I will be away from today and return on June 4 Friday.
Date: May 30, 2010
Venue: Sembal House, SO15 2FH, Southampton
Maryam Namazie will speak about the One Law for All campaign at a meeting organised by the South Hampshire Humanist Group. For more information, contact them.
Join the Rally in Geneva
In solidarity with workers and people of Iran and for the expulsion of the Islamic regime of Iran from the ILO
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will hold its annual International Labour Conference in Geneva from 2 to 18 June. Like previous years, a delegation representing the Islamic Republic of Iran and representatives of regime-made organisations (Islamic councils) will participate in this assembly. Those who are responsible for the persecution, torture and execution of worker leaders, teachers, students, women and children should not be allowed to join the ILO. The Islamic regime in Iran should be expelled from the ILO for its flagrant violation of human rights and its denial of a human life to workers and the people in Iran.
Join this really to support the struggle of workers and people in Iran, to demand the expulsion of the Islamic regime of Iran from the ILO, and to call for the release of all jailed workers and political prisoners in Iran
Wednesday, 2 June 2010, 1pm
Geneva, in front of the ILO Conference Centre, Palais des Nations
Free all jailed workers and political prisoners!
Islamic regime of Iran out of ILO!
Worker-communist Party of Iran-Organisation Abroad
25 May 2010
Majid Tavakoli, a 24 year old student activist at Amir Kabir University, must not become another victim of the Islamic regime of Iran. He has been arrested and tortured a number of times for his student activities. The last time he was arrested was in December 2009 for a speech about the ruling dictatorship and for criticising Khamenei. He has started a hunger strike on 23 May and is in very poor health.
On 26 May, Mina Ahadi of the International Committee against Executions briefly spoke to his mother. His mother is also on hunger strike in support of her son. She is very worried and concerned about his health. She said that no matter where she goes, she is given no information on him nor allowed to speak to or see him.
He is currently in solitary confinement for writing a public letter in protest to the execution of ‘my big brother Farzad.’
Iran Solidarity urges everyone to act in defence of Majid and all political prisoners in Iran.
Farzad Kamangar’s mother gave the following message to a memorial gathering in Germany: ‘Greetings to freedom loving people across the world that have supported us and raised our voices across the world. Today, as always, I ask you, I beg you to think of the political prisoners. Don’t let other mothers suffer. It is enough. Don’t let them lose their beloved. I lost my Farzad but I don’t want any other family to lose their beloved. I ask all mothers, students, people to think of the liberation of our loved ones enchained. The regime has still not handed over Farzad’s body. But Farzad is not dead. He is alive and can be seen in the millions worldwide who have not left us alone and will not leave us alone.
To listen to the message click here or see the below:
A cousin of Farzad Kamangar living in Germany says the mothers of the five executed have still not seen their bodies to say goodbye to them. She says 19 members of the Kamangar family have been executed by the regime.
Farzad Kamangar’s brave lawyer, Khalil Bahramian, has been arrested for speaking to the press about the fact that he and others should not have been executed.
At least nine people were executed in one week in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 5 in Rasht (four men and one woman) on Monday, two in Zahedan and two in Ahvaz. There is also the imminent executions of several others in the coming weeks according to the International Committee against Executions.
Join us for a Rally organised by One Law for All against Sharia and religious laws and for secularism and universal rights
Where: At Trafalgar Square’s Northern Terrace, London (closest underground Charing Cross and Leicester Square)
When: 14:00-16:00 hours
Then join us for a March organised by Iran Solidarity to show solidarity with people in Iran who are at the forefront of battling Sharia law and political Islam
Where: From Trafalgar Square to the embassy of the Islamic regime of Iran in Knightsbridge, London
When: 16:00-17:00 hours
The march will end with a group act of solidarity with the people of Iran.
One Law for All and Iran Solidarity call on people everywhere to join the 20 June protest in London or to organise rallies or acts of solidarity in various cities across the globe to mark the day when 27-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan was shot dead by the Islamic regime of Iran’s security forces at a protest in Tehran. Her demand for freedom in the face of all-out repression has made her a symbol of people everywhere.
According to Spokesperson Maryam Namazie, ‘It is very apt for us to remember Neda in our battle for equal rights in Britain or wherever we happen to live. Neda’s murder by the Islamic regime in Iran and Sharia law in Britain are intrinsically linked; both are the result of the rise of the political Islamic movement of which the Islamic regime of Iran is a cornerstone. In fact Sharia law in Britain came into being in the late 80s after the establishment of the Islamic regime of Iran. Clearly, the fight for a different and secular society in Britain is intrinsically linked to the fight for a different and secular one in Iran.’
On 20 June, One Law for All will also be releasing a new report on Sharia law in Britain to coincide with the event.
A vast majority of people across the globe have had enough with medievalism and brutality and demand universal freedoms and equal rights irrespective of where they were born or live.
In the battle that lies ahead each and every one of us must stand up and be counted.
This 20 June is the day for you and I to do so.
1. Confirmed speakers and performers at the London rally include: AK47 (Street Poet); Asad Abbas (Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain); R Y Alam (Poet); Adam Barnett (Musician); David Fisher (Singer/ Songwriter); Lilith (Street Poet); Lyrical Agent (Emcee); Rony Miah (Lawyers’ Secular Society); Maryam Namazie (One Law for All and Iran Solidarity); Gerard Phillips (National Secular Society); Naomi Phillips (British Humanist Association); Fariborz Pooya (Iranian Secular Society); Brent Lee Regan (Emcee); Gita Sahgal (Activist); Muriel Seltman (Activist); Peter Tatchell (Human Rights Campaigner); and others. We will also screen a segment of a major new film for HBO called For Neda by director Anthony Thomas.
2. In Iran over 130 offences are punishable with death under Sharia law including: Sex crimes like adultery and homosexuality; crimes against the state and religion like enmity against God, corruption on earth, apostasy, heresy and blasphemy and acts prohibited under Sharia law such as a third conviction of drinking alcohol, morality crimes like distribution of obscene/pornographic audio-visual materials, public order crimes, and drug-related offences, including for possession. Support the ‘I would be Executed in Iran if I did this…’ Facebook page by clicking that you like it here: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=12&uid=107261949318147#!/pages/I-would-be-executed-in-Iran-if-I-did-this/107261949318147?ref=ts
3. You can also sign up to One Law for All and Iran Solidarity petitions available on our websites http://iransolidarity.org.uk/ and http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/.
4. For more information, or to inform us of your event or act on 20 June, contact:
One Law for All and Iran Solidarity
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
My name is Sami Ahmed [on the right in the photo by Jo D. Jonz with mum Saira, left]and I am 19 years old; I am the daughter of author Saira Ali Ahmed. 20 years ago a serious violation of my mother’s human rights had occurred in Bangladesh, and I am seeking support from you to bring the Bangladesh government to justice.
When my mother was 13 or 14 years old her child marriage was arranged in Bangladesh to Muzibur “nunu” Rehman, a British-Bangladeshi man in his mid-20s. Once she came to this country she fell pregnant, and on the day I was born, she found out through Social Services that he was a paedophile and manic depressive. Since then, she had lived in various refuges and government given housing, and now we are in a much better place in our lives. She has not however, been able to return to her home country Bangladesh, since her ex-husband’s family, who have strong political connections, have threatened to take me away from my mother. My maternal grandfather had died over ten years ago, and we still have not been to his grave, nor have I ever met my grandmother. My mum has never exercised her right at all to receiving family support or property from her ex-husband, in accordance with UK Law and under the Muslim marriage law of ‘Den Mohor’.
I feel it is important for an individual to know their rights, and that it is my mother’s human right to be given an apology from the Bangladesh government, on two accounts. Firstly, they had failed to protect her as a child and secondly, her ex-husband’s brother was the Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s Secretary in the town she lived in, and lied about his brother’s true condition without legal charges being pressed against him.
I have researched below the articles from the Universal Bill of Human Rights that we believe the Bangladesh government have violated, since they are a member of the United Nations:
• Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” My mother suffered a great deal of humiliation in the undignified selling of herself in marriage.
• Article 5: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The nature of my mother’s child marriage to a paedophile was cruel, inhuman and degrading.
• Article 13, part II: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” My mother has not been able to return to Bangladesh, from crippling fear of me being taken away from her.
• Article 16, part II: “Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.” My mother’s marriage was arranged, and forced upon her. Her ‘consent’ was a result of pressure and oppression; a definition that does not coincide with Bangladesh’s commitment to the Bill of Rights.
• And finally, Article 8 states “Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.” For the Bangladesh government to realize their failures to my mother and other girls, would be an ‘effective remedy.’
Despite the government having failed to provide an effective remedy, my mum has taken steps herself; she has published her autobiography “Breaking Free” and rights have been secured for this to be developed as a feature film.
We only have one world; reconciliation and responsibility ought to play a part of that world. My mum has reconciled relations with her family as much as can be. However, the Bangladesh government have failed the UN and my mum in their keeping of the Bill of Rights. My mum was kept prisoner in Bangladesh and was only really set free with my birth, and with the support of the Social Services in England. It is time for the Bangladesh government to do the same.
By Gita Sahgal
Human rights groups cannot tell the story of the times in which we live. There is a void, where there should be analysis of the organizational forms and ideological links of western Islamists
Salman Rushdie has said, ‘When people are told that they cannot freely re-examine the stories of themselves, and the stories within which they live, then tyranny is not very far away’. Forty nine years ago, this week, Peter Benenson struck a blow against tyranny by announcing the formation of a new organization to support forgotten prisoners who were jailed solely for their beliefs.
This week, Amnesty International launches its Annual Report and starts year long preparations for a jamboree titled Amnesty cUF 50. From a small group of activists it has grown into a gigantic, global organization. And in many ways, has come to resemble the forces that it has done so much to oppose. Its record of handling one of the greatest challenges to its reputation suggests that it is entirely unable to examine the story of itself or the story of its times. So difficult is it for Amnesty International to provide a coherent account of what has happened over the last few months, that it has chosen to provide no account at all.
In his reports to the International Executive Committee circulated for ‘transparency’, the Interim Secretary General Claudio Cordone, has airbrushed out any mention of the concerns that I forced Amnesty International to face when I went public with my complaint that the organisation has sanitized the reputation of Moazzam Begg, a former Guanatamo detainee. They have treated him as a human rights advocate, although he champions Anwar al Awlaki and al Timmimi.
Like all tryrants – whether of the right and left, Amnesty International raised the spectre of an assault on human rights to avoid answering questions and to imply that Amnesty International was under attack. This helped shut down internal debate or demands for accountability from its own staff. At first the managers suggested that Begg only expressed his experiences of detention; and that they did not promote his views (suggesting that his views fell somewhat short of a belief in the universality of rights). Soon, they claimed that his views were indeed universalist but that he supported ‘defensive jihad.’ – which is, after all waged to establish systematic discrimination. Amnesty International felt that this view was not ‘antithetical to human rights. Although he published in a Muslim Brotherhood journal and has associated with the Jamaat I Islami the senior leadership decided to endorse him as a human rights advocate, which they had refrained from doing before the crisis.
But at the AIUK AGM, Begg was not mentioned in reports of a European tour to advocate for the release of the remaining Guantanamo Bay detainees. Where they had previously had a picture of Begg at the door of Downing St with Kate Allen, this picture was dropped from the power point. No wonder, Amnesty is in a fix. They do not know whether they are valorizing Begg or dropping him.
I met Begg recently and told him that I thought that he had been true to his beliefs but that Amnesty had not been true to theirs. Nor has Amnesty International acknowledged their debt to Cageprisoners or the extent of their relationship with the organization. I intend to do the work that for them. Whatever my views on Begg or Cageprisoners, I do not think that a collective corporate amnesia is the right approach to take when finding a way forward.
Now they have announced an internal independent Review to discuss criteria for partnership. The reviewers have said that they are not investigating allegations against Begg, but only looking at procedures that were followed and to suggest criteria, in order that the organization can manage its reputational risk. Nor will they examine all available evidence, only any new evidence that might come to light. The problem is that no-one knows what evidence was examined, but there was plenty that was ignored. Senior experts well known to Amnesty International were not consulted, even though at least one wrote to the Secretary General offering to give evidence at the time I was suspended. Could it be that the leadership would rather that their research and analysis looked shoddy and incompetent than admit I was right?
Most western human rights and civil liberties organizations have watched the unfolding crisis in a frozen and complicit silence. They say nothing because they too have committed similar errors of judgement, supporting proponents of radical Islam rather than simply defending their rights. Too often in Britain, entirely legitimate concerns about racism and the marginalization of Muslims are allied to the promotion of groups associated with the Jamaat I Islami and Muslim Brotherhood.
Their programmes of social control such as promotion of the hijab are supported quite uncritically. The actions of human rights advocates mirror those of governments from Chechnya to the UK. Recruit former insurgents or fundamentalists and subcontract them to provide surveillance and control over the mass of the population. Defeat one form of fundamentalism by supporting another.
Human rights groups have entirely ignored this story and as a result simply cannot tell the story of the times within which we live. There is a void, where there should be analysis of the organizational forms and ideological links of western Islamists. There is silence on ‘faith based initiatives as part of soft ‘counter-terrorism’ strategies. They cannot accuse governments without accusing themselves.
Even internal dissent is met with expulsion as Marieme Helie Lucas, the Algerian founder of Women Living Under Muslim Laws, has recently explained. And that raises the question as to whether there is a long term determined programme of support within human rights organizations for the political programme of Islamists.
Those who make this allegation are immediately accused of supporting torture or arbitrary detention. Shadi Sadr, the courageous Iranian lawyer who has been sentenced in absentia to lashings and imprisonment, has pointed out that while Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have rushed to condemn the niqab ban in Europe, not a word has been heard against increasing dress code restrictions imposed by the State in Iran and accompanied by draconian punishments.
But it is the bland justification that Amnesty works with everybody including the Catholic Church which has seemed distinctly unwise. I expect that the Church might object to being put in the same category as supporters of Salafi Jihadi politics. In any case, Amnesty should have spoken out against the complicity, cover up and abuse of children by those exercising religious authority. In the event, they stayed shamefully silent. As one voice, the leaders stood with the Catholic establishment and ignored Catholic victims.
As Amnesty trundles towards its 50th anniversary, I will be working with others to ensure that whether Amnesty is covering up or cleaning up, whether the review provides any answers, the hidden history of human rights will be put on record. Peter Benenson said that we work in Amnesty against oblivion. If human rights organizations can no longer tell their own stories, others will do it for them.
Source, Open Democracy, 26 May 2010
By Hamid Taghvaee
On May 1st of this year in Iran, all heads turned to the workers’ movement. From a few weeks prior to May Day, workers’ problems, plights, demands and protests had already turned into a discourse within the nation, media, political opposition groups, and so on. Leftist groups and workers’ organizations, institutions and labour activists welcomed the International Workers’ Day by, like every other year, issuing messages, calls for actions, resolutions, and prepared themselves for holding protests and assemblies. But May 1 assumed wider social dimensions. It drew the attention not only of the various sections of society as such but also that of the right wing opposition. The reason for this society-wide attention is obvious: for more than 10 months the society had been going through a seething revolutionary period. Under such conditions, International Workers’ Day, which symbolizes the deep rooted causes of freedom and equality, would not only not remain a cause for communists, labour activists and workers’ organizations but also become a cause for the masses who, sick and tired of the regime, have entered the arena to rid themselves of it.
The ruling murderers too, aware of the significance of this year’s May Day, had prepared all their hellish medley of forces to prevent the spread of demonstrations and protests on that day. Security forces, Basij and “plainclothes” murderers as well as herds of other kinds of thugs were dispatched to the streets. They created an unprecedented military atmosphere in Tehran and other cities. These measures were effective in containing the size of demonstrations and preventing the formation of assemblies of masses who had come out to celebrate the day. But they failed to prevent the extensive communication of workers’ demands to the masses. Nor did they succeed in preventing the society from shifting its attention towards the workers’ deep critique of, and protest against, the present conditions. May 1st of this year was indeed an opportunity for the mass movement that had been challenging the Islamic Republic for 10 months prior to the day to hear its own critique and protest this time from the workers’.
Our party has, since the very start of the current movement, constantly and with full power strived for, and emphasized on, the necessity to deepen and radicalize the content of its protests and demands, the need to create open organizations and institutions in order to declare the demands of various sections of the society through them as well as through individual activists. In general, our party’s constant endeavour, since the very beginning of the movement, has been aimed at the need for increasing clarity, articulation and organization of various dimensions of the revolution. A significant condition for the revolution to advance in that direction is entering into the arena of the workers’ movement at the forefront of the protesting masses, bearing the standard of the workers’ protests and demands on a broad social scale. May1st of this year was an important and decisive step in this direction. The 15-point resolution issued by 10 workers’ organizations on the occasion of May Day, both for the content of its comprehensive, radical demands, and as an action per se, is a significant indicator of that progress.
In that resolution workers have issued their indictment against “the capitalist system of Iran.” They have advocated the “unquestionable right of workers and all Iranian people to a life in accordance with the highest standards of life of today’s humanity.” They have demanded the rights to organization, strike, assembly, and freedom of speech for themselves as well as “all Iranian people.” They have demanded that the government scrap its plan to cut subsidies on essential items, and increase the minimum wage to 1 million Tuman [approximately $1000] per month. They have demanded the abolition of death penalty. They have demanded the abolition of all discriminatory laws against women. They have demanded the abolition of child labour, and that children be provided with free, equal education and welfare facilities irrespective of their parents’ social and economic status. They have condemned all kinds of discrimination against immigrant workers from Afghanistan and other countries, and declared their support for teachers, nurses and other working sections of the country.
These are all, indeed, the demands, objectives and ideals of the masses of people who have risen against the entirety of the existing anti-human conditions. They form the workers’ full-fledged banner of the quest for freedom and equality, hoisted from the heart of the current revolutionary movement to clearly show the society how to seize at the very root and throw the gauntlet to the Islamic state in its entirety; so that the society would hear and recognize its revolutionary and deeply humane alternative from the workers, as opposed to the right opposition and the efforts of the regime’s “green” faction to distort the people’s demands for freedom and equality to fit within “the framework of the constitution” or “Islamic human rights” or democracy of the New-World-Order or the “human rights harbingered by Cyrus- the-great”. The masses of people have been challenging the regime for more than 10 months by chanting “down with the dictator” and “down with the principle of theocratic supremacy,” while the workers’ resolution translates, defines and articulates these “structure-breaking” slogans [, as both factions of the regime call them,] in the language of crystal clear humane, freedom-loving and equality-seeking demands.
Furthermore, all the said facts indicate that on May 1st of this year the workers’ movement not only entered the arena in defiance of the regime but also in practical distinction from, and critique of, all the right forces. May 1 showed that, unlike all the forces that try to limit the protests and demonstrations within the framework of the constitutional of the regime, it is only the workers who demand and defend unconditional rights to strike, protest, organization and association – for all the people. May 1 announced that, unlike Iranian/Arian-monger nationalist tendencies, workers oppose any kind of discrimination against any worker, including those of other nationalities who live and work in Iran – Afghan or non-Afghan. It announced that workers, unlike the nationalist-religious tendencies and the Islamic feminists, strive for abolition of all kinds of discrimination against women. Finally, and most important of all, on May 1, workers placed an issue at the core of their demands and protests that the whole right opposition has silently passed over: the issue of poverty and misery ravaging the society, as well as the real, root causes of it. They raised the issue of wages that are as low as a quarter of the [officially announced] poverty line. They raised the issue of lay-offs, employment insecurity, the plan to cut subsidies and the fact the objective of this anti-labour plan is to intensify exploitation and increase profitability of capital. In a word, they condemned the capitalist system as the root cause of all these miseries. This was the worker’s May Day message to the society – a clear and explicit message that separated, with a political dimension and on a social scale, the ranks of the workers from the right forces in their entirety.
Our party has long since emphasized the fact that the left and its critique of the existing social condition in Iran is a wide and strong tendency as well as a wide and strong current. May 1st this year itself was yet another vivid manifestation of that fact. On this day, the workers rose and came on the scene, not as victims of the capitalist system, a depiction of workers the right opposition recognizes and is OK with, but as the active avant-garde and standard bearer of masses struggling for freedom and equality. This socio-political self-assertion is unprecedented even in the trade unionist labour movement suffering from reformist syndicalism in the West, and clearly indicates the status and power of the left in the workers’ movement and in the Iranian society as whole. May 1st of this year was the day the left’s critique of, and the left’s indictment against, the status quo was communicated through the workers’ movement. The workers’ movement can and should advance in this direction more actively, more broadly, and in a more united and organized fashion than before.
May 1 also shows the way to other institutions, organizations and activists in the other protest movements, especially the women’s freedom movement and the student movement: unite and organize; declare your demands and objections under the signature of your organizations, institutions, and NGOs of various kinds; issue messages, resolutions and calls to action; declare your solidarity with other protest movements, and organize combined protest actions with them. The current revolutionary movement is in need of organizing and clarifying itself through ever clearer articulation of the demands and the protests of the workers and masses by the masses themselves; and May Day presents the society as a whole with a clear, practical and facilitating guideline for advancing these causes.
First published in Anternasional (International) weeky, No. 347, May 7, 2010
Some of the soldiers that have been sent to Kamyaran, Farzad Kamangar’s city, for the general strike yesterday are currently surrounding the family’s home and filming and photographing anyone leaving or entering the house.
Here is a clip of how a demonstration of a few hundred Kurdish people from Turkey marched to the Turkey/Iran border trying to cross over to join the strike in the Kurdish province in Iran yesterday 13 May.
We have all been in love, spoken our minds, joined protests, political groups and campaigns, poked fun at that which is taboo and taken a stand for what we believe in.
The only difference is – depending on where we were born – some of us don’t live to talk about it.
As you may have already heard, on 9 May 2010 four young men and one woman were executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran after being falsely accused, tortured, and charged with ‘enmity against God’ in sham trials. The executions were carried out in secret and without the knowledge of their families or lawyers. Farzad Kamangar (35 year old teacher and trade unionist), Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli (28 years old) and Mehdi Eslamian never even got to call their families to say goodbye.
Tragically, these executions are not new. The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the execution capitals of the world and is the only state that continues to execute minors.
The over 130 offences punishable with death in Iran include:
* Sex crimes such as adultery and homosexuality
* Crimes against the state and religion including for enmity against God, corruption on earth, apostasy, heresy and blasphemy
* Acts prohibited under Sharia law such as a third conviction of drinking alcohol, morality crimes like distribution of obscene/pornographic audio-visual materials, public order crimes, and drug-related offences, including for possession.
As I said, it could have easily been you – or me – were it not for this lottery of birth. So what are we going to do about it?
‘If anyone can do anything, please do. Do not let them execute youngsters en masse. You and the world shall be my defence,’ said Farzad Kamangar’s mother recently.
For the many sitting on death row right now for standing up to this vile regime, we must be their defence…
What you can do
* From 13 May onwards join me in protest against the 9 May execution of the five political prisoners in any way you can. Protests have already been taking place in Iran and at Iranian embassies in various cities worldwide, including a successful general strike in Iranian Kurdistan on 13 May. You can join rallies taking place in your city; pass this information on; ask your friends to support the action; write letters of protest; write to the media; raise the issue at events you organise or attend and at your places of work, school and in your neighbourhoods; do acts of solidarity anywhere you can; volunteer; lend your expertise to make publicity materials, translate, fundraise… Demand the expulsion of the regime from its seat in the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, from the International Labour Organisation and other bodies. Demand that its embassies and consulates be shut down. And call for an end to the death penalty in Iran and everywhere.
* And on 20 June come out onto the streets in full force wherever you are. Start organising rallies or actions where you live or join ones already organised. June 20 is particularly significant because it is the first anniversary of 27 year old Neda Agha-Soltan’s extra-judicial execution in broad daylight by the Islamic regime of Iran at a protest in Tehran. Like Farzad Kamangar and others, all Neda wanted was freedom.
* Click that you ‘like’ the ‘I would be executed in Iran if I did this’ Facebook page.
* Support Iran Solidarity and its demands by signing up to our petition.
* For background information on the 9 May executions click here.
* For resources against the death penalty, click here.
* For background on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Penal Code, which imposes the death penalty for three classes of crime: Qesas, huddud, and ta’zirat, click here.
A big step forward for the people of Iran’s revolution against the Islamic Republic!
Today, people in Sanandaj, Mahabad, Bokan, Kamyaran, Miaandoaab, Oshnavieh, Nowsood, Piranshahr, Saghez, Baaneh, Divaandareh, Dehgalaan, Naghadeh, Sardasht, Javaanrood, Ravaansar, Rabat and all other cities and towns in Kurdistan carried out a successful general strike, despite undeclared province-wide martial law and all other measures the regime had resorted to. Almost all schools, universities and 80% of shopping centers and workplaces were closed. The Islamic Regime found itself, clearer than ever, surrounded by the ocean of people’s hatred! This strike was not just a powerful, magnificent response to the recent cruel execution of 5 political activists. It was not just a crucial step in defeating the regime’s policies of execution and terrorization of the people. It was an act with far-reaching consequences that will radically change the balance of political power against the regime. In a word, it was a significant step forward in the revolution of the people against the Islamic regime and for freedom and equality.
The general strike in Kurdistan on May 13th, 2010, will be remembered as an historic act, and as an historic day, in the process of the Kurdish people’s struggle in the Iranian revolution. People took part in the strike in their millions and broke the wall of the ever-more-severe repression in Kurdistan, thus pushing the Iranian revolution one significant step forward. It will raise the spirits of the people all across Iran and greatly intensify the regime’s desperation and hopelessness. After May 13th, the people in Tehran, Ahvaz, Mashhad, and so on, will feel much stronger in their fight against the Islamic regime!
The mass strike in Kurdistan will also radicalize the current revolution in Iran even further, and swing it more to the left. Kurdistan has always remained the “fortress of the revolution” of 1979. The people in Kurdistan have always said “no” to the murderous Islamic regime. The broadest masses have always shown the deepest hatred towards the regime and all its factions. Now that the people have actively set foot in the arena of political struggle, they show a fact ever more vividly, that is, what goes on in Iran is not a movement to “reform” the regime but a revolution to bury it in its entirety. Meanwhile the “revolutionary Kurdistan”, in general, and the “red Sanandaj”, in particular, have been the stronghold of organized left, revolutionism and communism since the 1979 revolution. The idea of a general strike in Kurdistan per se, the fact that it was called by the communists, the fact that it gained the support of all political forces in Kurdistan, and the fact that it took such huge dimensions in practice, provide yet another air-tight proof that the Iranian revolution turns more and more to the left as it goes further and further ahead.
The general strike of May 13th in Kurdistan showed something else too. It took place following the extensive, vigorous protests by the Iranians living abroad against the execution of five political prisoners in Iran. These protests were supported by the people within Iran. It all goes to prove, once more, that all the people in Iran share the same destiny in their struggle for liberation. The general strike by the people in Kurdistan was a manifestation of our slogan: ‘“No!” to ethnic state! “No!” to religious state! “Yes” to humanist state!’ Right, nationalist forces, as well as the regime itself, i.e., all the forces that seek to divide the people along ethnic and/or religious lines, received a fierce blow in the general strike in Kurdistan.
Finally, the general strike in Kurdistan was a great step forward also in that it promoted the tactics and forms of struggle, and thus contributed to the clearer articulation of the current revolution. It added, in practice, besides street demonstrations, “general strike” to the tactics of revolutionary struggle. At the present moment the adoption of this tactic is an absolute necessity for the revolution to advance. There is no doubt that today’s move by the heroic people in Kurdistan will set a pattern for the revolution across Iran.
The Worker-communist Party salutes the people in Kurdistan and congratulates all freedom-loving people, all the communists and the various political parties who made today’s strike a success.
Down with the Islamic regime of Iran!
Humanist revolution for a humanist state!
For a socialist republic!
Worker-Communist Party of Iran
May 13, 2010
Baneh, Rabt, Sardasht, Nagdeh, Oshnaviyeh have joined strike.
After the security forces attacked an elderly man in Shushmi area in the town of Nosavad, there have been clashes between people and the security for the past two hours which continues. There are reports that shots have been fired there.
In Dehgalan, there are reports that youth and people have come out in protest; shots have been fired by the security forces and clashes continue.
The families of the five executed political prisoners returned back home without the bodies of their loved ones. The regime has refused to hand over their bodies to their bereaved families. They have told the families that they will inform them of where they have been buried in ten days time whilst adding that they will be buried in a special place given that they were not ‘Muslims.’ The regime is holding their bodies as hostage and has warned the families not to hold memorial ceremonies for them and not to participate in the 13 May general strike.
The regime has also been putting pressure on the families of the executed. Ali Heydarian’s brother was summoned to warn their family not to take part in the strike. Shirin’s mother and sister, and later grandfather, uncle and cousin were arrested and then released on bail.
There are reports that the security forces have come out in full force in the neighbourhood of Farzad Kamangar’s family who have returned home but people are refusing to leave them on their own.