According to news report from “Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran” the current conditions of the women’s ward in the notorious Evin Prison has become worse than ever.

Currently there are 28 female political prisoners are housed per prison cell. As the summer temperature in Tehran rises to as high as 40C there is no way for the prisoners to cool themselves. The heat in the cells is to such degree that prisoners have been fainting due to extreme heat.

Also the access to water has been terminated in the women’s ward and the female political prisoners have not even had access to drinking water for a number of days.

Further a number of female political prisoners have been suffering from food poisoning, however they have not been allowed to seek medical treatment. Some of the symptoms displayed by these women has been severe vomiting and diarrhea.

According to this news report there have been efforts by the prison authorities to create a division among the female political prisoners in an attempt to divide and conquer.

For example Ms. Mahdiye Golru, a student activist and a political prisoner was summoned by Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolat Abadi who threatened her for defending her former cellmate Shirin Alam-Hooli ( a Kurdish political prisoner who was executed on May 9th).

Jafar Abbas Dolat Abadi has also been involved in threatening and warning female political prisoners not to speak out and publisize the prison conditions in the women’s ward, threatening with punishing the entire group if anything about the conditions is published.

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

Translation by: Sayeh Hassan
Original Link:

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the murder of an innocent young woman Neda Agha-Soltan by the Islamic Regime agents in Iran. Neda was shot to death on the streets of Tehran while participating in a peaceful protest, in the aftermath of the Iranian presidential [s]elections. After her death it became clear that Neda had not voted and did not support any of the candidates. She joined the protests because she wanted freedom for the Iranian people. In the past year Neda’s beautiful and innocent face has become the symbol of freedom and hope for the Iranian people.

Yesterday many Iranians gathered in the Mel Lastman Square in Toronto, between 5-7pm to commemorate the memory of Neda and thousands of other innocent, freedom loving people who have lost their lives in order to help create a free and secular Iran.

The highlight of the program was two great speeches by Caspian Makan, Neda’s fiancé and a human rights activist, as well as a speech by Amir Abbas Fakhravar a well known political activist and the Secretary General of the Confederation of the Iranian Students who travelled from Washington to take part in this event.

Mr. Fakhravar’s speech can be seen here; I was quite impressed with his speech which focused on unity of the Iranian people, which I also think is extremely important.

It was a beautiful event and a great way to remember Neda and thousands of others who have lost their lives at the hands of the Islamic Regime in the past 31 years. It is important not only to remember these brave and freedom loving individuals, but to also continue on their path for a free, secular and democratic Iran.

In the memory of all innocent people who have lost their lives on the road for freedom and democracy,

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

In the picture above: Amir Fakhravar, Caspian Makan, Saghar Kasrai, Sayeh Hassan

Liberal MP Irwin Cotler’s motion for solidarity with the people of Iran passes with unanimous consent

Ottawa – On the one-year anniversary of the fraudulent Iranian election and subsequent crackdown on human rights – including the death of Neda Agha-Soltan at the hands of Iranian security forces – Liberal MP Irwin Cotler received unanimous consent in the House of Commons for a motion expressing solidarity with the people of Iran and condemning its human rights abuses.

The motion is as follows:
“That, on the one year-anniversary of the fraudulent Iranian election, this House expresses its solidarity with the people of Iran; condemns the loss of life, beatings, and unjust imprisonment of those who peacefully protested; supports the democratic movement in Iran; welcomes the new UN sanctions against the Iranian regime; calls upon the regime to cease and desist from the illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and international law; and expresses its hope that the Iranian people will soon live in peace, security, and freedom.”

Parliamentarians in support of the motion deplored the loss of life, beatings and unjust imprisonment of those who peacefully protested the election, while expressing support for the democratic movement in Iran.

Parliamentarians also called upon the regime to cease and desist from the illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and international law.

While Cotler welcomed the new UN Sanctions against Iran, he believes more is needed to combat the Iranian regime, which is also engaged in state-sponsored terrorism and incitement to genocide.

“It is the hope of the Liberal Party – and indeed all Parliamentarians – that the Iranian people will soon live in peace, security and freedom.”

• Protests in Sharif University in Tehran continue. Video 1
Video II
Two students who had been secretly filming the protests in Sharif University were identified by security forces, beaten and taken to an unknown location.

In Valiasr Square people are fighting back against the security forces, security forces are being forced to move back.

• According to news reports from “Human Rights and Democracy Activists” there is massive physical altercations between young students and the security forces around Tehran University. Number of students who intended to enter Tehran University to join the protests have been beaten by batons and a number of them have been arrested. According to this news report one of the students who has been arrested is from the “Sanati University” in the city of Yazd, his name is Ahmad Shah Rezayi.
o Although there is a heavy presence of security forces, the number of protestors is increasing in “Enghelab Square.”

According to various news reports a number of Personnel in the building of “Sedao Sima Iran” which is one of the Regime’s official news agency’s have been taken hostage. According to eyewitness reports there has been shooting sounds coming from the building, however it is not yet clear what is going on and what is the motive and goal of the hostage takers.

According to an eye witness in the city of Mashad, the “Sajad” area there is a strong presence of security forces on their motorcycles. According to this eye witness on this day the Regime has declared war against the people.

There are protests in various locations in Tehran. One of these locations is Amir Abad, where the first tear gas has been fired, and the protests have entered a new phase. The number of the protestors is increasing.

• There are also protests in Enghelab and Azadi Square where people are chanting “death to dictator.” There presence of female protestors is very strong, the are chanting without any fear.

Translations by: Sayeh Hassan

Below are two video's which show the heavy presence of security forces in Tehran streets today:

Video 1

video 2

Iran News Agency: demonstrations have also started to take shape in Ferdowsi Square in Tehran despite the heavy presence of security forces in Tehran streets.

خبرنگار آژانس ايران خبر, تهران ساعت 1400: علي رغم تمامي تهميدات امنيتي وعلي رغم گسيل مزدوران حكومتي به خيابان هاي تهران , اعتراض اولیه در میدان فردوسی در حال شکل گیری است

Iran Press News: At 2pm in Jomhuri Street, under the Hafez Bridge in Tehran an elderly woman started chanting anti-dictatorship slogans. Other people also joined in and the size of the group kept on increasing until they were attacked by security forces that most likely had been hiding in the parking lot of one of the side streets. The security forces were not able to arrest anyone as people fought back against them and forced them to back down and move across the street.

Security forces have gathered under the Hafez Bridge. It seems as though the June 12th protests have started with the security forces receiving a beating from the protestors.

Translation by: Sayeh Hassan

22 خرداد؛ درگیری در خیابان جمهوری زیر پل حافظ

گزارش خوانندگان: خیابان جمهوری زیر پل حافظ ساعت 14:00 . نزدیک مرکز خرید علاءالدین شعارهای علیه دیکتاتور از سوی یک زن مسن سر داده شد و با همراهی مردم این شعارها افزایش یافت که با خروج پر تعداد نیروهای امنیتی و ضد شورش از یکی از کوچه های اطراف که احتمال میرود در پارکینگ یکی از مجتمع های مسکونی پنهان شده بودند به خشونت کشیده شدولی با دخالت و حضور خشمگین مردم نیروهای ضد شورش نتوانستند کسی را دستگیر کنند و به آن سوی خیابان عقب نشینی کردند.هم اکنون جو کاملا امنیتی در زیر پل حافظ برقرار شده
کلید اعتراضات مردمی در22 خرداد با کتک خوردن نیروهای ضد شورش از سوی مردم زده شد.
در زیر پل حافظ این نیروهای پلیس بودند که در دستگیری چند نفر از مردم بخصوص یک زن مسن نه تنها ناموفق بودند بلکه از خشم مردم در امان نماندند و از سوی مردم مورد حمله قرار گرفتند و با تحقیر و هو شدن از سوی مردم به سمت دیگر خیابان فراری شدند .

در زیر پل حافظ این نیروهای پلیس بودند که در دستگیری چند نفر از مردم بخصوص یک زن مسن نه تنها ناموفق بودند بلکه از خشم مردم در امان نماندند و از سوی مردم مورد حمله قرار گرفتند و با تحقیر و هو شدن از سوی مردم به سمت دیگر خیابان فراری شدند .

While I fully support and stand in solidarity with the Iranian people, and their courageous attempts to take to the streets, despite the risks to their lives and freedom, and at every opportunity, to voice their demands for a free and secular Iran, I will not be participating in June 12th demonstrations because:

1. In Iran there is no such a thing as an election. Presidency candidates are handpicked by the Guardian Council and the Supreme Leader, and that is the way it has been for the past 31 years.

2. The main condition for passing the test to run for presidency is loyalty to the Islamic Regime. (That includes Mousavi and Karoubi who were both handpicked by the Supreme Leader to run for presidency.)

3. While the protests in Iran started with the pretext of dissatisfaction with the [s]election results, the movement became quite radical very quickly, and people started chanting “Mousavi is an excuse the entire Regime is targeted,” “death to the Islamic Regime” and “Independence, freedom, Iranian Republic.”

4. Today the issue at the forefront of Iranian politics is not the [s]election results, it is Regime Change.

5. The protests that are being organized internationally by “Committee for Solidarity with Iran” are generally “silent” protest that do not allow for chanting of anti-Regime slogans.

6. At a time when our compatriots in Iran are chanting “Independence, freedom, Iranian Republic”, those of us who live in free countries cannot remain silent and participate in silent protests.

7. Participating in tomorrow’s protests will be accepting the legitimacy of the election process under the Islamic Regime Rule.

8. Although no doubt many pro-democracy activists will join in the protests with the goal of protesting against the entirety of the Regime, unfortunately because of the way things have been organized internationally, any protest that takes place tomorrow will only serve to strengthen the reformist stand, rather than help the “Regime Change” cause.

I will however come out on June 20th the anniversary of the murder of Neda Agha Soltan by Regime Agents and commemorate her memory as well as thousands of other innocent and courageous Iranians who have lost their lives in a fight for a free, secular and democratic Iran.

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

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto today, in regards to the human rights violations conducted by the Islamic Regime, and what Canadians can do to help the situation. I had the honour of being part of a series of speeches in Iran, which included renowned speakers such as the Israeli Embassador Her Excellency Miriam Ziv, the Honourable Irwin Cotler and Hershell Ezrin, a renowned political analyst. Below is the text of my speech.

Good afternoon everyone, it is a real pleasure to be here, thank you for having me here today.

Today I would like to speak to you about Iran, in particular the brutal government, the Islamic Regime that has been in power for the past 31 years and the systematic human rights violations committed by them.

I would also like to suggest some ways in which as Canadians we may be able to do help the pro-democracy movement in Iran.

First I would like to give a brief background history on Iran for those of you who might not be very familiar with Iran. Prior to 1979 Iran was a Monarchy headed by the Pahlavi Family. In 1979 there was a revolution by the people in the hopes of bringing freedom and democracy to Iran. Unfortunately the Islamic Government that came to power was anything but democratic.

The Islamic Regime changed our national flag, brought the Sharia Law which was and still is extremely discriminatory against women and started a crack down on anyone they deemed to be against the Islamic Regime.

Universities were shut down to undergo a “cultural revolution” many dissidents who had been active during the revolution and in the over throw of the Shah were thrown into prison because they were deemed to be against the Regime. Between 1979 to 1981 thousands of political prisoners were executed. In the summer of 1988 10,000 political prisoners were executed summarily, after having three (3) minute “trials.” I should note that in 1988 Mir Hossein Mousavi, the reformist leader of today was the Prime Minister of Iran, holding a very key and powerful position, yet he didn’t do anything to try to stop the executions. He did not condemn it and to this day he has never even acknowledged that those executions took place.

The crackdown on dissidents, systematic persecution and rule of force has continued for the past 31 years and has been carried out by the entire regime, both hardliners and the reformists.

That brings us to past year and the events that have taken place since the presidential [s]elections. I refer to it as a selection rather than an election because out of 400 possible candidates, only four (4) with an impeccable record of loyalty to the Islamic Regime and the Supreme Leader were handpicked to run for presidency. These individuals were Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karoubi and Mohsen Rezaee.

The international community referred to this [s]election as fraudulent and unfair, and i t was, but not because Ahmadinejad won. Because presidential candidates are handpicked by the Guardian Council and the Supreme Leader. Out of 400 candidates they usually pick 3 or 4. These individuals have to have a history of loyalty to the Regime. We will never see a secular candidate or anyone who might be even slightly against the Regime be chosen to run for presidency.

After the selections the brave Iranian people took to the streets in numbers we had never seen before. Many were dissatisfied with the [s]elections, while many more had not voted, had not taken part in the [s]elections and were dissatisfied with the entire Regime. A young girl named Neda Agha-Soltan was shot during the protests by Regime Agents. While reformists tried to link her name to the reform movement it eventually became apparent that she had not taken part in the [s]elections and she had not voted. She did not support any of the candidates.

After the June [s]elections in Iran we all saw the brutal face of the Islamic Regime. We saw peaceful protestors being attacked, beaten and even shot on the streets by Islamic Regime Agents. Finally the international community started seeing what the Iranian people have been faced with for the past 31 years.

Although the nationwide protests started under the pretence of dissatisfaction with the [s]elections, the movement started to become very radical very quickly. While at first people were chanting slogans such as “where is my vote?” this changed quickly and soon people started chanting slogans such as “death to the Islamic Regime, death to Khamenei, death to the Guardian Council, Mousavi is an excuse the entire Regime targeted” and the most popular slogan which was “freedom, independence, Iranian Republic.” By chanting this slogan Iranian people declared their demand for a secular government rather than an Islamic government.

One major reason why Iranians want Regime change is because of the systematic human rights violations they have been subjected to for the past 31 years, and that brings us to the current state of human rights in Iran.

Human Rights violations conducted by the Regime are way too many to count, but just to give an overview Bahai’s, Christians and Jews are persecuted on a systematic basis because of their religious views. Kurds, Turks and Balouchi’s are persecuted because of their ethnicity, women are subjected to persecution on a regular basis as well as students, teachers, journalists, activists doctors, writers and anyone else who might speak up against the Regime.

There are also thousands of political prisoners in Iran, many of whom have been in prison for many years. We don’t have the exact numbers and names of many of these political prisoners, because a lot of this is done secretly. There are many secret prisons which we don’t have any information about because they’re secret; we just know that they exist. It is also very difficult to obtain news from smaller prisoners who are in smaller cities, so it is difficult to get an exact number of how many prisoners there are and what their names are.

One of the areas I focus on is the persecution of the Kurdish people by the Islamic Regime. The Kurdish community has always been very vocal against the Islamic Regime, and as a result the Regime persecutes the Kurds on a systematic basis.
We see Kurdish activists, students, teachers, journalists and workers be arrested on a regular basis, be tortured and raped in order to obtain confessions and then either be sentenced to long prison terms or execution.

Since November of last year atleast 7 Kurdish political prisoners have been executed by the Regime. Five very well known Kurdish political activists were executed on May 9th at the notorious Evin Prison. Their lawyers and families were not informed of the executions until after it had been carried out. Almost a month later and the families still have not been able to obtain the bodies of their loved ones.
There are at least 16 other Kurdish activists who are currently facing executions. One of them, a young student activist named Habibollah Latifi is set to be executed this coming Monday.

I should note that these individuals are tried in mock “trials,” without the presence of a lawyer, behind closed doors and after having been tortured in order to obtain false confessions from them.

The situation is very similar for other activists in Iran. People are arrested without cause, tortured and raped in order to break them and to obtain confessions, they are forced to go through mock trials without the presence of a defence lawyers and are either sentenced to lengthy prison terms or execution. Some are lucky enough to receive shorter sentences, however having been subjected to brutal rape and torture it is very difficult for them to lead an ordinary life once released. Some of them even commit suicide because they can’t deal with what happened to them while in prison. There are also those prisoners who die under torture or commit suicide because of torture.

In terms of what we can do to help:

First any change that is going to happen has to happen from inside Iran, and I don’t mean from the reformists or any fraction of the Regime, but from the Iranian people, and we’ve seen that happen, we have seen the people come out in millions and demand change. What we can do is to be the voice of people inside Iran.

Another concept we need to consider is the fact that focusing on human rights alone is not enough. if we want to help create real change, and to protect the rights of all political prisoners, all ethnic and religious minorities, all women and the Iranian people as a whole, we must also focus on Regime change.

Once we realize this concept, then there are lots of things we can do.

• We can contact our elected representatives, many of whom are open to hearing from us about issues that concern us. They are the policy makers and they are the ones that can introduce bills that can help the pro-democracy movement in Iran. Writing and speaking to them is one of the most useful things we can do.

• We can also inform and mobilize our own community, we can write on blogs, facebook and twitter. We can write about the issues, we can disseminate the news that is coming out of Iran through activists, and that is one way to make sure the voices of activists in Iran are heard.

• We can also join various campaigns, sign petition and take part in protests. These are things that are more symbolic and will let the Iranian people know that there are people outside Iran who know what is going on, care and do support the pro-democracy movement in Iran.

As long as our activities has a clear goal, and as long as that goal is complete Regime change, I believe we will be successful.

There was also a question and answer section of this event which lasted about 45 minutes. I would like to thank everyone who perticipated for their interest in this issue.