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

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

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.

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

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.