1. There will be a protest this Friday (February 6th) in Toronto, at the Mel lastman Square between 4:30-6pm. The protest is to commomorate the 40th day anniversary of all freedom loving Iranians who lost their lives during the Ahshura protests in Tehran. The protest is to show solidarity with the Iranian people who are risking everything to fight for a free and democratic Iran.
2. There will be a second protest on Thursday February 11th 2010 between 4-6 at the Mel Lastman Square in Toronto to mark 22 Bahman, large scale protests are being organized in Iran for that day and we Iranians and Canadians residing in Toronto will be gathering to show solidarity with the Iranian People.
3. A demonstration is being organized in Ottawa for 22 Bahman (February 11th) in front of the Iranian Embassy between 11:30-4pm. Given the fact that the Islamic Regime Embassy is the only one in North America it is very important for s to gather in front of this Embassy and show our solidarity with the Iranian people. I know it will be cold and we don't all necessarily live in Ottawa, but I urge everyone who is able to gather in front of the Embassy. This could be the most important protest of the year.
It's my undrestanding that these protests are organized by ordinary people who do not belong to any group or organization. Everyone is welcome with all ideologies, flags and signs.
Down with the Islmaic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
Recently a female political prisoner Ms. Shirin Alam Hooli was sentenced to death in Iran for allegedly being a member of a Kurdish opposition organization PJAK.
Below is the translation of her letter from prison which was written on January 18th 2010 which describes the torture and interrogations she underwent before her death sentence was handed down. Please keep in mind that I am not a profession translator, however I have done my best to translate the letter word for word.
I was arrested in April of 2007 in Tehran by a number of uniformed and a number of non-uniformed security forces. I was transferred directly to Sepah Detention Centre, and was there for a total of 25 days. From the minute that I entered the detention centre they started beating me without asking me any questions or waiting for any answers.
I spent 22 days on hunger strike and during that entire time I was subjected to both physical and psychological torture.
My interrogators were all men and I was tied to a bed. They would beat me with electrical batons, cables, and would punch and kick me until I was unconscious. At that time I still had difficulty speaking and understanding Farsi. When I wasn’t able to answer their questions they would continue to beat me until I lost consciousness.
When the prayer time came they would go to pray and “would give me time to think about things and answer questions.” Once they came back the beatings would continue, then losing consciousness and then cold water...
When they saw that I would not break my hunger strike they would try to force feed me with tubes, however I would resists and rip the tubes from my nose, which would lead to great pain and bleeding and now even two years later I still suffer from that pain.
One day during interrogations they kicked my stomach so hard that I had severe internal bleeding. Another time an interrogator came to interrogate me, he was the only interrogator that I actually saw, the rest of the time I was blind folded.
He started asking me irrelevant questions and when I wouldn’t answer he slapped me and pulled out a gun and put it to my head. he told me “answer my questions. I know that you are a member of PJAK, you’re a terrorist. Listen to me girl, it doesn’t matter if you talk or not. Either way we are happy that we’re captured a PJAK member.
Once when a doctor had come to look at my wounds I was in a state of sleep and awakeness. The doctor requested that I be transferred to the hospital. The interrogator asked “why does she have to go to the hospital, can’t she be treated here?” The doctor said “it’s not for treatment; in the hospital I can do something to her that she will start talking.”
The next day I was taken to the hospital with blind folds and handcuffs. The doctor gave me a needle; I totally lost control and apparently started talking and answering all of their questions exactly the way they wanted. They videotaped this. Once I came to, I asked them where I was and realized that I was still on the hospital bed. After that I was transferred to my cell again.
Apparently even that wasn’t enough for the interrogators; they wanted me to suffer more. They would force me to stand up on my feet after they had beaten my feet until my feet were completely swollen. Then they would give me ice. I could hear screams of other prisoners day and night, and that really bothered me and upset me. Later I learned that the screams had been taped in order to psychologically torture me. Sometimes I would sit in the interrogation room for hours while drops of cold water would fall on my head for hours.
On another occasion I was blindfolded and being interrogated. The interrogator burnt my hand with his cigarette. On another occasion the interrogator stood on my feet with his shoes for so long that my nails turned black and fell off eventually. Sometimes they would just force me to stand up the entire day in the interrogation room without asking me any questions while interrogators would do cross word puzzles. Basically they did everything they could to make sure I suffered.
After I was released from the hospital they decided to transfer me to Section 209 of the Evin Prison, however because of my injuries and because of the fact that I couldn’t even walk Section 209 refused to accept me. They held me in front of Section 209 for an entire day and then they were finally forced to take me to the prison clinic.
I had lost all sense of time and didn’t know whether it was day or night. I don’t know how long I stayed in the prison clinic. Once I was a little bit better I was transferred to Section 209 and interrogations started once again.
In 209 they had their special interrogation techniques and they always played the good cop/bad cop. First a “bad” interrogator would come and subject me to torture and tell me that he wasn’t bound by any law and he could do whatever he wanted with me. Then a “good” interrogator would come and ask the “bad” interrogator to stop torturing me and would offer me a cigarette. Then the entire cycle would repeat itself.
When I was in Section 209 and I wasn’t feeling well because of the torture or internal bleeding they would just inject me with pain killers and I would spend entire days sleeping. They would not take me to the prison clinic for treatment...
Shirin Alam Hooli, Evin Prison, January 18th 2010
Translation by: Sayeh Hassan
Mr. Arash Rahmanipour and Mr. Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani were executed this morning (Thursday January 28th 2010), due to their peaceful participation in the recent post [s]election protests.
In total 11 protestors have been sentenced to death. There is no information about the identity of these individuals.
It seems as though in the anticipation of the 22 Bahman (February 11th ) protests which are expected to be the largest anti-Regime protests to date, the Regime is doing everything in its power to try to intimidate the potential protestors.
The execution of Mr. Rahmanipour and RM. Ali Zamani, so close to the 22 Bahman protest is nothing but a sign of weakness and fear by the Islamic Regime.
Only a Regime desperate enough to save itself from drowning can do something as barbaric as executing peaceful protestors to try to intimidate the public.
The Islamic Regime may try to stop the inevitable however I do not think anything or anyone will be able to stand in the path of the Iranian People and their demand for a complete Regime Change.
In memory of Mr. Arash Rahmanipour and Mr. Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and all innocent Iranians who have lost their lives in the fight for a free and democratic Iran.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
It seems the public pressure put on the organizers has worked as the event has officially been cancelled, at least for now.
The organizers had created a page for their event on facebook called Media Myths in Iran. I had joined the group in order obtain more information. Last night the organizers sent out an email through their facebook page stating that because of numerous emails they had received and because of a large number of students and ordinary people opposing this event they no longer were able to handle this event and that they would be handing it over to two larger organizations, one of them Muslims for Peace and that most likely the event would be cancelled.
I received a second email about an hour later which stated that the event had in fact been cancelled, the reason was cited as the great demand by many students to attend this event ( forgetting about the email they had sent an hour before). The email indicated that the event would be cancelled for now in order to give the organizers the opportunity to book a bigger venue for the event.
But looking at the original email that was sent out by this group it was clear that the public pressure worked and they were forced to cancel the event, after all not too many people want to be associated with Ahmadinejad and Islamic Regime these days. Maybe with the exception of Phil Wilayto. This is a great victory for all pro-democracy Iranians who worked really hard to try to expose this event for what it really was. A pro-Islamic Regime anti-peace and anti-democratic event.
There is a small chance that this event may go forward at a future date and we must all keep our eyes and ears open for that. For all my friends who worked really hard to prepare handouts and flyers, please keep them!! We might need them in the near futures.
Good job everyone
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
The Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War has invited Phil Wilayto an Ahmadinejad sympathizer to speak at McMaster University in Hamilton on Wednesday January 27th at 6:30pm.
The talk is titled “Media Myth in Iran” and he is to argue that the current movement in Iran does not represent the Iranian people who are supposedly by large supporters of the Islamic Regime.
Given the recent brutal crackdown on thousands of Iranian protestors which consisted of imprisonment, torture, rape and even murder of protestors by the Islamic Regime it is distasteful to say the least for this Coalition to invite a pro-Islamic Regime speaker to speak at their event.
While pro-democracy Iranians both inside Iran and abroad celebrated the 27th birthday of Neda Aghasoltan (young Iranian woman shot by security forces during protests in Iran) The Hamilton Coalition to Stop War is stepping on the blood of thousands of innocent Iranians and disrespecting the Iranian people and the memories of those who have lost their lives by organizing a pro-Islamic Regime event.
A number of pro-democracy Iranians in Toronto will be attending this event to protest against this untimely absurdity, and I encourage all Iranians who are able, to attend to voice their concerns. Given what the Iranian people have suffered at the hands of the Islamic Regime for the past 31 years it is the least we can do.
I would also urge readers to contact The Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War at firstname.lastname@example.org to voice your concerns and to condemn this anti-peace, anti-freedom and anti-democratic event.
It is also my understanding that the McMaster Iranian Student Association has threatened potential protestors with security, once again clearly demonstrating that they are standing with the Islamic Regime and against the Iranian people.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran.
Yesterday January 23rd 2010 I attend an event which was organized in honour of Neda Aghal Soltans 27th birthday. As many may already know Neda was a young Iranian woman who was shot to death by Islamic Regime agents during the recent protests in Iran. If she had not been murdered so unjustly she would have been 27 years old yesterday.
The event was at the North York Centre and started a little after 4pm. Around 200 hundred people attended many of them carrying the Lion and Sun flag. I had made a poster which read “Down with the Islamic Regime of Iran” which I held up during the ceremony. Neda’s fiancé Caspian Mekan was present and spoke to us about Neda. As well Reza Moridi, the Richmond Hill MPP was also present and spoke about the Iranian peoples demand for the removal of the Islamic Regime from power. Number of other activist gave short speeches and read poems. We were also able to listen to a telephone message from Neda’s mom that had been prepared for this special occasion.
The event organizers were “Nedaye Solh va Azadi”, some of the event sponsors were the Shahrvand Newspaper and Campaigning for Human Rights in Iran. Mr. Faramarz Shiravand a journalist from the Monthly newspaper Rowshangar took some wonderful pictures of this event which he was kind enough to share with me. You can view the pictures here.
This was a wonderful event where Iranians with different beliefs and ideas came together to celebrate the birthday of this special young woman. It was great to see the solidarity, the general anti-Islamic Regime sentiments and the presence of Lion and Sun Flags.
I think at this time it’s also very important to remember all other angels of Iran, those who have lost their lives in the fight for a free and democratic Iran. Iran has thousands of angels many of them, who are unfortunately nameless, and many others whose memories will be remembered forever. I am dedicating this piece to Neda Agha-Soltan, Ehsan Fatahiyan, Akbar Mohammadi, Fasih Yasamani, Valiollah Feyze Mahdavi, and Majid and Hossein Kavousifar as well as all other angels of Iran.
Long Live Their Memory
Down with the Islamic Regime of Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
By Rhonda Spivak
Twenty-nine year old Sayah Hassan, an Iranian pro-democracy activist and criminal lawyer living in Toronto, told a student conference here that “Iranian people are no longer satisfied with reforming [Iran’s] existing Islamic regime, but want regime change entirely.”
She said that this is the case, notwithstanding that main stream media has often tried to paint Mir Hossein Mousavi, [ the rival to Iranian President Ahmadinejad] as a ‘reformer.’
Hassan, noted that all Iranian presidential candidates, including Mousavi, were “hand picked by the Guardian Council and the Supreme Leader [of Iran],” and would not have been approved if they had been advocating “for real change in Iran”, including “entire regime change.”
Hassan spoke at a conference organized by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, as part of Raul Wallenberg day, with high school students from the Gray Academy, St John’s Ravenscourt, and Grant Park.
In Hassan’s view, if he were to come to power in place of Ahmadinejad “Mousavi will just extend the life of the Islamic regime but not lead to real reform,” which would mean the formation of a democratic republic of Iran.
Hassan noted that Mousavi himself was the prime minister of Iran “when 10,000 political prisoners were summarily executed in the summer of 1988.”
In her view, “The Islamic Regime with its history of 30 years of gross human rights violations is not capable of reform. Complete regime change is necessary.’
Hassan told the Winnipeg Jewish Report that by openly calling for Iranian regime change in Canada, and writing on her blog, shiro-khorshid-forever, has “received a lot of threatening anonymous email from people associated with the Iranian regime.” The mail says, “if you don’t shut up, we’ll shut you up.”
Hassan told students “In the recent times even main stream media have started writing about the fact that people no longer want reform, they want regime change.”
Hassan added it is often difficult for journalists reporting from Iran to speak about the desire for “regime change, “ as the reporter could “be thrown out” of Iran.
Hassan, who left Iran with her family to live in Turkey when she was 7 since her father was “a political activist who had to leave,” said that it “was good I left Iran, otherwise I’d be in prison now.”
In her talk, Hassan said that from being in contact with activists in Iran and seeing slogans on youtube videos from inside Iran, it is clear that people are directly “attacking the foundation of the Islamic regime”. Slogans such as “Mousavi is an excuse the entire regime is targeted,” “Down with the Islamic Regime,” “Death to Khamenei”, ‘‘Death to the Guardian Council,” all make this point.
Additionally, Hassan noted that the people have been calling for “independence, freedom, Iranian republic,” rather “than saying Islamic Republic.”
She also noted that “for the first time “in Iranian universities “students have raised Iran’s flag … without the Islamic Regime sign in the middle.”
She added that activists in numerous cities including Shiraz, Tehran and Karaj have also raised “the green, white and red Iranian flag which has the symbol of a lion and sun in the middle. The “Lion and Sun flag,” was the national flag before the  revolution [when the Shaw of Iran was overthrown].”
Hassan explained that the appearance of Lion and Sun flag indicates people are not wanting reform of the existing regime, but are harkening back to days when Iran wasn’t controlled by an Islamic regime at all.
Hassan noted that “religious minorities including Bahai’s, Christians and Jews are systematically oppressed and abused by the Islamic Regime. ”
When asked by the Winnipeg Jewish Report who she thought might be able to form a democratic Iran, in the event regime change were to occur, Hassan answered “There are many different political parties and groups abroad, numerous monarchist groups, communist groups and the Mojahedin, but those are just a few…the Shah's son [son of former Shaw of Iran] is one of the opposition abroad. In my opinion if there is a revolution and people are able to participate in a free and democratic election a secular and democratic leader may rise from inside Iran. That would be impossible at this point because any opposition will be jailed and eliminated immediately.”
When asked about U.S. President Obama’s approach of dialoging with Iran, Hassan said, “I think it’s terrible. By saying let’s have a dialogue he is accepting the legitimacy of the regime. Many countries, including those in the European Union have been dialoging with Iran for years and nothing has happened.”
When asked about Iran having nuclear capabilities, Hassan queried “What’s to stop them if they have it [the bomb].”
Hassan also spoke of Kurdish dissent in Iran saying “Since November 11, 2009 two Kurdish political activists have been executed by the Islamic Regime. Currently there are at least 17 known Kurdish political activists who are on death row.”
Why don’t we hear a lot about what’s happening to the Kurdish people? Hassan asked the students.
She explained that not only is it the case that the Iranian government censors this subject, but “ most mainstream media, such as CBC, and CNN, have reporters in Tehran…it is harder to get to Kurdistan because of the military presence, it’s not so safe and it’s not where reporters are based, so they don’t get there.”
Hassan, who is in close contact with dissidents inside Iran, also said she supports economic sanctions against Iran. “I know a lot of people in Iran who support this because it shows that the international community is watching … and it gives them hope.’
[To read Hassan’s blog go to www.shiro-khorshid-forever.blogspot.com]
Assassination of a an Iranian Prosecutor Responsible for Gross Human Rights Violations against the Kurdish People0 comments - published on Wednesday, January 20, 2010
On Monday January 18th 2010 the head prosecutor Vali Haji Gholizadeh of the city of Khoy in Iran was assassinated. The Kurdish opposition group Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PEJAK) has taken responsibility for this assassination. In taking responsibility PEJAK has stated “Kurds will not accept defeat or oppression and they have the power to defend themselves”.
Haji Gholizadeh was responsible for asking for very long jail terms and death sentences for Kurdish activists. He had asked for the death sentence for Fasih Yasamani a Kurdish activist who was executed on January 6th 2010.
There is great concern from human rights activists and organizations that this assassination may lead to a further crack down on Kurdish activist and perhaps a new wave of executions of Kurdish political prisoners. One of the prisoners that may be in danger of immediate execution is Habibollah Latifi.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
I just got back from Winnipeg about two hours ago and wanted to write a few lines for my readers before calling it a night.
I had the pleasure and the honour to speak on the same panel as the Honourable Irwin Cotler, whose human rights work and support for the Iranian people has been such a great source of inspiration for me.
I also want to take a few minutes to thank the organizers Ms. Shelly Faintuch and Dr. Ruth Ashrafi who worked so hard to put this amazing conference together. Besides their hard work on the conference I must thank them as well as Daniel for their hospitality which really made me feel at home.
I also had the opportunity to meet some amazing students who are genuinely interested in what is going on in Iran today, the Islamic Regime and it’s human rights violations, and who are eager to take an active role in supporting and showing solidarity with the Iranian people. Special thanks go to Zev and Shia for their hard work and warm hospitality.
The conference which focused on human rights in Iran was very educational and full of actions we can take as ordinary citizens to help the cause of Iranian people for a democratic and free Iran.
Again a big thank you to everyone who was involved. Please keep up the good work.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
According to news reports from Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan a second female activist Ms. Shirin Alamhoiy who is currently in custody in the Evin Prison has been sentenced to death
Ms. Alamhoiy has been convicted of being a Mohareb (enemy of God) for working with a Kurdish opposition group. She was sentenced to death last week by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.
Ms. Alamhoiy is 28 years old, resident of the city of Maku in the Western Azarbaijan Province. She was arrested one year and six months ago.
Previously it had been reported that most likely Ms. Alamhoiy would be sentenced to life in prison, however her lawyer has confirmed that she has been sentenced to death. This sentence can be appealed.
Currently there are at least 17 other Kurdish activists who are on death row.
On January 14th ten Kurdish activists were arrested during the second death anniversary of slain student Ebrahim Kotfollahi in the “Behesht Mohammadi” graveyard in the city of Sanandaj. There is currently no news about the faith of those who have been arrested.
Ebrahim Lotfollahi was arrested in early January 2008 and killed on January 14th 2008 under torture in the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Centre in the City of Sanandaj.
On January 14th 2010 number of activists visited Ebrahim Lotfollahi’s grave at the “Behesht Mohammadi” graveyard in order to commemorate the second anniversary of his death. The commemoration began at 2:00pm with one minute of silence. Five minutes into the ceremony those in attendance were brutally attacked by the Islamic Regime security forces and ten (10) activists were arrested.
Those arrested are:
1. Mokhtar Zarei- member of “Jebheye Motahede Kord”
2. Azad-Kaveh Lotfpouri- a social activist
3. Mehdi Doagu- President of “Etehadiyeye Daneshjoohaye Kord”
4. Khalil Shahbazi- President of Human Rights Committee of Kurdish Democratic Student Committee
5. Loghman Ahmadi- Public relations- Kurdish Democratic Student Committee
6. Omid Sheykhi
7. Kara Hosseini
8. Sivan Adak
9. Morteza- a student from Kurdistan University
It must be noted that activists from various cities including Kermanshah and Orumiyeh had attended to pay their respects to Ebrahim Lotfollahi and his family.
According to news I have received from numerous activists and readers my blog has been filtered and activists in Iran are no longer able to have access to it.
I would be more than happy to copy-paste any news articles to my readers in Iran. Please feel free to send me an email and let me know if you are interested.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
I will be speaking at the Raoul Wallenberg Day High School Student Conference in Winnipeg on Monday January 18th 2010.
Community Relations is working with Gray Academy students to develop the annual Raoul Wallenberg Day High School Student Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is Human Rights in Iran. Keynote Speaker will be Hon. Irwin Cotler, renowned human rights activist and former Minister of Justice for Canada. Speakers will include: Iranian human rights lawyer, former Iranian prisoner of war, a film by an underground Iranian journalist/documentarist on human rights abuses, and a specialist in advocacy and messaging. The conference will take place at the Shaarey Zedek synagogue. Gray Academy students have already invited students from various independent schools to join them.
Recently HRA News Agency reported that “Human Rights Activists in Iran” (Majmoeye Faalane Hughe Bashar Dar Iran) have distributed 5000 “human rights” related pamphlets in various cities in Iran. Human Rights Activists in Iran is a “human rights organization” that chooses to work within the framework of the Islamic Regime, even though it’s executives as well as it’s spokesperson Ahmad Batebi all reside outside of Iran. I’ve written about this organization and their questionable actions on numerous different occasions.
HRA News Agency further posted pictures of the front covers of these pamphlets which showed titles such as “Islamic Republic and Human Rights” and “Islam and Human Rights.” I searched both HRA News Agency website as well as the website for Human Rights Activists in Iran to try to obtain more information about the type of information these pamphlets contained. I was not able to find anything. I know at least one activist who has written to this organization and asked for information on the content of these pamphlets but they did not receive a response. Supposedly the goal behind distributing these pamphlets is to inform and educate people about their human rights.
Seeing these pamphlets and their titles causes a number of issues and concern:
Islamic Republic and Human Rights can only implicate that there is a possibility of human rights within the Islamic Regime. I think it has become quite clear especially in the past 6 months, that this in fact is not true, and that the Islamic Regime has absolutely no respect for human rights.
By circulating these pamphlets and saying it is possible to have human rights under the Islamic Regime, this organization is taking all blame and responsibility away from the Islamic Regime and putting it squarely on the shoulder of the people.
People in Iran are very much aware of their rights. Workers and Union leaders know very well that they have the right to be paid and to be treated right. They know they have the right to strike and they do, when they feel that they have been treated unfairly. The problem arises when the Islamic Regime chooses to arrest, imprison, fine and lash workers who try to exercise their basic rights.
Women know that they have the right to be treated equally in the society. Women’s rights activists protest, organize meetings and write about these issues on a regular basis. Again the problem arises when the Islamic Regime arrests, tortures and rapes women who decide to exercise their rights.
These are only two examples where Iranians are aware of their rights and try to exercise it and are faced with force, arrests, torture, rape and even death by the Islamic Regime.
It is quite disturbing to see someone like Ahmad Batebi, who was jailed and according to his own reports, tortured for many years by the Islamic Regime is the spokesperson for such an organization that chooses to promote human rights within the Islamic Regime, and while doing so putting the blame on the victim rather than the perpetuator.
Perhaps both Human Rights Activists in Iran and Ahmad Batebi could put their focus and energy on supporting the movement of people for freedom and democracy rather than promoting human rights within the Islamic Regime, unless they have a different agenda that is…
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
This morning at 4am a Kurdish political prisoner Fasih Yasamani was executed by hanging. The authorities have told the Yasamani family that they will not receive the body of Fasih Yasamani and that they will be informed of his place of burial after 6 months.
Mr. Yasamani was 28 years old and had the birth certificate number 613 and was the resident of “Hendvaneh” village close to the city of Khoy in the Azarbaijan Province.
He was charged by the Ministry of Intelligence and convicted of being a “Mohareb” (enemy of God) for his involvement in the PJAK Party.
The first branch of the Revolutionary Court in the city of Khoy sentenced him to death. In the tenth branch of the Appeal Court in the Province of Azarbaijan his death sentence was upheld. His case number was 870975/87/10.
He was arrested in 2007 along with his 65 years old father Mr. Hossein Yasamani who was eventually sentenced to two (2) years of imprisonment.
It must be noted that there was no evidence against Mr. Yasamani, except what was in the hands of the Ministry of Intelligence. He had told his lawyer on numerous occasions that he had “confessed” under torture.
It must be further noted that on November 11th 2009 another political prisoner Mr. Ehsan Fatahiyan was executed in the Central Prison in Sanandaj and Mr. Yasamani is the second political prisoner to be executed in the past two months. This has caused great concern among the families of political prisoners as well as human rights activists.
There are currently 17 other Kurdish political prisoners who are awaiting execution.
1. Ms. Zeynab Jalaliyan
2. Habibollah Latifi
3. Shirkoh Moarefi
4. Farhad Vakili
5. Farzad Kamangar
6. Ali Heydariyan
7. Hossein Khazari
8. Rashid Akhkandi
9. Mohammad Amin Agushi
10. Ahmad Pouladkhani
11. Saeed Sami Hosseini
12. Saeed Jamel Mohammadi
13. Rostam Arkiya
14. Mostafa Salimi
15. Anwar Rostami
16. Hassan Talai
17. Iraj Mohammadi
News Report by Ahmad Andaryari (email@example.com)
Translation: Sayeh Hassan
Since the recent presidential [S]elections, the international community has had a real glimpse of the brutality and inhumanity of the Islamic Regime of Iran. We've seen peaceful protestors beaten, arrested and shot on the streets. Weve heard reports of illegal arrests, torture and rape of protestors in Islamic Regime prisons. Scores of protestors have lost their lives under torture while at least three protestors have been sentenced to death because of their participation in the post [s]election protests.
What the international community needs to realize is that what weve seen in the past few months is nothing new. The Islamic Regime has been systematically arresting, torturing, raping and executing dissidents for the past 30 years.
Iranian people have not been silent in the face of severe persecution and brutality. For the past 30 years students, writers, journalists, women, workers, teachers and doctors just to name a few groups, have been fighting against the Regime in various ways. Iranian dissidents abroad have been fighting along their compatriots who are inside the country to make sure the voices of Iranian people are heard internationally.
Besides fighting against the Islamic Regime, since 1997 and especially in the past year, Iranians have come face to face with a new and much more dangerous enemy which is the so called Reform movement in Iran.
Because of the Iranian people's strength and determination to remove the Islamic Regime from power, the Regime felt threatened in the late 1990s. Dissent had increased, there were protests, Regime prisons were filled with dissidents and voter turn outs in both local and national elections were extremely low. This had created a question mark around the legitimacy of the Islamic Regime.
All of this caused the Regime to play a new card during the 1997 presidential [s]elections. The new card was a so called Reformist movement put forward by a Mullah called Mohammad Khatami. Khatami came forward with a smiling face and a platform of Islamic Democracy which included greater freedom for the Iranian people.
The Iranian people, especially students and women who were frustrated and angry with the Regime and craved change, went to the polls and voted overwhelmingly for Khatami. One must keep in mind that people did not have the opportunity to vote for a secular and democratic candidate, since all presidential candidates are handpicked by the Supreme Leader and the Guardian Council. Therefore people decided to vote for a lesser evil. The voter turnout was over 70% that year, the highest the Regime had seen for years and once again the Islamic Regime had won the legitimacy it needed to continue its dictatorship rule.
It did not take very long for the Iranians to realize that Khatami was an integrated part of the Islamic Regime and did not intend to keep any of his promises. In fact some of the most brutal human rights violations took place during Khatami's presidency. This included the government sponsored chain murders of political dissidents and academics which took place in 1998 as well as the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy student demonstrations in July of 1999. During the protests thousands of students were arrested, imprisoned, tortured and some students were even murdered by Regime Agents. During the crackdown on the students Khatami showed his true colours by publicly siding with the Regime against the students and calling the pro-democracy protestors hoodlums and hooligans.
Khatami won a second term of presidency although with much lower voter turnout, because people had lost faith in this reformist mullah. By the time 9th presidential [s]election had rolled around in 2005 the Regime had once again lost legitimacy and there were nationwide campaigns inside the country to boycott the [s]election. This was even through another so called moderator, reformist mullah Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was running for the presidency. According to the Regime the voter turnout was 48% during those [s]elections although the actual figure may have been much lower. The winner as we all know was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Fast forward to the [s]elections of 2009, and once again people were angry and dissatisfied with the Islamic Regime, and the Regime was once again in trouble and facing legitimacy questions as well as pressure both internationally and nationally. Again the Regime played the reformist card, this time having Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi run as reformist candidates.
Both candidates were an integrated part and strong supporters of the Islamic Regime. They both had a history of extensive human rights violations against the Iranian people (which seems to be a pre-requisite for running for presidency) and there was no danger that they would ever turn against the Regime. Therefore they were prefect candidates to bring people to the polls and give the Regime a much needed legitimacy boost.
Here is a brief biography on the two so called reformist candidates:
Mousavi was the prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1988. In the summer of 1988 thousands of political prisoners were summarily executed after having three (minute) trials. At that time Mousavi was in a key and powerful position. However he did not lift a finger to stop the executions, and he has never condemned the executions. Most recently when brave Iranians took to the streets with the slogan of independence, freedom, Iranian Republic Mousavi came out and said the peoples slogan must be Islamic Republic, not one word more and not one word less. Mousavi is a supporter of the Islamic Regime and all the atrocities committed by the Regime. He must be tried in a criminal court for the crimes he has committed against the Iranian people, before he is allowed to run for any public office.
Karoubi has also been an integrated part of the Islamic Regime for the past thirty years. He was the head of parliament while Khatami was the president. As well he is well known for ordering the torture of individuals and families who had lost a loved one or suffered in other ways during the Iran Iraq war. He ordered the torture of these individuals in the Martyrdom Committee which was a committee that had supposedly been created to help these families. Instead he was responsible for the abuse and torture of these individuals, and there are testimonies of people who were ordered to be tortured by Karoubi.
It is true that this year there was a relatively high voter turnout during the [S]elections, however once again we need to keep in mind that Iranian people are not free to choose what they want. They cannot vote for a system or a candidate they want, they cannot come into the streets and say they do not want the Islamic Regime. In this case they had a choice between bad and worse and they voted for bad, to show their dissatisfaction with the current system. This does not mean that Iranian people are supporters of the Islamic Regime, and the Regime is very much aware of this, which is why they do not allow for free elections.
Brave Iranians took to the streets in June of this year in numbers we had never seen before; many were dissatisfied with the [S]election results while many other activists and students were entirely against the Regime and had not taken part in the [S]elections. One of these individuals was a young girl called Neda who was shot to death on the street during the protests. Although reformists tried to use her name to their advantage, we soon found out that Neda had not voted and did not support any of the candidates.
For the past 30 years Iranian people have been dissatisfied with the Islamic Regime and have fought against the Regime in various ways. That is why the Regime prisons have always been filled with political prisoners and Iran has one of the highest rates of execution in the world. Iranian people are angry and dissatisfied with the entire system and we were all able to see this as the peoples movement became more and more radical every day to the point where people were shouting Mousavi is an excuse, the Entire Regime is target, death to the Islamic Regime and Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic. The Iranian people have shown unbelievable courage and the pro-democracy movement has gained great momentum in the past few months. By shouting these slogans, knowing that they might very well be risking their lives, the Iranian people and especially the Iranian youth have spoken and made it very clear that they want real change, they want Regime change.
Unfortunately the reform camp abroad which included actors, Nobel peace prize winners, writers, beauty queens, former political prisoners and even some political groups in exile, are doing everything in their power to undermine the people's pro-democracy, anti regime movement and to relate this movement to a reformist movement taking place within the frame work of the Islamic Regime. While the Iranian people have taken to the streets saying death to the Islamic Regime, the reform camp is referring to Mousavi and Karoubi as opposition leaders and trying to buy them legitimacy abroad.
Although it is easy to fall for this pro-reform propaganda, which is ultimately pro-Islamic Regime propaganda, we must be diligent in our support for the peoples pro-democracy movement and to condemn the so called pro-reform movement which is nothing more than an attempt to keep the Islamic Regime in power, this time under the guise of Reform.
The People of Iran have taken to the streets and spoken loud and clear that they do not want the Islamic Regime, they dont want the hardliners or the reformers, they want real change, they want Regime change. There are groups and individuals who are supporting the reformist movement because they do not want Regime change and their interests lie within the Islamic Regime and its reformist camp. We must see through their propaganda and stand behind the Iranian people instead, in their quest for a FREE, INDEPENDENT, IRANIAN REPUBLIC.
By: Sayeh Hassan