My Blog has Moved to freethoughtblogs.com since 1 November 2011

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ban the Burka, yes please!

To hear Maryam Namazie on a panel discussion on banning the burka on Newstalk Ireland's Wide Angle programme, January 31, 2010, click here.

Go down list to Wide Angle programme
Click on part 2
The discussion begins at around 7:46.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Two executed in Iran for enmity against god

Iran Solidarity is shocked and outraged at the news that two men involved in recent protests have been executed by the Islamic regime of Iran for the 'crime' of 'enmity with god' today at dawn.

The two men are Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour.

Iran Solidarity sends it condolences to the families of these two brave men and calls on people everywhere to condemn the Islamic regime of Iran and demand an end to executions.

Fundraiser tonight

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010
Time: 1900 hours
Venue: Central London gastropub
Fundraising Dinner to raise money for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and One Law for All
Keynote Speaker: AC Grayling
Comedian Nick Doody, Singer/Songwriter David Fisher and Magician Neil Edward will do acts

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Irish Times article on debate on women's rights and religious doctrine

To see an article on debate that took place on women's rights trumping religious doctrine in which Maryam Namazie debated Anjem Chaudary amongst others, click here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Conflict between religion and women's status

Maryam will be debating on the conflict between many of the world's most followed religious doctrines, the place of women, and equality in society today.

Date: 26 January 2010
Time: 7pm
Venue: University College Dublin Law Society

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sharia versus human rights

Maryam Namazie will be speaking on Sharia versus human rights at a meeting organised by the SW London Humanist Group in Richmond
Date: 25 January, 2010
Time: 8pm

Manifesto of Liberation of Women in Iran

This March 8th, in memory of Neda, symbol of people of Iran’s struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran

Manifesto of Liberation of Women in Iran

The very existence of the Islamic regime of Iran is incompatible with freedom of women. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a misogynist state, architect of gender apartheid and perpetrator of three decades of the most odious forms of abuse, discrimination and violence against women in Iran. A society cannot be free if women are not free. Without the overthrow of the misogynist Islamic regime, women in Iran will not achieve their rights. The Islamic Republic must go! This is the message of Neda Agha Soltan, the symbol of the ongoing revolution in Iran; it is the decree of the brave women who at the front lines of people’s protest have been challenging the entire Islamic state for the past seven months.

Thirty years ago on March 8th, 1979 in Iran, we freedom-loving women and men stood up to the reactionaries who had just come to power, with shouts of No to compulsory veil! Today, with the painful and bloody experience of three decades of gender apartheid, gender slavery and nonstop suppression of women behind us, we state even more clearly and forcefully, along with the young and progressive generation of today, that the Islamic Republic, as a misogynist state, as a regime of gender apartheid must be overthrown. We say that the leaders of the Islamic Republic must be arrested and put on trial for systematic crimes against millions of women, for crimes against humanity. This is the decree of the revolution in Iran. With the overthrow of the Islamic Republic we will lend a helping hand to millions of women in Islam-stricken countries who are prisoners of terrorist Islamic states and gangs and honour-worshiping, male-chauvinistic Islamic traditions.

Today, support for the ongoing revolution in Iran can and should become a vast international movement. March 8th is International Women’s Day, which this year bears the mark of solidarity with women and people in Iran in the struggle to topple the Islamic regime. We call on women’s rights activists and organisations to express their solidarity with the women’s movement in Iran, while remembering Neda Agha Soltan as the symbol of the revolutionary movement against the Islamic Republic. March 8th this year is the day of solidarity with the movement of the people of Iran for freedom!

We issue the following Manifesto of the Liberation of Women in Iran, and call on all women’s rights’ activists and secular and progressive forces to support this Manifesto and join up in solidarity with the people of Iran in the struggle to overthrow the Islamic regime of gender apartheid:

1- Prosecution of the leaders and officials of the Islamic Republic for crimes against humanity, including for thirty years of the vilest abuse, discrimination and violence against women in Iran

2- Abolition of all misogynist Islamic laws and all laws that discriminate against women; complete equality of women and men in all economic, political, cultural, social and family spheres

3- Complete separation of religion from the state, the educational system and all laws

4- Abolition of segregation of the sexes and gender apartheid

5- Prohibition of sighe (Islamic ‘rent-a-wife’) and polygamy; unconditional right of separation (divorce) for women and men; abolition of all laws which make women’s civil rights (such as the right to travel, social intercourse, participation in social activities, etc.) conditional on obtaining the permission of the husband, father or other male members of the family; complete equality of women’s and men’s rights and duties in the custody and care of children following separation

6- Abolition of compulsory veil (hejab) for women; prohibition of hejab for children; full freedom of dress

7- Abolition of all the barbaric laws of stoning, execution, retribution (qesas) and other Islamic punishments

8- Unconditional freedom of expression, protest, strike, assembly, organisation and forming parties

9- Immediate release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience

10- Freedom of religion and atheism and freedom to criticise religion.

Mina Ahadi
Mahin Alipour
Shahla Daneshfar
Maryam Namazie

22 January 2010

To sign up to the manifesto, please click here.

To see Maryam Namazie’s call to show solidarity with the people of Iran, click here.

To see how you can support the people of Iran, click here.

For more information on the manifesto or March 8 events, email manifestzanan@gmail.com or iransolidaritynow@gmail.com; call 0049-1775692413 or 0044-7719166731 or visit http://equalrightsnow-iran.com/ or http://iransolidarity.org.uk/.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Iran: A turning point

Extract from interview with Hamid Taqvaie, Leader of WPI about the Dec. 27, 2009 events in Iran

It is obvious that the revolution in Iran has entered a turning point. It seems that it has become more determined and energetic than ever before, what do you say about the events of December 27th., when hundreds of thousands of people, probably millions, got to the streets. How do you think this is evolving?

Hamid Taqvaie: First of all I think that what happened on Dec. 27 is a turning point. I think it is a start of a new phase. We witness the aggressive and radical actions of people against all police, Basiji, and different armed forces that have been attacking people for 6 months now. I think what happened that day shows that people have decided not only to continue their struggles in a defensive mode, but to be offensive and attack those forces in the streets. Many video clips that came from inside Iran show that people arrested some of the Basiji or attacked their vehicles and set fire to them. They also freed many of the people who were previously arrested during the day. Also we see that the members of those armed forces are crying and begging people for mercy. People have grabbed the batons from the Basijis’ hands and used them against them and other similar acts. So, the demonstrations were not only as massive and broad as they were back in the early days, but the fact that make those demonstrations unique and thus form a turning point in the path of the revolution is that people have started to attack the armed forces. In any revolution this marks a very important change. The people who are marching the streets have gone into the mode of barricading the streets and setting fire to the armed forces’ vehicles, disarming them, using their weapons against them and so on; all of this shows that we are entering in a completely new phase of the revolution.

The WPI says this is a revolution and has been since its inception and probably earlier and that it is heading toward toppling the Islamic Republic. The West is talking timidly about “some change” underway. The Islamic regime itself started to attack the opposition, i.e. Moosavi and Karruby and the news talks about threats of executing them. What is your take on those different positions?

Hamid Taqvaie: We have said from the very start that this revolution is targeting the whole system. It was obvious from the very start of the movement. Anybody who followed the political situation in Iran in the last 5-6 years knows the result of 30 years of suppression; killing, arrests, torture, and all sorts of atrocities the regime has committed against the people of Iran. We knew that the elections and the conflict between Moosavi and Ahmadinedjad was a pretext to take advantage of in order for the people to forward their own demands, their own slogans, their own political goals against the whole system. In the beginning it was not as clear, but now, everyone knows this fact, even among some of the supporters of Moosavi. They say that they have no control on people anymore and that people have other agendas. They have said it many times. The Western media and governments, especially after the events of Dec. 27, talk about a movement going beyond reform, and that people now demand radical changes, and that Moosavi is not controlling that movement, thus, the movement has no leader. Many columnists say that the Islamic regime is dead and we must think of the era after its burial. Some of them have started to criticize the Obama administration for not looking ahead and seeing a post-Islamic Republic era. Those are the main positions towards what is happening in Iran. The 27 of December showed everyone that the revolution cannot be stopped anymore. A BBC reporter in Iran described the revolution as “a fast, unstoppable train without brakes, and no driver!” To a certain extent I think he is right. The revolution looks unstoppable and it is like a train with no driver, i.e. no leader. This shows that this movement will go on until the Islamic Republic is overthrown. It seems that everyone has come to this conclusion now. The Islamic Republic is going to be overthrown.

After Dec 27th uprising, the party issued a declaration in which the slogan “Human Republic” is used among other slogans. Can you elaborate what this slogan means?

Hamid Taqvaie : From the start, we have raised “Human Revolution for a Human Rule”. That was one of our earliest slogans. In the 7th Congress of our party about a month ago, we passed a resolution in which human republic became an official slogan of the party. The reason for that is that we want to show that our socialist republic means human society, not only a civil society, but goes beyond that, as Marx indicated in his own writings that we must go beyond civil society toward human society or as he coined it “Social Humanity”. We have just interpreted that principle of Marxism as a political slogan. We fight for a socialist republic. The name of our state is the Socialist Republic but the point we wanted to make in those slogans is that our socialism is humanism, and that our humanism is socialism. In other words, the true practical humanism can only be socialism and through nothing else. Socialism and humanism are one and the same. We want everybody to identify the defence of human being and humanism with socialism not with human rights as the bourgeoisie claims. The latter is an empty slogan, and has no practical or political meaning. For the bourgeoisie it (human rights) is a phoney slogan. But for us it makes sense, it is true, it is real. There is a real and strong connection between humanism and socialism. It has been a long time since we declared that humanism is the base of our socialism. Today we go forward and extend that principle to a political or street slogan. That was what our last congress had approved.

In the light of the heightening of the revolution, what is your message to the people the Middle East and the world at large?

Hamid Taqvaie : As far as the people of the Middle East and the world are concerned, we ask for total support. This means an active support of the revolution, which means fighting against the Islamic Republic in other countries, especially the West and to pressure every government to isolate the Islamic Republic and not recognize it as a legitimate government because it is not. We also demand for those figures of the Islamic regime in Iran to be prosecuted for their crimes against humanity and against the people of Iran. So we would like the people whether in the Middle East or all over the world firstly to support the people of Iran actively, and secondly to aggressively be against the Islamic republic, put all sorts of pressure on western governments or international organizations to politically boycott the Islamic Republic and cut all relations with it and demand the prosecution of the authorities and figures of the Islamic Republic for their crimes against humanity. Those are our demands from the people around the world.

Extracts from Toward Socialism the Arabic fortnightly paper of the Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq - LWPI.

The Kahrizak case shall not be closed until the fall of the Islamic Republic

It is seven months since the Islamic Republic has been floundering under the pressure of its own villainy in the infamous hellhole of Kahrizak. It is seven months since they have been trying to rid themselves of the pressure of this case. They have bustled a lot to conceal their crimes. They have scrabbled a lot to put the blame of their savagery, torture, murder and rape on a few scrubs and peons, and have declared that the case was closed. Khamenei said some had been subject to cruelty in Kahrizak, but that the “arbitrary acts” in Kahrizak were nothing compared to “the cruelty inflicted on the system”. They awarded the “Kahrizak” torturers and promoted them. They proclaimed that exposing the villainy constitutes animosity towards the regime and is thus punishable.

But our revolution has forced them into a step-by-step and humiliating retreat. The "Special Commission to Investigate the Kahrizak Detainees” has acknowledged the murder of three detainees under torture, i.e. Mohsen Ruholamini, Mohammad Kamrani, and Javidifar. It has named Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran’s loathed prosecutor and a darling of the Supreme Leader, as the main accused. It has also admitted to cruelty and savagery by 12 security officers and several torturers of the Judiciary.

Emergence of this report by itself is a retreat; it is repentance by Khamenei and the regime of 30 years’ execution, torture and savagery, under the pressure of us, the people’s protests and revolution. But we the people are not satisfied with these retreats. They have confessed to the torture, murder and savagery, yet on November 13 a member of the executive board of the Islamic regime’s parliament claimed that “12 members of the security forces were charged and their charges were quickly dealt with by the prosecutor’s office of the armed forces’ judiciary organization.” This is the Islamic Republic’s futile efforts to bring an end to this case. But we the people say:

First of all, so far as you have confessed to your crimes, tortures and savagery, Saeed Mortazavi and other murderers, torturers and those who have issued the orders from top to bottom should be prosecuted in open public courts in the presence of international commissions and media. Declaring this case closed through the farcical, dirty games of closed sessions of the "prosecutor’s office of the judiciary organisation” is unacceptable.

Secondly, we know that this regime’s barbaric crimes and savagery in Kahrizak were much more brutal than what is reflected in that report. The number of our loved ones who were killed in this house of torture and those others in the past few months was a lot more than those tens who are known by their name and personal identity. We will not allow the Islamic Republic to escape its responsibility for these crimes. We the people know that Kahrizak is only one of Islamic republic’s numerous dungeons of torture. We the people know that there are thousands of our children accused of the crime of demonstrating and demanding freedom in Evin, Gohardasht, Eshratabad and other numerous prisons and hellholes of the Ministry of Information and security forces and other abominable establishments, under brutal pressure. Kahrizak symbolises all of the Islamic Republics’ prisons, and this regime’s entire inhumane system of judiciary and law enforcement. We will ruin the Kahrizak on top of this regime. We will celebrate the glorious memory of each and every one of this regime’s victims. We will prosecute the butchers and, before all others, their supreme leader himself. All the political prisoners, all of those arrested in the protests should be released immediately. Case files of the crimes in all prisons should be opened. All of those who directly or indirectly were involved in torture, rape, arrests and murders should be made known to the public and prosecuted. This is one of our, the people’s, immediate demands. Freedom of opposition, unconditional freedom of speech, freedom of protest and demonstrations constitute the base and foundation of our struggle and revolution. A cardinal basis of this revolution is that there should be no more political prisoners and political prisons in this country.

We have forced the Islamic regime to repentance, and we will declare and realize all these aims, not as requests from the detestable regime of Islamic republic, but as the commands of the revolution. We will bring down the regime of oppressors, torturers and murderers, and will prosecute all its leaders and officials in open and fair trials for crimes against humanity.

Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran
Long live freedom, equality, human rule
For a socialist republic

Worker-communist Party of Iran
13 January 2010

International solidarity with the 'women's revolution' in Iran

To women’s rights and human rights organisations and progressive people around the world!

At the forefront of the revolution of the people of Iran for liberation from despotism and religious reaction are women who are fighting to break the chains of gender slavery. This revolution and the role of women in it are political events of utmost importance, which have stirred great enthusiasm around the world. They deserve your wholehearted support!

A total gender apartheid rules in Iran. The atrocities committed against women by the Islamic regime are beyond description. Under the laws of the Islamic Republic, sex with underage girls is perfectly legal, while sex outside marriage is punishable by death by means of stoning; in Iranian prisons women are raped and executed… No wonder women are bravely fighting at the forefront of the revolution to put an end to this regime.

The revolution of the people of Iran deserves your enthusiastic support. We call on you to turn 8 March 2010 into a day of solidarity with the revolution in Iran; into a day of remembering Neda and all those who have lost their lives in the struggle for freedom, for getting rid of one of the most murderous regimes of contemporary history. We call on you to take part, wherever you are, in actions in support of the revolution in Iran, be the initiators of such actions yourselves, and in symbolic gestures burn the Islamic veil, this symbol of gender apartheid and women’s slavery. Shout out that the Islamic Republic as the most murderous and misogynist regime in the world must go!

Long live 8 March!
Long live international solidarity with women in Iran!

Worker-communist Party of Iran – Organisation Abroad
January 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

I am a human being

Hoshyar emailed this poster today. It says something to the effect: I am a troublemaker, a spy, a mercenary, an alien force, and now a Mohareb (warring against god) [labels the Islamic regime of Iran has given protestors]. 30 years has past - you still don't know my name? I am a human being.

Friday, January 15, 2010

On Index on Censorship's decision to not publish Danish cartoons

Jonathan Dimbleby
Chair
Board of Trustees
Index on Censorship
Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road
London EC1R 3GA

Dear Mr Dimbleby

We are deeply shocked and disappointed by the decision of Index to censor its own magazine from publishing one of the Danish cartoons to illustrate an article relating to the subject.

We believe this is a betrayal of those who are putting their lives on the line to defend freedom of expression. We should be standing together. It is only through a united stance that we can protect each other and defeat the extremists and those who wish to use fear and threats to silence dissent.

Index on Censorship, above all should not be indulging in self-censorship.

Finally, this is not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with the content of the cartoons: as the famous quote goes: "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it!" But it has everything to do with standing up to those who would take away our freedom to express ourselves and would enslave humanity. It has everything to do with not abandoning the growing numbers of brave people standing up for human rights, freedom and against censorship, around the world.

Yours sincerely,

Roy Brown, International Representative, International Humanist and Ethical Union
Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, British Humanist Association
Douglas Murray, Director, Centre for Social Cohesion
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, One Law for All and Iran Solidarity
David Pollock, President, European Humanist Federation
Fariborz Pooya, Head, Iranian Secular Society
Hassan Radwan, Management Committee Member, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society

****

Background:

The new edition of the Index on Censorship magazine carries an interview with Jytte Klausen about the kerfuffle with Yale University Press. Jo Glanville (editor of Index on Censorship) wanted to publish one of the cartoons to illustrate the interview. Index's board refused. Kenan Malik was not at the board meeting but was furious with the decision. He agreed not to resign so long as this did not remain simply an internal debate. So the Index website has posted up the Klausen interview, a piece from Jonathan Dimbleby (chairman of the board)defending the board's position not to publish the cartoons and one from Kenan as to why it was profoundly wrong. His piece is here.

On the resignation of the Islamic regime of Iran's diplomats

Following the resignation of the Islamic regime of Iran’s ambassador in Norway, a former high ranking diplomat added that several other diplomats had also quit their posts. He confessed in an interview that in the past two weeks alone, five diplomats including at consuls or embassies of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Norway, Germany, the UK and France have quit their posts and sought asylum in these countries.

The internal disintegration of the Islamic regime’s forces in Iran and abroad is a result of the overwhelming pressure of the people’s revolution. The Islamic Republic’s ranks are muddled and the regime has no way out. The resignation of its diplomats is a clear sign of the collapsing of the Islamic regime.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran calls upon all Iranians abroad to join protests at the Islamic regime’s embassies in different cities of the world every Saturday and to expand the protests and demand their closure.

Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran!
Long Live a Human Revolution for a Human Rule!
Long Live a Socialist Republic!

Worker-communist Party of Iran-Organisation Abroad
January 10, 2009

Islamic Republic’s Embassies should be shut down!

Islamic Republic’s embassies should be shut down. This is the command of the people’s revolution in Iran. This is the command of the people that in the past seven months have shown the world that they do not want the Islamic regime and want to topple it. Islamic Republic’s embassies pretend to act in the name of the Iranian people; but in fact not only they do not represent the people in Iran, but also they are against the people. These are the centers of the enemies of the people abroad.

A regime that is in power with the use of bullying, force, oppression, torture, rape, and execution cannot and should not have the right to claim representing the people abroad. Islamic Republic embassies are the extension of the oppressive machinery of the Islamic republic; they are centers of conspiracy against and assassination of opposition abroad.

In the name of freedom and in defense of the heroic struggle of the people in Iran we demand immediate closure of Islamic Republic’s embassies all around the world. Every second that these centers of conspiracy and assassination of the Islamic regime abroad continue to be means approving the Islamic regime’s oppressive measures and violation of the right of the people in Iran. Standing masses in Iran will not forgive such an act.

In the name of victims of thirty years of crimes of the Islamic regime, in the name of those who in the recent months lost their lives in front of the world’s eyes, in the name of Neda, Sohrab, Ashkan, Taraneh, and many others we demand shutting down of the embassies of this criminal regime all around the world. Embassies of the Islamic regime, the centers of conspiracy and assassination should be shut down. Political and diplomatic relations with the criminal Islamic regime should be cut.

We call upon all the people around the world to pressure governments for ending their political, diplomatic, and cultural relations with the Islamic regime in Iran. We call upon all Iranians abroad to use their united power for shutting down the Islamic Republic’s embassies all around the world. We should attack on the regime in concert and do away with the regime abroad.

Worker-communist Party of Iran-Organization Abroad
January 8, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My message to people of the world - support the revolution of Iran

Here is my message to people everywhere.

People see themselves in the unfolding revolution in Iran; they see their hopes, their aspirations, their desire for a different world... Supporting the revolutionary movement of the people of Iran is a historical task and duty...

video

Interview on New Channel TV on Iran Solidarity

To see my interview on New Channel TV (in farsi) today on Iran Solidarity, click here.

People across the World: Help Organize Groups in the Fight against Execution

By: Farshad Hosseini
Jan 13, 2010

Torture and execution are the only strings in which the Islamic Republic of Iran is hanging from, without which the regime would not last an hour. We need to take away this tool from the Islamic Republic with a forceful, united and pre-planned action throughout the world. The biggest support to the struggle of the Iranian people in toppling this regime of terror and repression will be to organize a vast and powerful social movement. We must fight the repressive policies of the Islamic Republic which includes imprisonment, torture and executions. We need to neutralize and block these criminal policies. We need to attack the tools used by the Islamic Republic in an active and unified manner throughout the world.

Is it possible to confront the executions carried out by the Islamic Republic outside the country?

The front lines for fighting the Islamic republic or any other dictatorial regime are not limited to activities inside the country. Global experiences have shown many times that a struggle beyond the borders have always provided an important trench for the freedom fighters of the world.

If we take a look at the struggles of the people of South Africa, Chile, Cuba, Palestine and other parts of the world against dictatorships, an important factor for bringing down those regimes has always included relentless, united, organized and vast activities outside those countries. The experience of the Iranian people, be it during the Constitutional Revolution of early 1900s or the 1979 revolution and even during the lifetime of the Islamic Republic have always proved that struggles outside the country have had an important effect in paralyzing the regimes. The Islamic Republic is not an isolated island, separated from the global community. The Islamic Republic was born outside the country and even today the outside world has a vital role in preserving this regime. We must cut this regime off from the rest of the world. This is because a regime that is expelled from international gatherings, a regime that is under heavy pressure from protests by people across the world, whose ugly and horrific face is broadcasted, this regime is likened to a rotten fruit that will fall with a slight wind blown at it later on by the people inside the country.

We need to use torture and execution like a chain around the Islamic Republic's neck and we need to use the same chain to end the political, diplomatic and economic life of the Islamic Republic. All over the world, the newspapers, TV stations, news agencies and internet networks, local and international societies, officials, journalists, reporters, human rights activists, members of parliaments, and all governments must designate the Islamic Republic as a symbol of torture, execution and terror. This is our important task ahead. We need to hang this picture of the Islamic Republic around the world.

To the Iranians outside the country and to the freedom loving people of the world:

This is a crucial and defining moment in the history of the world. The heart of the execution capital of the world is about to stop beating. We need to support the movement with full force and we need to try to extract this ugly heart, which is responsible for taking people's lives, out of the global body. The world does not need an execution capital. The world does not need a prison, torture and repression capital. The world does not need a terrorist capital. The world is made for reaping the benefits of infinite material, moral blessings and for the enjoyment of human creativity. Please help us organize units to fight execution. Help us paint the world with human colors. Please help us take bright rays of sunshine to dark cells of the Islamic Republic prisons and to rejuvenate the bright hope of life to the hearts of those condemned to execution.

Help us create groups of struggle against executions throughout the world and turn the world into a relentless fighting unity to save human lives, restore dignity and integrity for individuals. With the creation of these groups, we are in effect building organizations to cut down one of the most barbaric dictatorial regimes in the world.

How do we organize groups or units of struggle against executions?

Creation and organization of units of struggle against execution is simple. We can begin with any number of people anywhere in the world. We can even organize these units with one person. Anyone can create a unit to fight execution in his or her city of residence and announce its existence.

Activities and struggles against execution are also simple and at the same time these activities are vast and extensive, matching the capabilities and creativity of its members, and these include activities in the streets, to activities in the public media, to activities in human rights organizations, to lobbying in parliaments and governments and international organizations.

Activities in the streets can begin with a two people team and a banner asking for an end to executions in Iran. One can lay the slogans in a square, with two magic markers, holding a picture or a placard or hang next to us. We can carry a piece of paper asking people to sign or encouraging them to join our units of struggle. We can have boxes for collecting donations and speak to the locals. Once we layout all these in public, people will start supporting us. They can even give us ideas and more facilities to do engage in even more extensive activities. It's that simple and you can start this work with two interested parties. Even one person can start this work. With the struggle against execution we will get to the heart of the people of the world. With each hour of this work we will find tens and hundreds of supporters for the struggle of the Iranian people. With this type of work we can inscribe the pictures of the hundreds of victims of the Islamic Republic’s executions to the minds of the people of the world.

The range of this work can be extended later depending on how many members are active. We can reach out to newspapers and the media. We can go to the corridors of parliaments and international organizations. We can become vastly active on the internet. We can go to people's houses. We go to universities and schools, shopping malls, sports arenas and we can continue our activities in any gathering place.

We need to start today. Please contact myself or Mina Ahadi and the 'International Committee against execution'. We will join your hands with hundreds and thousands of others who have started this important fight. Our activities, however small, are like a drop of rain that will turn into a flood that will sweep away one of the most professional murdering regimes of the world. We will turn into a pair of scissors that will cut through the execution ropes. We will turn into a mallet that will smash the walls of torture. Stay in touch with us and report on your activities.

Our contact information:
Farshad Hosseini
farshadhoseini@yahoo.com
Phone: 00316812851284
Mina Ahadi
MinaAhadi@aol.com
Phone: 00491775692413

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We need your support!

Hello

As you know, working against Sharia and religious laws, or coming out publicly as an ex-Muslim to break the taboo that comes with renouncing religion (an act punishable by death under Sharia) is not easy in this day and age. We’ve managed to do quite a good job nonetheless, thanks in large part to the support of people like you. But there is much more to be done and we can’t do it without your financial support, however small.

If you haven’t already done so, one way you can support the work of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and One Law for All is to join the January 28 fundraiser dinner, which is only two weeks away. Tickets are still available so if you’re in London or can get here, please do try and come to the event. It is a good opportunity to support our important work whilst also enjoying a three-course dinner in an intimate environment.

The event’s keynote speaker will be AC Grayling, the renowned philosopher, author, writer, reviewer, and broadcaster. Comedian Nick Doody, Singer/Songwriter David Fisher and Magician Neil Edwards will also be there to entertain our guests.

To purchase a ticket(s) at £45.00 per person, you can either post a cheque made payable to One Law for All or CEMB to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX or pay via Paypal: www.onelawforall.org.uk/donate.html or Worldpay: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/indexDonate.html. If you’re paying by cheque, please make sure you email us so we know to reserve a place for you.

If you can’t come to the event but would like to support us nonetheless, please send in a donation so we can cover the cost of the activities we have planned for 2010. These include a March 8 seminar on legal and legislative ways to get rid of Sharia and religious laws in Britain; an art gallery show in spring; a June 20 rally against Sharia and political Islam and in support of people resisting it everywhere; a December conference on apostasy and Sharia law and much more…

We hope to see you at the fundraiser event or hear from you about how you can help us with the important work that lies ahead.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Maryam

Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
One Law for All and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
onelawforall@gmail.com
www.onelawforall.org.uk
www.ex-muslim.org.uk

Monday, January 11, 2010

Conversation With Mother of Kurdish Activist on Death Row

“To all freedom-loving people wherever they may live.” – A Conversation with the Mother of Farzad Kamangar, a Kurdish Activist on Death Row.
By Mohammad-Amin Kamangar

On Monday, January the 11th, 10:00 am Iran time, Farzad Kamangar contacted his family. This is the conversation they had.

Farzad: Hi mom, I hope you are well.

Farzad’s Mother: Yes dear, I am very well and I am proud of you. Believe me I am doing well, as always.

Farzad: Mom, how are the kids (Farzad’s students) doing? What do they say? What are they up to? What is the media saying?

His mother’s response to these questions is brief and the phone is then suddenly disconnected.

Farzad’s mother wishes to deliver the following message:

“Please send my best wishes to Mina Ahadi and tell her that she should send a message to all mothers who have lost loved ones and those whose loved ones are imprisoned like mine that we should do something for them ourselves.

“All the youngsters who have been executed, are being executed, and those in detention, are all my brothers and sisters, just as my Farzad is a son to countless others. I have said this many times: He belongs to all people. Human beings are not different from each other, be they Persian, Kurd, Arab or Turk. We are all human beings and we want freedom and dignity. But who do we talk to? Where? How?

“My message to mothers in the same situation is this: my dear sisters and my dear daughters, wherever we are, whatever our ideas and opinions, we need to join hands, stay in touch and protest in a unified manner. We need to rise together. What are they going to do to us? Execute us? Let us be executed so that we may never see the deaths of our children. Dear mothers, please let us join hands to free our young people. I know that these gentlemen (regime officials) are listening to these words. Let them hear me. Let them execute me. I will sooner set myself on fire than silence myself. Have they not seen what happened to the Shah? Have they not seen what happened to Saddam? They should not continue on this path or they will meet the same fate.

“What do the youth want besides freedom? What crime has Farzad committed except seeking freedom? He has spent 4 years in prison. Lately his lawyer wanted to review his file and they have told him that the file is lost! His lawyer has suffered a stroke because of the stress caused by Farzad’s case and the tens of other similar cases, and is now hospitalized.

“I am pleading with the Human Rights Commission, all political parties and organizations that are for humanity and all people who fight for human dignity. The situation is very dangerous. They are executing youngsters everyday.

If anyone can do anything, please do. Do not let them execute youngsters en masse. You and all the world shall be my defense. Please let the world hear my message.”

Translation: Tour Irani

Sunday, January 10, 2010

All Hands On Deck to Free Political Prisoners

by Shahla Daneshfar
Translated on January 10 2010

According to published reports, during the mass demonstrations on the 26th and 27th of December 2009 (Tasua and Ashoura), approximately one thousand people were arrested. There are no accurate statistics of the numbers of arrestees, but according to news leaked from the prisons, the numbers are so high that there are 50 Prisoners being kept in the Section 240 of Evin Prison alone. It has been said that a large number of prisoners have also been placed in the cellar of Evin; others have been transferred to Gohardasht prison in Keraj.

Families of those arrested in recent days have been gathered in front of Evin prison, “the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Court.” They have requested information about their beloved and asked for their immediate release from prison.

On Jan 3 2010 at 9am, hundreds of people from the families of those detainees went to the “Revolutionary Court of the Islamic Republic” and asked for the release of their beloved. The situation of many of these detainees is unclear, and this has led to great concern among the families. Out of this serious concern, a number of families have even contacted the forensic authorities in an effort to obtain news about their beloveds, but they have received no reply.

Detainees who have had contact with their families have informed the families that there have been a very large number of people arrested.

On the 27th of December (Ashoura), the Islamic Republic savagely attacked the protestors and violently engaged them by kicking and punching and using batons. The violent attitude of the security forces has caused particular concern among the families. Families of those detainees are worried about the possibility of their children being under torture in order to confess and perhaps to be forced to take part in the Regime’s televised show trials, particularly after the threats made by butchers like Radan and Ezheie saying that the punishment for detainees is execution. These threats have added to the concerns of those families and compounded their anger and rage. Families of detainees have recently announced that until the release of the detainees, they are going to continue their daily gatherings.

Through the mass protests on Ashoura, the peoples’ revolution has taken another big step forward. In the aftermath of this event, the desperation and disarray of the regime is more visible. People’s confrontation on Ashoura with the regime’s security forces, which extended in some cases to disarming them, has rattled the regime. The Islamic Republic has no other recourse. The Islamic Republic has seen with its own eyes that no martial law nor torture and imprisonment can force protesting people to retreat, which is why the Regime has resorted to mass arrests and threatening execution and massacre.

Apart from arresting people in demonstration, at this moment, 6 Haft Tappeh sugar cane workers are in prison and Reza Rakhshan, another one of the members of board of directors of this factory has been arrested in this week and imprisoned. Childrens’ rights activists, and among them Maryam Zia, have also been arrested this week. But peoples’ mass demonstrations on the 27th of December have shown that this regime is taking its last breath and the end of Islamic Republic is near. We have even heard this from the international mass media. Our revolution is in a decisive moment; releasing the political prisoners from the hands of these butchers is a significant step in the progress of the revolution.

We need all hands on deck, with ALL power, to get behind the families of those recently arrested and all other political prisoners, to help throw open wide the prison gates.

Gather in the university, in front of Evin prison, and in all the centers the arrestees have been moved to, and demand the immediate release of all political prisoners from prison.

We need to fill walls and doors with graffiti: “Free all political prisoners!” and use all possible forms of protest and gatherings to create pressure to effect the immediate release of prisoners. The lives of political prisoners are in danger. ALL HANDS ON DECK to release them.

Friday, January 08, 2010

2010 must be the year that will herald a new dawn

Hello and Happy New Year!

2010 looks to be a very promising year indeed.

The escalation and radicalisation of protests in Iran against the Islamic Republic bring with it the hope for a very different world to the one we live in. Don’t forget, the suppression of the 1979 Iranian revolution by the Islamists changed the world we knew for the worse. This time round, the fall of the Islamists via a people’s revolution will change things for the better.

As we have always said, Iran is one of the main battlegrounds against a pillar of political Islam in the world.

It is in Iran that this movement will be brought to its knees.

But this battle has yet to be won. People in Iran are doing what they can. Many have been killed, wounded and disappeared since June of last year. On December 27, in the latest round of protests, more than ten people have been killed and over 1,000 arrested. At least five are currently being tried for ‘warring against god,’ which carries a death sentence.

An article in a government-controlled paper of the Islamic Republic of Iran says it all: ‘These days are critical and decisive and if not managed well will have bitter and irreversible consequences. No-one benefits from these days other than those who want to overthrow the system…’

After thirty years of our innumerable beloved murdered, hung from city squares, stoned to death, assassinated, tortured and murdered in cold-blood; after years of losing our beloved Gholam Keshavarzs, Delara Darabis and Nedas; these days are finally to our advantage.

The regime is fighting for its very survival and wants to maintain power by yet another slaughter in order to frighten people into submission. But if you have seen the courage of the protesters in videos on Youtube or in photographs, you know that they are no longer afraid. It is the regime that is running scared.

Now, more than ever before, the people of Iran need the support of people everywhere. They need you.

We urge you to act now. Step up your condemnation of the Islamic regime of Iran. Make sure there is no military attack on Iran, which will only adversely affect the revolutionary movement there. Demand the release of all political prisoners and an end to all executions. The five and countless others must not be executed. Full Stop.

We mustn’t let up until we win.

2010 may be - no must be - the year that will herald a new dawn.

In solidarity,

Maryam

Maryam Namazie
Coordinator
Iran Solidarity

Notes:

1. To see some photos and video footage of recent protests in Iran, click here: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/01/video-footage-and-photos-of-december-27.html

2. To support Iran Solidarity and its demands, sign up to our petition: http://iransolidarity.org.uk/iscommit/iscom186.php?nr=97158834&lang=en

3. Support the International Committee Against Executions (http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/01/bulletin-of-international-committee.html).

4. Join our daily acts of solidarity with the people of Iran. Since Monday July 27, we have organised acts of solidarity in Trafalgar Square, London and several other cities EVERY SINGLE DAY. Now – after a short break - we intend to expand these acts so that you can join in. You can do an act anywhere – even sitting in your own home. In your act, you can write a letter of protest to the Islamic regime, draw something, send a message, sing, dance, anything... Just email us video footage or a photo of your act to upload to our blog. We intend to continue these daily acts until June 20, 2010. June 20 will mark the day our lovely Neda was shot dead at a protest in Iran by the Islamic regime’s forces. We will be organising mass protests on the day to mark her death and to show our support of the movement in Iran. If you’d like to see the various acts, visit our blog: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/. But please do take a moment to do something and send it in.

5. Join weekly protests we will be organising soon on Saturday afternoons in various city centres across the world. If you can organise weekly protests, please contact us.

6. Set up Iran Solidarity groups in your neighbourhoods, workplaces, universities and cities. So far we have groups in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Norway, and the UK. Like the solidarity committees during the anti-apartheid era, these committees can be instrumental but we need many more in every city in the world for that to happen. And we need it now.

For more information or to send in your daily acts of solidarity:
Maryam Namazie
Iran Solidarity
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
iransolidaritynow@gmail.com
www.iransolidarity.org.uk
iransolidarity.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Bulletin of the International Committee Against Executions

Bulletin of the International Committee against Executions
January 2010
Editor: Farshad Husseini

Warning to the people around the world

Islamic Republic of Iran is preparing for a series of executions. We need to move the world against all these political executions. The court session of seven protesters is beginning in Tehran. Before the start of the session, Iran’s media have started the threat and menace against these protesters’lives. Islamic Republic of Iran is relying on an old and familiar way to threat and silent people by intentionally taking people’s life.

The head of the Iran’s dictatorship have started their ruling by killing and more bloodshed; that’s how they came to the power. The regime is talking about going back to their old style of inhuman, short sessions of desert courts. The head of judiciary system of Iran has confirmed that they are considering the execution of those barbarian ways of their minute’s court sessions all over again. This means that they are preparing people to wildness the executions in public. The Assembly of Experts’ members (Khobregan) , Mullahs of Friday prays, the Executive branch of Islamic Republic and the head of Judiciary system; are all pro destroying those who are fighting the system and those who disrespected Ashoura and God. The existence of the foundation of Islamic regime is shaken; therefore, they are requiring more bloodshed. Millions of people in Iran are protesting against all those defeating, brutality, lack of freedom and plundering in Iran. The experts are expecting a major reform or a revolution in Iran.

To protect their stolen asset, reach Ayatolahs and other leaders in Iran, are willing to kill the people that are opposing them. We have to be prepared. As soon as the Islamic republic of Iran pronounced the new list of people to be executed, we must voice our hate and objection toward these raucous decisions. The International Committee Against Executions is inviting people all over the world to protest and show their hate and objection to the injustice and inhumanity in Iran by gathering by federal buildings , calling for meetings everywhere, such as in Canada, US and in European union.

We should be united and rise against the execution of young people in Iran. This is our duty to be committed and try our best to stop these brutal verdicts. We can expose Iran’s regime to the world and not let the young Iranian people to be killed by a bunch of slayers. We are a strong front barrier, fighting the Islamic regime.

The International Committee Against Executions

Iran: Detained Protesters Threatened with Execution

In apparently coordinated messages, pro-government clerics have publicly called for detained protesters to be executed, placing intense political pressure on the Islamic Republic's supposedly-independent judiciary to act as judicial authorities did in the early days of the Revolution, and attempting to intimidate Iranians from demonstrating for their rights.

The ayatollahs were quoted, from speeches during pro-government demonstrations and during Friday Prayers, by Fars News Agency.

"We are deeply concerned that, while inappropriate political pressure is being placed on judicial authorities, government propaganda is preparing the population for executions," said Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the Campaign.

"It appears the Iranian leaders have failed to learn that state-sponsored violence will not end the protests and will only exacerbate them. After six months of protests, such executions will only cause more instability and popular outrage," he added.

Ayatollah Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts, warned citizens who had demonstrated their opposition to the government's restrictions on civil rights that they would be considered Mohareb, or enemies of God, if they did not give up their opposition. Mohareb is a crime punishable by death in the Islamic Republic. Alamolhoda implored the demonstrators to "come back to the side of the Supreme Leader," otherwise they would "regret the punishments" waiting for them.

During Friday Prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Janati, the Secretary of the Guardian Council, addressed the protesters as follows: "These people obviously are Mofsed felarz [one who denies the Prophet and spreads debauchery] and immediately after Revolution such people were punished..."

He added, "People expect the Judiciary to do more, however, we are aware of the Judiciary's restrictions and know that they are not able to act the same as they did in the courts after Revolution. If they had acted same as that time the recent rebellion would have been over much earlier." Janati addressed the Judiciary and said, "Detain those who should be arrested, don't release them after several days in order to continue chaos. These people won't be led to the right path." He added, "The Intelligence and Information institutions should do their task and if these people dare again to disrespect and insult [sacred] values in the street they should not be secure and should be arrested and tried immediately. Also, for their trial, judges should proceed as rapidly as those in 1979."

Ayatollah Sayed Yousef Tabataienejad, during Friday Prayers in Isfahan, also addressed the Judiciary and stated: "The disruptive group fought with God by coming onto the streets...they are Mofsed felarz and the Judiciary should know that their actions are obvious debauchery and according to God and the Koran the punishment is execution."

Ayatollah Haj Sheikh Asadolah Imani, a member of the Assembly of Experts, in the Friday Prayers in Shiraz, said, "Anarchists should know that if they cause anarchy or contribute in it, they are Mohareb and Mortad, and the Judiciary should punish them properly."

According to the official news agency ILNA, the trial of seven defendants, who are accused of insulting the ideals of the Islamic Revolution, will be held on 3-5 January. No information about the defendants' identity was provided.

According to the public information bureau of the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor's Office in Tehran, the files of these defendants had been completed and sent to the court. Based on this report, some cases of those detained during and following the Ashura protests would soon be sent to the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, following completion of the investigations. Several pro-government websites have reported that "imminent executions" will be soon carried out.

The Campaign strongly condemns the criminalization of dissent by the Iranian authorities and calls for the release of over 1500 people who have been arrested during the past few weeks.

Iranian Cleric Haeri Shirazi: Don't Arrest The Protesters; Kill Them! In a candid and shocking appearance on Iran's state television, a leading Iranian cleric ayatollah stated that instead or arresting and suppressing the opposition protesters, it would be better to kill them. "The more of them are killed, the more beneficial. If the armed forces kill some of them, it is to our benefit." Ayatollah Mehyaddin Haeri Shirazi said.

Haeri Shirazi talked about how the protest movement by the leftist in the early years of the Islamic Republic was effectively crushed by the authorities: "[the government] arrested them in the afternoon and the same night announced the names of 30 people killed or executed by the government forces. Nothing happened. Why? Because they killed them."

Haeri Shirazi stated the arrests as bad for public opinion: "When they are arrested, it is bad; when they are captured, it is bad. Do not make victims out of them." He rather insisted that killing the opposition protesters "is sanctioned by obedience to Allah and the prophet and is handed down to the Supreme Leader. When it is sanctioned by such a power, there is no need to go through the government powers."

Haeri Shirazi warned the opposition forces not to underestimate the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei: "Do not look upon the Supreme Leader as a person with a soft turban on his head, and that you can beat him. His support comes from the Hidden Imam Mahdi, he is made of iron. It will come back down to break your own heads."

Iran hangs three men

Tehran, Jan. 04 - Three men were hanged in a town south of Tehran on Monday.

The men, identified only by their first names, as brothers Alireza and Amir and Afghan citizen Dolat-Khan, were hanged in a prison in the town of Varamin, 30 kilometres south of Tehran.

They were accused of rape and murder.

Iran' lawmakers press for faster process of executing protesters

On Monday, January 4, a group of 36 members of the Iranian regime’s parliament affiliated to Ali Khamenei’s faction presented a bill with high urgency to the parliament calling for faster process of executing detainees of the uprising.

The 36 deputies are led by Rouhollah Hosseinian who is a close associate to Ahmadinejad. The bill states, “In view of the need to urgently investigate the charges of agitators and punish the offenders and take preventive measures which are of particular importance, the following bill with high urgency is presented… the charges that relate to causing public disorder, if the defendant is found to be Mohareb (person waging war on God), the period of investigation to be reduced from 20to 5 days.” Hossein Fadai, one of the officials of Kahrizak prison, is among those MPs who presented the bill.

Mohseni Ejei, the regime’s prosecutor general and former Minister of Intelligence and Security said yesterday, “Those who revolt against the just rule (regime), the rightly placed Imam and vali-e faqih (Supreme clerical leader), their sentence is death based on Shariat.” (Mehr state-run news agency, January 4)

On December 30, Ebrahim Raeesi, First Deputy of the Iranian regime’s Judiciary and a member of “the Death Committee” that massacred 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 based on a fatwa by Khomeini, told the state TV, “Anyone who stands against the Islamic rule is waging war on God… Using sticks and stones [in attacks] are also considered at acts of waging war on God and punishable by death.” On the same day, Alam al-Hoda, Friday prayer leader in Mashhad, northeast Iran, and a member of mullahs’ Assembly of Experts, said, “Whoever cooperates with the PMOI is in fact waging war on God.” He described “agitators of the day of Ashura” as the “foot soldiers” of the PMOI and stressed, “According to Imam’s verdict (Khomeini’s decree), those who created the chaos on Ashura are among those waging war on God.”

Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Iranian regime’s Minister of Interior, Esmail Ahmadi-Moghadam and Ahmad-Reza Radan, Commander and Deputy Commander of the State Security Force (SSF), as well as other heads of suppressive forces also described participants in gatherings and demonstrations as those who wage war on God and called for their rapid punishments.

The Iranian regime is trying in vain to prevent the continuation and expansion of nationwide uprising in Iran by intimidations, threats, executions, committing crimes and suppressive measures. All these would only strengthen the resolve of the Iranian people to overthrow the religious dictatorship.

Thousands of people have been arrested during the nationwide uprisings in recent months; many of them are under torture and in extremely critical situation.

Following the mass demonstrations of Ashura Day on December 27, over 1000 people have been arrested. Prosecutor General of Iran, Mohsen Ejei has announced the imminent execution of "at least three individuals" who were detained on that day.

Tehran's Public Prosecutor's Office has announced that the court proceedings of Ashura Day detainees will soon take place in Tehran.

International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has condemned the arrests and called for the release of over 1500 people who have been arrested in the last few days.

Widespread arrests & threats of death sentences

Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar on Tuesday warned anti-government protesters that they risked being sentenced to death if they continued demonstrations.

“If anyone takes part in riots, they will be considered as mohareb [waging war against God] and acting against national security,” Najjar told the official IRNA news agency.

The threat came one day after the country’s general-prosecutor, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, also said that “rioters” would face execution sentences.

Under Iran’s Islamic sharia law, the punishment for people convicted as “mohareb” is execution.

Iran renews execution threat against protesters
Tuesday, 05 January 2010
By Ramin Mostafavi and Hashem Kalantari

TEHRAN, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Iran's interior minister warned opposition activists on Tuesday they risk execution as enemies of God if they continue anti-government demonstrations, and the foreign ministry said arrested foreigners face punishment.

Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar made the latest threat after the Intelligence Ministry said on Monday several foreigners engaged in a "psychological war" against the Islamic Republic were arrested on Dec. 27 in the bloodiest unrest since the aftermath of a disputed June 12 presidential poll.

The opposition says the vote was rigged to secure President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election. The authorities deny the accusations, which they say were part of a Western-orchestrated plot to overthrow the Islamic system.

Eight people were killed in clashes between security forces and supporters of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi on the Shi'ite mourning day of Ashura. More than 40 leading reformists, including four advisers to Mousavi, have since been arrested.

"After Ashura, anyone who takes part in riots will be considered as 'mohareb' (waging war on God) and an opponent of national security," Najjar said, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Despite such warnings, the opposition has shown no inclination to back down and street protests have continued sporadically in the six months since the vote.

Thousands of protesters were arrested after the election. Most have since been released but more than 80 reformists have received jail terms of up to 15 years. Five people have been sentenced to death but none has been executed so far.

DUAL NATIONALS

Police said more than 300 protesters detained on Dec. 27 were still in jail. The authorities have repeatedly accused opposition leaders of links to "foreign enemies".

The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday those held included foreigners and Iranians with dual citizenship. It gave no details of their nationalities or identities.

"Among those arrested are several foreigners and dual- national Iranians... The legal procedure in connection with their cases is under way," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a weekly news conference.

"They will be punished if their crime is proved."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced dismay on Monday at the way the authorities have cracked down on pro-reform protests.

Mehmanparast criticised her remarks, saying the West was "siding with a group of troublemakers" in Iran.

"Over the long run, such mistakes will jeopardise their ... countries' interests," he said, without elaborating.

Hardline clerics and lawmakers have urged the judiciary to punish opposition leaders for igniting tension, branding them enemies of God, liable to execution under Islamic law.

"Holding an open trial for the leaders of the sedition will disgrace the leaders of the grand sin in history," Gholamhossein Elham, a close ally to Ahmadinejad, told IRNA on Tuesday.

The authorities have arrested relatives and aides of Mousavi but stopped short of detaining or prosecuting the most prominent political opponents so far.

In a statement last Friday, Mousavi defied calls for his execution, saying his "blood is not redder than that of other martyrs" who have died since the vote.

The unrest that erupted after the June vote is the most serious since the 1979 Islamic revolution. The opposition says more than 70 people were killed, but the authorities have estimated the post-vote death toll at about half that number, including pro-government militiamen.

A judiciary official told the students news agency ISNA that some opposition websites had been blocked for "spreading lies and disturbing public opinion".

"Those who try to endanger the country's cyberspace by publishing false news ... will be also punished," said Abdolsamad Khoramabadi. At least four pro-reform newspapers have been banned and dozens of websites blocked in Iran since June. (Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by Paul Taylor)

Clashes to rescue from the gallows

Clashes between people and the security forces when two men were hanged in public in southern Iran- The bodies were taken over by the people- One might still be alive

More than 1500 people were gathered at the place where the public hanging was supposed to take place.

Two men convicted of armed robbery were hanged in public in the south Iranian city of Sirjan in Kerman province early this morning. The men were identified as "Esmaeil Fathizadeh" and "Mohammad Esfandiarpour"

According to the report, many people among them families of the two men, who were gathered at the spot started chanting against the authorities and threw stones at the security forces. The security forces answered with tear gas and shooting in the air. But the people managed to take away the bodies of the two men. One of the men seemed to be still alive when his body was removed by the protesting people said the report.

"Esmaeil Fathizadeh" and "Mohammad Esfandiarpour" were sentenced to death charged with armed robbery and were scheduled to be hanged in public in Sirjan on 22th December 2009.

Many people among them families of the two men, who were gathered at the spot started chanting against the authorities and threw stones at the security forces. The security forces answered with tear gas and shooting in the air. But few moments after being hanged they were rescued by the people who threw stones at the security forces and shouted slogans against the Iranian regime.

Few hours later both men were arrested by the security forces and their hanging was rescheduled to early evening. But due to heavy clashes between the people and the security forces they were transferred to the prison where it is believed they were hanged.

According to our sources at least 3 people were killed and more than 30 wounded, some of them seriously.

Many people have been arrested in connection to this public uprising. Public hanging is a barbaric act that Iranian regime uses to spread fear among the people. People of Sirjan have shown that they will no longer accept medieval punishments and a medieval regime. Today’s event in Sirjan shows that the Iranian regime is clearly weakened.

A rough road to justive for a girl from Leo Igwe

Here is a press release from Humanist Leo Igwe on his recent arrest:

PRESS STATEMENT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MY ARREST: A ROUGH ROAD TO JUSTICE FOR A GIRL CHILD, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN NIGERIA

On Tuesday January 5, at about 7.00am some police officers and soldiers led by two crime merchants in my community, Edward Uwah and Ethelbert Ugwu stormed my family compound in Mbaise in Imo state in Southern Nigeria. They arrested me and my aging father. We were detained briefly at the local police station in Ahiazu before we were transfered to the zonal police headquarters in Umuahia. The officers threatened to beat us when we asked them to allow us to clean up and change our clothes. One of the soldiers brought out his gun and threatened to shoot my father when he wanted to make phone calls to alert other family members of our arrest. The police held us throughout the day without giving us food and water. At the zonal police headquarters in Umuahia, a police officer read a petition by Ethelbert Ugwu who alleged that in September 2009 I with my father, three brothers and one Mr Gregory Iwu conspired, murdered and attempted to conceal the murder of one Mr Aloysius Chukwu who died in September last year. According to family sources, Mr Chukwu died in a local hospital after a brief illness. We made statements in response to the allegations and were later released on bail. Since 2007 I have been working to ensure that Daberechi Anomgam and her family get justice following the rape of the 10 year old girl by Edward Uwah(55), a university teacher, in 2006. Since 2007, both Edward and Ethelbert have brought several police actions and framed allegations against me and my family members; against Daberechi and her family and a few members of the community opposed to their criminal schemes. My father, who is over 77 years old and with a failing health(he is diabetic), has been detained six times at the local and zonal police stations in connection with this case. Two of my brothers have been detained three times. And on one occasion in 2008, one of them was beaten and brutalized by soldiers and mobile police officers brought by Ethelbert Ugwu. Both Ethelbert and Edward have filed three civil suits against me and my family members including Daberechi’s father at three different courts claiming damages of over 500 million naira(3.3million dollars). They have written petitions calling for my brothers to be sacked from their jobs and expelled from the college. The police officers in Ahiazu and Zone 9 in Umuahia have aided and abetted these atrocious and criminal acts by their irresponsible handling of the case and their readiness to arrest and detain any one as long as they are given some money. On a particular occasion in 2008, my father was arrested by police officers sent by Edward Uwah as he was leaving the court premises after attending a sitting of one of the civil suits also filed by Edward Uwah. I got the information about 10.00pm the same day. I flew in from Ibadan the following day and on getting to the police station I was also detained. I never knew I was among those accused by Edward Uwa of breaking in and stealing. He alleged that we broken into his house and stole some items, and after that, scattered some juju and charms of the floor! I was released on bail. The petition ended there. Edward never produced any witnesses and the police never charged him for providing them with false information.

As a result of my efforts and those of other humanist and human rights activists and groups in Nigeria and across the world, Edward Uwah is currently standing trial at a local court for indecently assaulting Daberechi. So far, the plot by Ethelbert Ugwu to undermine the prosecution has failed. Last year, he obtained through a backdoor a fiat to prosecute the case against Edward Uwah. When I was informed about this, I got a lawyer to help Daberechi’s family apply for a withdrawal of the fiat. And in November, the Director of Public Prosecution in Imo state cancelled the fiat.

Unfortunately the police have refused to arrest and investigate Ethelbert Ugwu despite several petitions against him at Ahiazu and Zone 9 (Umuahia)police stations. When it comes to this case the police are part of the problem. Because most police officers do not carry out their duties with intergrity. When it comes to police arrest and investigation in Nigeria three things matter most: MONEY!MONEY!! MONEY!!!. In most cases, police officers carry out their investigation to favour whoever ‘mobilises’ them or gives them a bribe. The way you are treated at police stations is determined by how much you pay or are ready to pay the officers whether as a complainant or a suspect. And in my community like in other rural communities in Nigeria, most people are poor and cannot afford to bribe the police. Hence criminal minded individuals are having a field day with police officers and soldiers.

And this nonsense must stop.

Pressure must be brought to bear on police authorities in Nigeria so that they would stop all acts of harassment, intimidation, illegal detention, extortion of money from the members of my family and community including the family members of Daberechi Anomgam. Pressure must be brought on the police authorities so that they can carry out their jobs responsibly and immediately arrest, investigate and prosecute Ethelbert Ugwu, Edward Uwah and their partners in crime including the police officers and soldiers whom they have used over the years to raid my community, assault innocent citizens and obstruct justice.

And I want to state that no amount of intimidation, police action, extortion, harassment, legal suits, trump-up charges, fictitious and malicious allegations, petitions against me and my family members will stop me from fighting for justice for this girl child and for humanity at large

Leo Igwe, Owerri, Imo State, January 7 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

One Law for All Art Competition Winners and upcoming fundraiser

One Law for All Campaign is pleased to announce the winners of 2009’s art competition, Passion for Freedom, which was organised to promote universal and equal rights and expose the discriminatory nature of religious laws.

Winners of the competition are as follows:
ID and Stoning by Julie, first prize
Sharia law in Iran by Gaby, second prize
Sister Image by Emma, third prize

The art pieces are now available to view on One Law For All’s website.

The first prize winner will receive £100 donated by the Central London Humanist Group, the second prize winner will receive a crate of wine donated by Goranka Gudelj, and the third prize winner will receive £50 donated by the Central London Humanist Group.

The prominent judges deciding on the pieces were A C Grayling (Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London), Polly Toynbee (columnist for the Guardian), and Deeyah (Pakistani-Norwegian singer, composer and human rights activist).

As a result of the interest raised by the successful 2009 competition, One Law for All will be extending its art project. We will be holding a gallery exhibition in the Spring to show pieces from the previous competition as well as new pieces received in the coming months.

Terms and conditions for submission of new pieces can be found on our website. Entries must be submitted by March 30, 2010 in the following categories: (a) photography (b) painting/poster (c) graphics (d) sculpture (e) installation and (f) video. Any artist living anywhere in the world may enter. All work must be original.

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Notes

1. To donate to the One Law for All campaign, please send a cheque made payable to One Law for All and post to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX or pay via Paypal.

2. To donate items to auction at the January 28 fundraising dinner, please contact Maryam Namazie at onelawforall@gmail.com or exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com. You can also call her at 07719166831.

2. If you are in London and can make it, join our Fundraiser dinner on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 7:00pm at one of West London’s finest gastro-pubs to enjoy an excellent three-course dinner whilst supporting the One Law for All Campaign and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. The dinner’s keynote speaker will be AC Grayling, the renowned philosopher, author, writer, reviewer, and broadcaster. Ticket(s) for a three-course meal at £45.00 per person are still available.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Some video footage and photos of December 27 battle with Islamic regime of Iran

See some video footage of the people's battle against the Islamic regime of Iran on December 27:



In this one the protesters beat the special guards in memory of Neda:



Here you see people tearing Khamenei's poster and shouts of 'down with dictator' and with someone shouting 'the 1388 revolution':



Here are some photos:









Scenes from the heroic fight against the Islamic regime of Iran on December 27

A Report by Siyavash Shahabi from Tehran
27 December 2009, Tehran

Around 11.20am furious crowds opened their way toward College Bridge through southern alleys of Enqelab Street. People had already been involved in fighting against the Special Force motor-bikers; in response to continuous use of tear gas by Special Forces people burned the trash bins and blocked the roads. Consequently, people took over the control of the alleys. These were the people that had been barbarically attacked by Special Forces and paramilitary groups (Basij) around Vali-e Asr Junction. Basij forces attacked people using batons, wooden sticks, blades, metal chains, and stones and would fiercely beat anybody they would capture. However, in the alleys around Daneshjou Park motor-bikers and Basij forces could not advance because people attacked them using stones. Young protestors gathered the trash bins from cross streets and brought them to the entrance of the bridge.

People started banging on bins like drums; the drum-like sound had filled the air. A short while later people took the bins to the middle of the street and put them on fire. A Jeep of the police forces was attacked by the people; protestors smashed the windows of the Jeep. From 11.10am on the district was practically under people’s control.

The crowds were chanting “Down with Dictator,” “Down with Khamanei,” “Down with Tyrant, Be it a Monarch or a Supreme Leader,” “Down with Islamic Republic,” “All these Crowds are on the Streets Against the Supreme Leader”…

The first attack of Special Force motor-bikers from the bridge was responded massively by people throwing stones on the forces; Special Forces were pushed to retreat. The crowd under the bridge was in perfect control of the situation and could prevent the forces from advancing. The crowd under the bridge was way larger than the crowd close to the entrance of the bridge toward Vali-e Asr (west) Junction. People tried to block the way using cement blocks, metal side-railings of the bridge, and the railings of the BRT (transit way) line; they led the automobiles toward Enqelab Square (westbound) to prevent Special Force motor-bikers from advancing toward Vali-e Asr Junction. Special Forces and fascist Basij could not advance beyond Vali-e Asr. They were also under people’s widespread attacks from the west side. Special Forces tried to attack the crowds a number of times but they were retreated each time. After we learned that Special Forces were being attacked from west side we realized they were not attacking us (on the east side) but they were escaping the people’s attacks from the west.

During one of the attacks a young man were shot by a Basij militia who was trapped on the bridge; unfortunately, he lost his life. Some women took off their scarves to bandage the wounded but it was too late. They raised their bloody scarves and chanted “Down with Khamanei” while weeping. I do not have the precise number of those who lost their lives but I saw three instances of Basij shooting people: two caused death and one wounded a person. Angry people attacked the Basij Forces and beat them fiercely. I think a person was thrown off the bridge in this clash. I am not sure about this incident, but I know Basij Forces on the bridge were attacked severely by the people.

In the meantime, some Basij and Intelligence members were identified within the crowd; some of them were busy photographing and filming people’s faces. They were also fiercely beaten by people; their apparatuses such as professional photography and filming cameras and walkie-talkies were confiscated by people and thrown into the fire. A photographer was shouting “I am green” but then he was asked why he took pictures of people’s faces. He tried to escape but he was fiercely beaten by the people. Another person who was carrying a radio transmitter and who tried to protect the photographer claimed to be “green” too but he was also beaten by the crowds; his transmitted was also confiscated and thrown into the fire. The two could escape later after severely beaten. As soon as a Basij or Intelligence member was identified, he would be attacked by people, beaten and then released. I tried to save one of these guys from the people but I was beaten myself. People would not accept the idea that someone would protect these guys. A middle-aged woman who wiped my face and head told “these dishonored guys are not human beings; you should not protect them!”

Angry crowds outraged by the death of the young man started to throw stones toward the Special Forces under the bridge. People’s attack was so fierce that the Special Forces could not react to it. They retreated toward our side but they were encircled and attacked from our side too. One Special Forces member was captured by people; the attack was so quick that other members of the force could not save him. People beat him fiercely and set his motor-bike on fire. He was later let go while he was bleeding and wounded on his head. People were chanting “Down with Khamanei,” “Down with Islamic Republic,” “Independent, Freedom, Iranian Republic,” “Freedom, Freedom.” Some thirty members of the Special Forces retreated toward Saderat Bank, Hafez Branch with their motor-bikes and were encircled there. A few meters away people smashed bank windows and were chanting against the regime. People were throwing stones toward Special Forces from both sides and from the top of the bridge. The air was filled with sounds of “Down with Khamanaie,” “Down with Islamic Republic,” “All these Crowds are on the Streets against the Supreme Leader,” “Down with Islamic Bandits,” the cries of the youths, the smoke of burning plastic and tear gas. Together with some of the frontmost young people we ordered the guards to disarm. We warned the guards that if they would not give up their arms they would be killed; we took their batons, bullet-proof vests, helmets, backpacks and other apparatuses they were carrying and threw them among the crowd. Some of the guards begged us not to take their helmets as people would smash their heads; we responded those who kick the young people with their boots, hitting them by their motor-bikes, and breaking their arms and shoulders with their batons and sticks do not deserve anything better.

Link of one of the films about this moment.

We found 20 “on-scene arrest forms” in one of the backpacks and passed some of them to the people. These forms were labelled as “Forms of on-scene arrest of agents responsible for social unrest.” The forms contain identity of the detainee, detainee’s situation when arrested (this is the type of conviction such as throwing stone, chanting, clapping and whistling, blocking the road, etc.), personal belongings such as mobile phone, camera, explanation about the officer in charge of arrest, and his signature. On the lower left corner of the form, in a fainter color, it reads “Vice-presidency of the Intelligence of the Operations of the Second Unit.”

On the back page, there is another form that contains details about “Western Tehran Guide.” It has the title “Order publishing advertisement in Western Tehran Guidebook (Summer Special Issue)” and it contains this address on the top right corner: Shahid Chamran Highway, Modiriyat Bridge, Blvd. Farhang, No. 11, Tel. 20 61 056. The serial number of the particular form that I have is 1621. No doubt that this company is one of the many belonging to Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran).

While people were throwing stones toward Special Forces they set their motor-bikes on fire. Within a few seconds all the bikes and buildings close by were on fire. People would buzz the doors and would ask the residents of the nearby buildings to come out due to fire. But thanks to the shape and material of the buildings no building was burned. The guards broke the door of a building where they had taken refuge and escaped inside from the fire. If they had not done this and could not escape they would burn in fire.

I personally do not either approve or support such an act (killing people) under any circumstances. However, it is important to maintain a point: some time ago, Asqar Karimi, in New Channel TV, during a live program called upon police and militia forces of the Islamic regime to side with the people and told that there would come a time when they would beg the Worker-communist Party to stop people from killing them since the WPI is opposed to executions. Such a thing happened on December 27. When I was in the frontmost and confiscating the armament of the police forces, they were begging us to stop people from killing them. But who could stop the deep hatred and anger of the people? Some of those in the frontmost line asked the people to stop throwing stones; they suggested capturing guards, taking their photographs and recording their identities. The fear the Special Forces were experiencing was beautiful in the eye of the people. Nobody was happy for use of violence against them. People were happy because they could see that a number of those who are fully armed with the most advanced oppressive apparatuses who would attack anybody regardless of their age were now begging them to spare their lives. People were swearing at these guys and chanting “Seyyed Ali where are your soldiers?” and “This is the fate of those who kill the youth!” This is the message that people relayed to the entirety of oppressive machinery of the Islamic regime.

Three to four Basij militias attacked the people from under the bridge and started shooting with their handguns. Two more people were injured. People started throwing stones on them; the Basij militia could escape since they continued shooting. The Basij militia shot randomly; one of the bullets hit a young man’s back. Most probably the bullet hit his spine because he said he couldn’t feel his feet. I could clearly see that the bullet had entered his back toward his spine and the backbones. Three people immediately took him away from the clash scene with a motor-bike.

As the Special Forces and Basij militia attacked again people retreated toward under the bridge and cross streets. This gave the Special Forces that had been trapped in a bank the opportunity to escape. As the trapped forces escaped and the Special Forces started a new attack on people, protestors retaliated by throwing stones; the forces started shooting on people in response. People were clapping and laughing and joking that “our prisoners fled.” The streets were under people’s control once again. However, as the guards and militia kept shooting fiercely people had to retreat and the forces took the control of the bridge. Firefighters immediately opened the way and extinguish the burning motor-bikes.

At 12.30, I and several others went toward Vali-e Asr Street using the cross streets and joined the people there. We were very tired and did not have the power to advance further. The guards and militia attacked people and were shooting at them. A young man named Morteza was hit in his chest; we helped him out of the clash scene into a building. After a while Morteza got better; it was calmer outside; we proceeded toward Vali-e Asr Square and from there toward Felestin Square. From there we started going back toward Hafez Bridge. Special Forces had taken complete control of the neighborhood; no anti-regime slogans, fire and smoke was in the air.

We returned toward Enqelab Square; lots of people were on the streets. Basij hooligans were on the streets and chanted “Hezbollah, Mashallah!” People were laughing at what they called the defeat march of Basij. There were fierce debates among people. Everybody spoke their view and analysis. A number of times I heard people talked about the presence and role of communists in today’s protests and that communists should assume a more central role. Fierce political debates took place on the sidewalks.

We kept advancing toward Azadi Square. Basij militia and Special Forces were present at all junctions and swore at people. We saw lots of forces close by the main building of traffic police of Greater Tehran headquarters. We were surprised seeing so many guards there but as we got closer we saw the trace of people’s attacks on the building and then we realized the extent of the events today. People had attacked the headquarters from two sides. The windows of a bank by the headquarters and the entrance of the building were smashed by stones. On the streets, two automobiles, one of them belonging to police forces, had been set on fire. People had got into more intense clashes with police forces here. The yard of the headquarters was full of Special Forces members. A little further down members of the Leader’s Special Guard’s were all over the place on their motor-bike wearing chemical war masks. They were maneuvering and intimidating people and swearing at them; they were asking people to leave the streets.

As we got closer to Azadi Underpass cars started honking continuously. One officer kicked a car and took the plate off; passengers started fighting with him fiercely; the Basij militia intervened, prevented further clashes and started beating everybody. A female passenger of the car fought hard and got the plate back. The officer tried all he could to push back the woman by punching her, kicking her, swearing at her but the woman eventually got the plate back. The people who surrounded them started clapping and applauding the woman; this made the officer even angrier; he started swearing at people and chanting against them but even the Basij militia didn’t support him. As he started chanting “Down with Monafeq” people started laughing at him; he got angrier but there was nothing he could do. The sidewalks on the two sides of Azadi Street were full of people who tried to cover the demonstration passage from Emam Hossein Square to Azadi Square in their own manner. People cheerfully and openly talked about the role they had taken that day in the clashes right in front of the angry and bewildered Basij militia and Special Forces and would recite the events they had witnessed or heard about. The sound of laughter and cheer of young boys and girls had filled the air of Ashura!

Translated by Siyaves Azeri

Monday, January 04, 2010

A New Phase in People's Struggle Against the Islamic regime of Iran

27 December saw one of the most critical days following the June / July protests in Iran. It supposedly was meant to be a day of religious mourning in Iran. It was to be the day that the most reactionary Islamist groups who use such ceremonies to impose the darkest of the dark on the people of Iran. It was meant to the moment that the government of Ahmadinejad and Khamanei reasserts itself and shows that they are still in charge following last months' protests in November in Universities all over Iran.

The Islamic regime and its security forces had been preparing for this and had arrested nearly all of the known political activists beforehand in many cities.

However this day was turned into an anti-government protest that saw people from all walks of life confront police, security forces and members of the baseeji militia groups with their bare hands and calling for end to the Islamic regime in Iran. The protest took place in many cities such as Arak, Mashhad, Babol, Esfahan and many parts of Tehran, including East and South East. The protest and street fights continued until early hours of Monday 28th December and declared an end to the Islamic Ashura in Iran.

Many parts of Tehran were in control of people for hours; it began at around 11.00 am and the first round of confrontation was under the College Bridge that saw people brave tear gas, and bullets, daggers of the Islamists thugs and clashes with the security forces. On many occasions groups of the hated security forces were surrounded and beaten up. Police station in Vali Asr was burnt to the ground and many Baseeji headquarters were attacked. Later in the evening the Islamic News Agency headquarters were surrounded by the protesters and shootings were reported.

Yesterday left more than 15 people dead and hundreds injured. The government agencies have hidden the bodies of possibly more people to prevent identification and follow up demonstrations that will ensue. Thousands have been arrested in Tehran and many cities. Many wounded have forcefully been removed from hospitals and taken to Islamic guards own Sadoughi hospital.

One thing is clear that the end of this regime is near and the brutal Islamic regime is taking its last gasp and will not be able to drive the anger of 30 years of suppression back. People have waited 30 years for this moment and will not let the Islamic murderers get away this time.