Iran Solidarity calls for all-out support on July 25, global day of action, and every day

Iran Solidarity is calling for people across the world to stand with the people of Iran on July 25 and every day.

Since its establishment last week, over 1,000 individuals and organisations have joined Iran Solidarity, including Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Mina Ahadi, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Taslima Nasrin. Its successful launch at the House of Lords on July 13 was hosted by Dick Taverne and chaired by Fariborz Pooya, head of the Iranian Secular Society. Speakers included the philosopher AC Grayling, campaign organiser Maryam Namazie, and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. You can see footage of the launch here.

Iran Solidarity is calling on people everywhere to step up their support for the people of Iran by joining July 25 demonstrations at embassies of the Islamic regime of Iran in cities across the globe. The global day of action is being sponsored by human rights activists, Amnesty International USA, Reporters without Borders and others.

We are also calling for every day to be a day of solidarity with the people of Iran and are looking to have one person every day in central London for half an hour for the next year. With your help, we plan to organise daily acts of solidarity in Trafalgar Square from 6:00-6:30pm for 365 consecutive days starting July 26. We are asking you to volunteer to express your solidarity as you see fit on a day that you are available during the next 365 days. You would need to stand alone, be over 16 years of age, and spend the half hour doing whatever you’d like to do to show your support and solidarity.

To volunteer to take part, email with your name, email and mobile number as well as the dates you are available. We will than get back to you with a confirmed date. We aim to film or photograph all the daily acts of protest and solidarity.

If you do not live in London and want to take part or organise daily acts of solidarity in other cities contact us so we can help you. You can also organise a flash mob that can highlight the situation in Iran, set up information tables or mobilise support for our campaign. You can set up Iran Solidarity groups at your schools and universities, neighbourhoods and workplaces – similar to the anti-apartheid groups that helped get rid of racial apartheid in South Africa. You can join us if you haven’t already done so and get others to join, volunteer your time and skills, donate and raise funds or help organise speaking tours and public meetings. Please feel free to download Neda masks and posters and those calling for the prosecution of Ali Khamenei for crimes against humanity from our website to take to protests or for your own acts of solidarity. You can also download and hand out the leaflets and postcard available on our site.

We have a responsibility and duty to unite to support a hugely important movement in Iran that will help the people of Iran and the world in heralding a new dawn.

We can and will make a difference; the future is ours!

For more information, visit our website: or blog or contact:
Maryam Namazie
Campaign Organiser
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

Q&A with Ophelia Benson

The co-author of the new book Does God Hate Women? discusses patriarchy, the burka and capitalism in the New Statesman.

‘What inspired you to write your new book Does God Hate Women?

My co-author, Jeremy Stangroom! It was his idea. More broadly though, I’ve been following women’s rights issues at Butterflies and Wheels for about six years, and I’ve published many articles by women who are right at the coal face on issues of religion (Maryam Namazie, Azar Majedi, Homa Arjomand, and Gina Khan to name a few). It interests both of us strongly, and once Jeremy thought of it it seemed inevitable…’

They raped, killed and burnt the body of our Taraneh

A blogger has interviewed a friend of Taraneh Mousavi, who we reported on a few days ago. She was last seen being dragged off by the Islamic regime’s security agents. Her burnt body has now been found.

Her friend, Sh. Says:

‘Taraneh was very beautiful and very kind; she used to sing with a beautiful warm voice and played the piano with skill. I cannot imagine that all this life and beauty should be buried under dust and dirt, without mercy.’

Sh. is speaking haltingly, and I ask her:

When did the family learn that the body had turned up?

‘They went to Ghazvin yesterday to get her burned body. But as much as we asked them they wouldn’t tell us any details and neither did they tell us where they want to bury her. They have been threatened heavily and are very afraid.’

Was Taraneh arrested on 7th Tir (28th June) near Ghoba mosque?

‘Yes. On that day, Taraneh was wearing a green shawl and manteau and high heeled shoes and because she also had beautiful green eyes, she probably caught the attention of the plain clothes agents. But she wasn’t participating in the rally and she cried and said so many times to the agents, but they threw her into a van with other detainees. Her car was parked in the vicinity and she was on the way to her Beauticians’ Training Establishment which is situated near Hosseinie Ershad.’

And then they brought her to a detention centre?

‘Yes, they brought her and about 40 other blindfolded boys and girls to a secret detention centre, a building with high walls on Pasdaran Street, and put them in a large room. They were harassing the girls very much and Taraneh’s interrogation took longer than the others’…

Did Taraneh give her phone number to the others there?

‘Yes, when she had come back to the others from her long interrogation she said she had been harassed and asked some of the others to call her parents and some of her friends and tell them that she had been arrested. She was crying all the time, and when they allowed all the girls except her to call home briefly she grew even more worried.

‘Then they took all the detainees away from this building; some were taken to Evin and others to Nobonyad police station. Only Taraneh they kept with them, which worried all the other detainees.’

And afterwards, were her family and friends contacted?

‘Yes, the other detainees who were freed the same evening or the next days and had the numbers were all worried about Taraneh’s state, as they had seen the savage behaviour of the agents. They called Taraneh’s family and friends and told them she had been arrested.’

And did the family follow up?

‘Yes, after some days they found her car but there was no trace of her until last week…’

…when an unidentified person called…

‘Yes, an unidentified person, probably one of her abductors, called and said Taraneh had a moral problem and that she hadn’t been arrested at all. He said she had been raped and her womb and anus had been torn and she had wanted to kill herself by throwing herself in front of a car. He said she had been brought to Imam Khomeini Hospital in Karaj and that she had also tried to kill herself there with a serum tube.

‘The family immediately went to the hospital but Taraneh’s name wasn’t registered at the hospital. However one of the nurses confidentially told one of her friends that some days previously a girl with these particulars had been brought to the hospital unconscious and had been removed again after a couple of hours.

‘Hearing this, we guessed that Taraneh had probably been brought to the hospital in the last moments of her life after suffering repeated rape. We grew very worried.’

At this stage, what enquiries did Taraneh’s family make?

‘Our main problem was the family’s silence and the fear they had that the story would come out. Taraneh’s mother and father are very religious and over sixty; Taraneh was their only child, which they had had after years of praying and longing and medication, and they had given her a good life. But when this happened they became very afraid and didn’t talk to us any more. But after all we are her friends too and have a right to know where her body is and where she will be buried.’

Is there no information at all about the funeral ceremony?

‘No. Yesterday the family were informed that a burnt corpse fitting Taraneh’s description had been found between Karaj and Qazvin. The family has been threatened severely not to talk about their daughter’s arrest.’

Now that this story has come out in the media and in the weblogs, do you think the truth will be found out?

‘I just want Taraneh’s voice to go on, and our call that our most beautiful friend has been cruelly taken from us, that they have raped her brutally for several days and then burned her lifeless body and tossed her out in the desert.

‘When Taraneh sang, her beautiful voice was always in my ear, but from yesterday until now I have only been hearing her screams. Taraneh’s suffering was over, but our pain and suffering will remain with us as long as we live; she was our Taraneh [song].’

More news of arrests yesterday

Yesterday, lawyer Shadi Sadr was arrested by plainclothes security forces; she was dragged into a car and driven away with several others.

Millions out on the streets of Tehran today

Millions of people in Tehran are out on the streets protesting against the regime

Today Friday 17 July, in various sections of Tehran, we are once again witness to mass demonstrations in Iran. There are reports that there are more than 2 million people giving slogan in the main streets and squares of Tehran. Some of the slogans are: ‘Down with Dictator,’ ‘Free all Political Prisoners,’ ‘Coup d’etat government; resign, resign,’ ‘Down with Ahmadinejad;’ ‘Our Neda isn’t dead; it is the government that dead,’ amongst others. There were also slogans saying ‘People didn’t get killed to make concessions’ (ma koshteh nadadeem keh sazesh koneem), referring to a rejection of any behind the scene wheeling and dealings between the opposing factions of the regime.

The demonstrations are continuing right now; Azerbaijan Road, Vali Asr Square, Keshavarz Boulevard, Hafez Road, Daneshjoo Park, North Amir Abad, Ferdousi Square towards Iranshahr, Haft Tir Square, and the cross section between Karoun and Hashemi are teeming with protesters. From Vanak Square and above, protesters are giving slogans of ‘Down with Dictator,’ and burning photographs of Mousavi and Rafsanjani.

Despite the extreme heat and the widespread presence of security forces, people have taken to the streets en masse. Live reports from the protests are being broadcast via New Channel TV and the Worker-communist Party of Iran throughout the day.

In Keshavarz Boulevard and North Amirabad there are over 2-300,000 people shouting ‘Down with Dictator’ and have been clashing with the regime’s security forces. People are moving towards Fatemi Square and the Islamic regime’s broadcasting house.

According to reports, the regime’s security forces have attacked people, including with plastic bullets, batons, and tear gas. The numbers of arrested is unknown.

New Channel TV has also been receiving reports of protests in other cities including Shiraz, Esfahan and Yazd

Via New Channel TV, protesters are asking for doctors and nurses to get to the demonstrators as many do not want to go to hospitals in case they are arrested by the regime’s security. Also the public are being asked via New Channel to allow protesters fleeing security forces to enter their homes in order to protect them.

Friday 17 July is a day of protest in Iran and other updates

* Countless groups and individuals have been calling on people in Iran to come out on to the streets on Friday 17 July via New Channel TV with slogans including ‘Down with Dictator,’ ‘Down with Khamenei,’ ‘Down with the Islamic regime of Iran,’ and ‘Free all political prisoners.’ People are being asked to come out in full force to demand freedom and an end to the Islamic regime.

* Mothers of the dead have issued their fourth statement asking people to come out to parks around the country to commemorate those killed on Saturday 18 July. Whilst giving their condolences to Parvin Fahimi, Sohrab Arabi’s mother, they are asking people to come out between 7-8pm on the Saturday also to protect the mothers. The statement says that the regime’s security threatens, harasses and throws them out, arresting those who refuse to leave and that people’s solidarity and support is needed.

* As a result of the security forces’ inability to control the protesters, the regime’s head of security – Ismail Ahmadi-Moghadam has said in an interview that new weapons are needed in combating the protesters as the traditional ones are not effective.

* According to Amnesty International, hundreds of detainees are at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

Maryam speaking in Lancashire today

Date: July 15, 2009
Time: 8:00-9:30pm
Venue: The Village Centre, 59 High Street,The Square,Great Eccleston. (Nr Preston). PR3 0YB
Organisation Hosting: Lancashire Secular Humanists
Maryam Namazie will speak about the One Law for All campaign
Contact: Ian Abbott, [email protected]

Update: more dead or feared dead

Yaqoob Barvaieh, 27, born in Ahwaz, died at hospital today. He was shot on 25 June by a basiji from the rooftop of Lowlagar Mosque in Tehran. He was an MA student in performing arts.

Taraneh Mousavi (left), 28, was among hundreds arrested on June 19, 2009. Since than her family has had no news of her whereabouts. There are reports now that her mother was contacted by an anonymous caller from the regime’s security after three weeks of her disappearance to say that she had been hospitalized in Imam Khomeini Hospital in Karaj due to the rupturing of her womb. Her family went to the hospital but did not find her there. They say some of the nurses recall a woman there whose womb was torn but that she was removed whilst unconscious. The caller said she had tried to hang herself in prison because of her lack of honour. According to a witness who was arrested with her, she was detained in the vicinity of Shariati Street in Tehran. ‘The security forces physically and mentally abused us. Some were transferred to Evin prison and some others were released. Her interrogation took longer than the rest; she was very beautiful with green eyes. Whilst they released us and transferred others, they kept her. She was not even allowed to contact her family. Taraneh’s father suffers from a heart condition and is seriously ill after the disappearance of his only child. The family have been warned not to mention that she was arrested in the protests. There is concern that she was raped and killed.

A mother of one of those who is missing reports that she were taken to a cold storage facility in Southwest Tehran which is usually used to store fruits and dairy products. She was shown pictures of hundreds of dead in an effort to identify her missing child. It took, she said, half an hour, to go through all the photographs. The mother had to pass by dead bodies piled up on each other to leave the facility. Whilst she had not located her child, she says she fainted at the sight of the dead; when she came to, she was in the car. Sohrab Arabi’s family was also show 20-60 photographs of the dead in order to have them identify Sohrab.

There are reports that one of the bodies of the dead returned to his family was covered in cement. The family believe it is to hide evidence of torture.

One blogger, Nima Namdari, has said his 47 year old uncle, Behzad Mohajer, has been missing since 15 June and they have been unable to locate him wherever they have turned.

There has been a rise in executions by the regime in recent weeks; many are fearful that imprisoned protestors and political prisoners are being executed under the pretext of other offences such as drug trafficking.

Sohrab was buried today

19 year old Sohrab was buried today in Behesht e Zahra cemetery. His family had no news about his whereabouts for 26 days. The regime’s security said no slogans were allowed and made the family end the ceremony quickly. Mourners went back to the family’s home afterwards.

Here is film footage of his mother saying: You all know; they killed my child. They told me he was in Evin; they gave me the run around but they had killed him. They had shot him through the heart. They are inhuman. No one can stop me…’

More pictures of the day:

19 year old Sohrab Arabi killed by the Islamic regime of Iran

19 year old Sohrab Arabi is another youth killed by the regime. He disappeared after joining the June 15 protests in Tehran. His mother had been searching for him and had been had been told he was in Evin prison where she can been seen in a video footage (with a purple scarf) asking about his whereabouts from men leaving the prison upon being released.. She was awaiting his release when instead the family was contacted to collect his body.

Some reports say Sohrab died in prison under torture. Others say he was shot dead by the Baseej in the intersection of Azadi and Jenah Streets during the protests.



His older brother went to collect his body Saturday and was shown 50-60 photos from which he identified Sohrab’s body. Sohrab’s body had bullet wounds to his chest and head.

Sohrab was in 12th grade and preparing for the university entrance exam.



His memorial ceremony will be held tomorrow.

Khamenei must be prosecuted for crimes against humanity

July 8, 2009

Mr Luis Moreno–Ocampo
The Prosecutor
International Criminal Court
Information and Evidence Unit
Office of the Prosecutor
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM The Hague
The Netherlands

Dear Mr Luis Moreno–Ocampo

I am writing on behalf of the people of Iran to call on the International Criminal Court to prosecute the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, for crimes against humanity.

There is ample documentation of such crimes since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, however, the repression meted out on the recent June protesters, is sufficient evidence for such a prosecution.

On Friday June 19, during his speech at Friday prayers, Khamenei called for an end to street protests and threatened protesters saying that he would not be held responsible for any “bloodshed and chaos” that followed. The next day, the government’s security forces, including the Baseejis, Pasdaran, police forces and plain-clothed agents, poured onto the streets and indiscriminately attacked protesters. Though precise information is unavailable, we have gathered 56 names of those killed; clearly the numbers are higher. Thousands have also been arrested – we have heard reports of as many as 3,000 in Tehran alone. We have put together a list of several hundred names so far. Many more have been wounded.

Protestors Killed

The day after Khamenei threatened protesters, 27 year old Neda Agha-Soltan was shot dead by security forces on 20 June. Eyewitnesses said they clearly targeted her and she was shot in the chest. There is even a warrant out for the doctor who was on the scene, tried to help her, and first informed the world of what had happened. Others dead include Chemistry student Kianoosh Asa who was taken from his university dormitory and found dead in a morgue 10 days later, bearing signs of torture, 25 year old Hossein Tahmasbi who was beaten to death by the regime’s forces and Ashkan Sohrabi who was shot thrice in the chest and died on the way to the hospital. They are included in the list of 56 dead that is attached to my letter.

There are also reports of many who have disappeared and feared dead. Reports have quoted a prison guard saying that bodies are being taken out of Evin prison and buried in unidentified graves from no go areas in the prison that are only accessible to the Baseej and Pasdaran intelligence.

There are also reports of the families of the dead being asked to pay up to an equivalent of $3,000 to secure the bodies of their loved ones. One example highlighted in the media is that of Neda Agha-Soltan’s family who had a difficult time persuading the Iranian authorities to release her body. According to her fiancé in an interview with BBC Farsi, “She was taken to a morgue outside Tehran. The officials from the morgue asked if they could use parts of her corpse for body transplants for medical patients.” “They didn’t specify what exactly they intended to do. Her family agreed because they wanted to bury her as soon as possible. “We buried her in the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery in southern Tehran. They asked us to bury her in this section where it seemed the authorities had set aside spaces for graves for those killed during the clashes.” This section has been labelled the section of the ‘hypocrites’ by the regime. The government has also banned her family and the families of the dead from holding public funerals.

Treatment of the wounded

We have received many reports of people wounded, including in horrific ways. Doctors and nurses at two hospitals have taken to the streets in protest to the treatment of the wounded. Many have been denied access to their families. Some have been dragged out of hospital beds and taken to prison.

Torture and mistreatment and situation of detainees

Reports of torture and rape are rampant. We have received reports saying that prisoners are being brutally tortured with the aim of killing them. According to an eye witness at a recent gathering of family members in front of Evin prison, one of the imprisoned who was released whilst people were gathered said that he had been arrested around Afsariyeh in Tehran and taken to an undisclosed location. He was denied food for 48 hours. There were 500 people detained on the floor where he was and they had no access to showers or sanitation. After 48 hours, they were given bread, potato and cheese. When they complained, they were told ‘you are anti-revolutionaries; be grateful you have not been killed.’ The released prisoner said everyone was brutally beaten. A 48 year old man who was given electric shocks died whilst he was there. Many of the prisoners in his cell were badly wounded with broken arms and legs. He said he was then taken to Evin prison, where he was told: ‘you protested against the Islamic regime; we will do something to you so that you won’t be able to find your house when you are released.’ He said, in Evin, the lives of many were at risk.

We have also heard from a woman whose daughter had been beaten indiscriminately for four days and then thrown out of prison on to the streets late at night. A passerby picked her up in their car and drove her home. Since her release, she has attempted to commit suicide several times. Her mother fears she has been raped.

Several of those detained have confessed to having been influenced by outside powers on Iranian state television – clearly under duress.

I attach a list of some of those who have been arrested. Families of those arrested have been gathering at Evin Prison or the courthouse in Tehran calling for the release of their children and asking about their situation. The families have been threatened. Mothers of the missing or dead have also been gathering at several parks and have been attacked by security forces.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran has begun collecting people’s grievances against Ali Khamenei via New Channel television station broadcast in Iran and would be willing to hand over the necessary evidence to help with the prosecution of Ali Khamenei.

I look forward to your response and prompt action.

Sincerely,

Hamid Taqvaee
Secretary-General

18 Tir anniversary – an international day of protest

18 Tir (July 9) was the start of the movement to overthrow the regime; June 2009 has been the start of the revolution!

Join protests in various cities across the globe and support the people of Iran in their movement to overthrow the regime.

To see live blogging of the day, go to WPI’s Blog.

Iran Solidarity!

Iran Solidarity is to be officially launched on Monday July 13, 2009 from 12:30-1:30pm in the House of Commons in London. The organisation will be established to organise solidarity for the people of Iran in opposition to the Islamic regime of Iran.

To RSVP for the launch, please contact Maryam Namazie, Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731. Iran Solidarity’s website will be launched on July 13, 2009. Iran Solidarity’s declaration and initial signatories are below.

Iran Solidarity

In June 2009 millions of people came out on to the streets of Iran for freedom and an end to the Islamic regime. Whilst the June 12 election was a pretext for the protests – elections have never been free or fair in Iran – it has opened the space for people to come to the fore with their own slogans.

The world has been encouraged by the protesters’ bravery and humane demands and horrified by the all-out repression they have faced. It has seen a different image of Iran – one of a population that refuses to kneel even after 30 years of living under Islamic rule.

The dawn that this movement heralds for us across the world is a promising one – one that aims to bring Iran into the 21st century and break the back of the political Islamic movement internationally.

This is a movement that must be supported.

Declaration

We, the undersigned, join Iran Solidarity to declare our unequivocal solidarity with the people of Iran. We hear their call for freedom and stand with them in opposition to the Islamic regime of Iran. We demand:

1. The immediate release of all those imprisoned during the recent protests and all political prisoners
2. The arrest and public prosecution of those responsible for the current killings and atrocities and for those committed during the last 30 years
3. Proper medical attention to those wounded during the protests and ill-treated and tortured in prison. Information on the status of the dead, wounded and arrested to their families. The wounded and arrested must have access to their family members. Family members must be allowed to bury their loved ones where they choose.
4. A ban on torture
5. The abolition of the death penalty and stoning
6. Unconditional freedom of expression, thought, organisation, demonstration, and strike
7. Unconditional freedom of the press and media and an end to restrictions on communications, including the internet, telephone, mobiles and satellite television programmes
8. An end to compulsory veiling and gender apartheid
9. The abolition of discriminatory laws against women and the establishment of complete equality between men and women
10. The complete separation of religion from the state, judiciary, education and religious freedom and atheism as a private matter.

Moreover, we call on all governments and international institutions to isolate the Islamic Republic of Iran and break all diplomatic ties with it. We are opposed to military intervention and economic sanctions because of their adverse affects on people’s lives.

The people of Iran have spoken; we stand with them.

Initial list of signatories:

Boaz Adhengo, Humanist and Ethical Union of Kenya, Kenya
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Coordinator, Stop Child Executions Campaign, Canada
Mina Ahadi, Campaigner, Germany
Sargul Ahmad, Activist, Women’s Liberation in Iraq, Canada
Susan Ahmadi, Mitra Daneshi, and Furugh Arghavan, Iran Civil Rights Committee, Canada
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Writer and Columnist, UK
Mahin Alipour, Coordinator, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Sweden
Farideh Arman, Coordinator, International Campaign in Defence of Women’s Rights in Iran, Sweden
Abdullah Asadi, Executive Director, International Federation of Iranian Refugees, Sweden
Zari Asli, Friends of Women in the Middle East Society, Canada
Ophelia Benson, Editor, Butterflies and Wheels, USA
Julie Bindel, Journalist and Activist, UK
Russell Blackford, Writer and Philosopher, Australia
Nazanin Borumand, Never Forget Hatun Campaign against Honour Killings, Germany
Caroline Brancher, UFAL, France
George Broadhead, Secretary of Pink Triangle Trust, UK
Children First Now, Sweden
Committee for the Freedom of Political Prisoners, UK
Communist Youth Organisation, Sweden
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Germany, and Scandinavia
Count Me In – Iranian Action Network, UK
Thomas Cushman, Founding Editor and Editor-at-Large of The Journal of Human Rights, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Wellesley College, USA
Shahla Daneshfar, Director, Committee for the Freedom of Political Prisoners, UK
Richard Dawkins, Scientist, UK
Patty Debonitas, Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism, UK
Deeyah, Singer and Composer, USA
Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Sweden
Tarek Fatah, Author, Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, Canada
AC Grayling, Writer and Philosopher, UK
Maria Hagberg, Chair, Network against Honour-Related Violence, Sweden
Johann Hari, Journalist, UK
Farzana Hassan, Writer, Canada
Marieme Helie Lucas, founder Secularism Is A Women’s Issue, France
Farshad Hoseini, International Campaign against Executions, Netherlands
Humanist and Ethical Union of Kenya, Kenya
Khayal Ibrahim, Coordinator, Organization of Women’s Liberation in Iraq, Canada
Leo Igwe, Director, Nigerian Humanist Movement, Nigeria
International Campaign for the Defence of Women’s Rights in Iran, Sweden
Iran Civil Rights Committee, Canada
International Committee against Executions, Netherlands
International Committee to Protect Freethinkers, Canada
International Committee against Stoning, Germany
International Federation of Iranian Refugees, Sweden
International Labour Solidarity, UK
Iranian Secular Society, UK
Ehsan Jami, Politician, the Netherlands
Asqar Karimi, Executive Committee Member, Worker-communist Party of Iran, UK
Hope Knutsson, President, Sidmennt – the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, Iceland
Hartmut Krauss, Editor, Hintergrund, Germany
Sanine Kurz, Journalist, Germany
Ghulam Mustafa Lakho, Advocate, High Court of Sindh, Pakistan
Derek Lennard, UK Coordinator of International Day against Homophobia, UK
Nasir Loyand, Left Radical of Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Kenan Malik, writer, lecturer and broadcaster, UK
Johnny Maudlin, writer of Neda (You Will Not Defeat The People), Canada
Stefan Mauerhofer, Co-President, Freethinker Association of Switzerland, Switzerland
Anthony McIntyre, Writer, Ireland
Navid Minay, General Secretary, Communist Youth Organisation, Sweden
Reza Moradi, Producer, Fitna Remade, UK
Douglas Murray, Director, Centre for Social Cohesion, UK
Maryam Namazie, Campaigner, UK
Taslima Nasrin, Writer, Physician and Activist
National Secular Society, UK
Never Forget Hatun Campaign against Honour Killings, Germany
Nigerian Humanist Movement, Nigeria
Samir Noory, Writer, Canada
Yulia Ostrovskaya and Svetlana Nugaeva, Rule of Law Institute, Russia
One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain, UK
Peyvand – Solidarity Committee for Freedom Movement in Iran, Germany
Pink Triangle Trust, UK
Fariborz Pooya, Founder, Iranian Secular Society, UK
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Flemming Rose, Journalist and Editor, Denmark
Michael Rubenstein, Publisher, Equal Opportunities Review, UK
Rule of Law Institute, Russia
Fahimeh Sadeghi, Coordinator, International Federation of Iranian Refugees-Vancouver, Canada
Arash Mishka Sahami, TV Factual Producer, UK
Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society, UK
Shahla Sarabi, Programmer, Radio Pazhvak, Canada
Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Philosopher, Author and Giordano Bruno Foundation Spokesperson, Germany
Gabi Schmidt, Teacher, Germany
Karim Shahmohammadi, Director, Children First Now, Sweden
Sohaila Sharifi, Editor, Unveiled, London, UK
Udo Schuklenk, Philosophy professor, Queen’s University, Canada
Issam Shukri, Head, Defense of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq; Central Committee Secretary, Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq, Iraq
Bahram Soroush, Public Relations, International Labour Solidarity, UK
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner, UK
Dick Taverne, Baron, House of Lords, UK
Hamid Taqvaee, Central Committee Secretary, Worker-communist Party of Iran, UK
Third Camp, UK
Saeed Valadbeigi, Revolution Road blogger and Journalist, Iran
Karin Vogelpohl, Pedagogue, Germany
Babak Yazdi, Head of Khavaran, Canada
Marvin F. Zayed, President, International Committee to Protect Freethinkers, Canada

News Update

From WPI Press Centre

Yesterday there was a gathering of several hundred family members at Evin Prison in Tehran calling for the release of their children and asking about their whereabouts. The families began shouting slogans and protesting when denied information. Ghazi Heydarifar, an official of the regime, took out his weapon and threatened them to disperse.

Today, Monday, there was also another gathering at Evin prison and the court house. Families are worried sick for their children. Pictures of family members gathered in front of the court can be seen on the left.

According to an eye witness at yesterday’s gathering at Evin, one of the imprisoned who was released whilst people were gathered said that he had been arrested around Afsariyeh in Tehran and taken to an undisclosed location. He was denied food for 48 hours. There were 500 people detained on the floor where he was and they had no access to showers or sanitation. After 48 hours, they were given bread, potato and cheese. When they complained, they were told ‘you are anti-revolutionaries, be grateful you have not been killed.’ The released prisoner said everyone was beaten. A 48 year old man who was given an electric shock died whilst he was there. Many of the prisoners in his cell were badly wounded with broken arms and legs. He said he was then taken to Evin prison, where he was told: ‘you protested against the Islamic regime; we will do something to you so that you won’t be able to find your house when you are released.’ He said, in Evin the lives of many were at risk.

Yesterday, the Haft Tapeh workers carried out a strike for three hours.