating this article or calling or writing to Empire theaters and voicing your concerns about this film festival.


Iranian Short Film Festival in Toronto

Organized by: Iranian Young Cinema Society (attaché of cinema department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance), Persia film Inc. and the Cultural Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Ottawa www.persiafilm.ca

In the article, The Islamic Regime in Iran and Its Attitude towards the Jews: The Religious and Political Dimensions, author Dr. Soli Shahvar Lecturer at Dept. of History of the Middle East, University of Haifa,
writes:

“Anti-Semitism is deeply ingrained in Shi`i Iran, both religiously and historically. Apart from being the first enemies of Prophet Muhammad, Jews have been the subject of gross accusations, such as having a desire for world control, exaggerating the dimensions of the Holocaust, committing genocide, using blood in making unleavened bread, and distorting Holy Scriptures. The establishment of a Jewish state, Israel, added a political dimension to the already hostile religious attitude towards the Jews. This hostile religious-political attitude was contained to a large extent under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, but it burst out with vigour after Khomeini and his fellow clerics took over the reins of power in 1979. Faced with the constraints of international game rules and the pressure of a Western public opinion sensitive to expressions of anti-Semitism, the ruling clerics attempted to conceal their anti-Semitism by adopting a number of tactics, such as issuing far fewer public anti-Semitic statements, or by allowing others, through 'freedom of speech', to 'freely' express their anti-Semitic views. This is in line with taqiyyah (concealment) - one of the basic principles of Shi `i Islam.” 1

For the last 30 years, since the Islamists under the leadership of after Khomeini took over the reins of power in 1979, people of Iran have been the subject of brutal suppressions. The brutality of the Islamic Regime have been practiced and exercised, mainly, against “infidels” (non-believers, atheists, secularists, converts, ...), ethnic minorities and religious minorities. The Iranian Baha’is and Jews have been major targets of the Islamic Regime’s physical and emotional brutality suppression for the past three decades - the kind of brutalities (beatings, murders, summary executions, torture, rapes, ...), that the world witnessed post sham [s]“election” in June 12, 2009.

Moreover the Iranian Baha’is and Jews have been subjected to brutality of Islamic propaganda via the regime’s media. The Iranian Jews, in particular, have been the main target of the sophisticated Islamic regime’s cinema/film industry; film industry which is under total controlled of Cinema subcommittee of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

The cinema subcommittee of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, under the leadership of Seifollah Daad, the producer and director of the “Anti Semitic” film, “Survivor” with the assistance of Behrooz Afkhami an experience filmmaker and past member of Islamic Parliament (2000-2006) , has adopted new anti-Semitism tactics. The aim of these tactics by Islamic Regime of Iran, known as concealment (taqiyyah), is to conceal the anti-Semitism through its film industry. These new tactics have been heavily financed, through “questionable sponsorships”, meticulously planned and sophisticatedly executed by the Islamic Regime’s agents, representatives and sponsors under different pretexts.

It is well understood that Canada has been the main destination for the Islamists for the past decades. It is unknown how many of these individuals already in Canada, particularly in Toronto and vicinities (York Region).

According to the reports by the Fars News, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has been clandestinely active through the Cultural Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Ottawa, and its allies, for the past decade. Furthermore, the Cinema department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has surreptitiously working as dormant “Sleeping Cells” for the past few years and recently has become very active.

Faced with the constraints of internal and international pressures and the pressure of a public opinion sensitive to expressions of anti-Semitism and failure in the International film festivals, the clandestine of the Cultural Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Ottawa has been actively trying to rebrand itself with new package, “Iranian Film Festivals”.

According to the reports by the Fars News the “Iranian Short Film Festival in Toronto” organized by Iranian Young Cinema Society (attaché of cinema department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance), Persia film Inc., and the Cultural Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Ottawa, was originally planned for the Summer of 2009 in Richmond Hill, Ontario – “incidentally” coincided with the 20th Anniversary of mass execution of the Political Prisoners in Iran. This Festival was cancelled under the pressure of activists and effects of uprising in Iran.

Once again the organizers are planning the run the “Festival”, this time in Toronto after failing to bring it to Richmond Hill, Centre for the Performing Arts. The festival is named, “Canada’s 1th Iranian Short Film Festival” and it is running from November 6-12, 2009, at Empire Theatre at empress Walk – 5095 Yonge Street, North York, Ontario. Due to pressure, the organizers kept the location and dates of such a “Festival” with 115 films, secret and only last week they advertised the “Festival” schedule in their Weekly Papers. It is very surprisingly strange that a “Film Festival” with such magnitude, publicized only the week prior to being showcased! It is unknown that whether The Empire Theatre is aware of the issues or not.

According to the Fars News, amazingly, the 1th prize of the “Canada’s 1th Iranian Short Film Festival” is named in honour of “Seifollah Daad”, the Director of the “Anti Semitic” film, the “Survivor” and writer of screenplay of the film “the Son of Morning” about the life of “Khomeini” directed by Behrooz Afkhami. (Afkhami presently is running classes/seminars on screenplay writing at two locations: Futureskills High School and 585 Production Inc. in Toronto)

I invite all, human rights defender and activists, freedom lovers, democracy promoters, and those who opposed “Sexual Apartheid”, segregations, discrimination and racism to oppose to this form of celebration of “anti- Semitism”.

Something has to be done! Tomorrow is too late!

M. F. Shiravand
Rowshangar, Persian Monthly Paper

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