Friday July 2nd: Against Stoning Everywhere!

Global Protest Against the Stoning Verdict of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani!

Those responsible for stoning should be prosecuted in an International court.

In response to the plight of the children of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Campaign to Save Sakine calls upon you to protest against this verdict in any possible way.

Sakine’s life and her children’s future are in danger. How could a child witness its own mother’s death by stoning and live a normal life? What is this savagery and barbarity which interferes in the most private matters of an adult individual’s life then judges and condemns that individual to a most violent death by stoning? This act of savagery must be confronted by a wave of opposition by everyone who has heard this horrendous news.

Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani is confined in Tabriz prison, her two applications for pardon have not been answered, and her stoning verdict has been transmitted to Tabriz prison to be executed. The only way to save Sakine is through intensive global protest.

An appeal from Sakine’s children has so far been translated into 12 languages and published in hundreds of blogs. Numerous Farsi sites have echoed their letter and the interview with Sakine’s lawyer, Mr. Mohammad Mostafayi. During the past 24 hours, the Islamic regime’s officials have received 600 letters of protest with copies addressed to us.

We once again call upon all women rights organizations, advocates of human rights, and everyone across the world to assist us to save Sakine’s life. We must prevent this human catastrophe from happening.

Join us in protest on Friday, everywhere – in Iran, in Europe, Canada and the USA – everywhere in the world join us against stoning, this pure barbarity. We can not allow them to torture Sakine to death by stoning. This is savagery and should be stopped by any means possible.

Save Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani Campaign
June 28th 2010

Contacts
+491775692413

http://stopstonningnow.com/sakine
http://missionfreeiran.wordpress.com

http://iransolidarity.org.uk

Please help our mother return home! Stop Sakine’s stoning now!

Iran Solidarity calls on all to step up their protests against the impending stoning to death of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Below is a letter from her children translated by the International Committee against Stoning:

Do not allow our nightmare become a reality, protest our mother’s stoning!

Today we stretch out our hands to the people of the whole world. It is now five years that we have lived in fear and in horror, deprived of motherly love. Is the world so cruel that it can watch this catastrophe and do nothing about it?

We are Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s children, Faride and Sajjad Mohamamadi Ashtiani. Since our childhood we have been acquainted with the pain of knowing that our mother is imprisoned and awaiting a catastrophe. To tell the truth, the term “stoning” is so horrific that we try never to use it. We instead say our mother is in danger, she might be killed, and she deserves everyone’s help.

Today, with nearly all our options reaching a dead-end, and our mother’s lawyer says that she is in a dangerous situation, we resort to you. We resort to the people of the world, no matter who you are and where in the world you live. We resort to you, people of Iran, all of you who have experienced the pain and anguish of the horror of losing a loved one.

Please help our mother return home!

We especially stretch our hand out to Iranians living abroad. Help to prevent this nightmare from becoming reality. Save our mother. We are unable to explain the anguish of every moment, every second of our lives. Words are unable to articulate our fear…

Help to save our mother. Write to and ask officials to free her.

Tell them that she doesn’t have a civil complainant and has not done any wrong. Our mother should not be killed. Is there anyone hearing this and rushing to our assistance?

Faride and Sajjad Mohammadi Ashtiani

Iran Solidarity calls on all to sign the petition here and send letters of protest to:

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: via website (put given name in first starred box, family name in second starred box, and email address in third. Paste appeal in large box)

Also join an Amnesty International campaign to end stoning by clicking here.

Rescue Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani,Prosecute leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran!

In two weeks’ time, on July 11, we remember the anniversary of Maryam Ayubi’s stoning. And these days, we endeavour to save Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani from stoning. Maryam was —like Sakine— a mother of two children.

Maryam’s kids know that when their mother, who was imprisoned in Evin at the time, heard that she would be stoned, she passed out in fear. She was transported on a stretcher in order to carry out the act of stoning. That was in 2001. Maryam’s children now live in Tehran with nightmares that do not leave them in peace…

As the chairperson of the International Committee Against Execution, I have listened to kids whose mothers have been stoned during the past 31 years of Islamic fascist reign. One of them was a man from Kerman. He called me on my mobile and said, “If you know any court in the world which would accept my indictment let me know!” In response to my question of “What indictment?” he replied, “My mother was stoned in those early years of Islamic Republic reign.”

I was shaken by hearing the horrendous tale of this 43 year old man, who at the time was only a kid. He said his mother was an outspoken critique of the regime and especially Khomeini from day one. She was a teacher and had spoken against the regime and authorities at work. “One day when we were all having lunch, they stormed in and took my mother with them… it all happened so quickly. It didn’t even take two weeks when, one day, they announced in the town ‘come and witness a women being stoned.’ That woman was my mother.”

He said that with fear and in a state of shock, he went and from a distance witnessed his mother being stoned to death …he believes though that his mother was still alive when buried. This man has sent me his indictment against the savage thuggery of this anti-human, fascist regime, to be introduced to an international court.

I challenge this regime! As a women’s rights activist, as the chairperson of a committee against stoning who has accompanied numerous families in their unequal battle against stoning verdicts; as a person who constantly hears the echo of the voices of children whose mothers were stoned; and today as a person who struggles to save Sakine’s life: On behalf of myself, and hundreds of women and men who have been stoned in Iran, I announce to the whole world indictment of this regime.

Stoning is barbaric and medieval. Stoning is a purely political issue, and I have never taken the mutterings of the supporters of reform and a mild interpretation of the Quraan seriously. To suppress the people, to strengthen its bloody foundations, this regime needed stoning, and with complete disregard of even its own unjustified and medieval “Code of Islamic Punishment,” it would decide to stone someone, and it would hunt its prey this way. If there was unrest, if there was a strike or protest in a city, if a region did not submit to the regime, they dug a hole, buried a woman to the waistline, and tortured her to death so others learned a lesson. This has been the function of stoning, and muttering to the regime for a better interpretation of the laws, or discovering holes in the laws, has never, ever been and is not the answer.

In my speeches against stoning, I always say that when I heard, for the first time, of an 18 year old girl who was stoned, I told to myself: “Mina – wait until the world knows of this pain, of this suffering, of such an ugly wound on its body. Wheels will stand still, clocks will stop, until the world responds accordingly to this violent attack against itself.” Thirty-one years past that moment, the world patiently – and of course with the assistance of the herd of cultural relativists and intellectuals and the “feminists” who are too important for these petite “problems” – carried on with its life, and western governments rolled out red carpets for these murderers, shut their eyes to these atrocities, and went on concluding their deals with this misogynist, fascist regime.

I condemn a world which, in the 21st century and with total endurance, swallowed hundreds of stonings and pretended that nothing had happened. I condemn international institutions and organisations that kept silent about this catastrophe. I condemn the European Union and the European Council which a few days ago discussed prohibition of burqa in Europe and its contradiction to human rights of the “Muslim woman,” yet in 31 years has not said a word about stoning and its contradiction to human rights and the rights of women.

It’s an upside down world.

Thanks to Iranian people’s struggle, thanks to a revolution against the Islamic regime, three decades of silence by international institutions and organisations is breaking. We should not only rise united and together and act against stoning of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani, but demand prosecution of the Islamic Republic’s leaders for stoning of hundreds of women and men, a demand which should echo ever stronger and be realized by our united efforts.

Mina Ahadi
June 27th 2010

Two pleas for support

I have received two emails asking for public support so I am posting them here on my blog.

The first is from Sami Ahmed calling for justice for her mother from the Bangladeshi government. You can sign the petition here

The other is from an Iranian refugee Javad Riazi Ahmad Saraei needing assistance on his case. Here is a petition you can sign.

June 20 a huge success against Sharia and religious laws!

Several hundred people joined One Law for All on 20 June at Downing Street to show their opposition to Sharia and religious-based laws in Britain and elsewhere and to demand universal rights and secularism.

A new report “Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights” was published on the day to coincide with the rally. Human rights activist Gita Sahgal said of the report: “I think it is highly significant that in Britain there has been silence where there should have been condemnation. There is active support for ‘Sharia laws’ precisely because it is limited to denying women rights in the family. No hands are being cut off, so there can’t be a problem. Unfortunately for us, senior law officers will find that human rights expert bodies often have a similar attitude. They have done little research on the impact of family laws and the denial of justice caused by parallel systems of justice. That is why the findings of this report are so important. It is such dedicated work that changes the thinking of the experts.”

She went on to say: “This campaign stands at the heart of a debate over the future of Britain. It also stands at the heart of global attempts to destroy the most basic rights, to invade liberty and to crush equality and to do this in the name of upholding and promoting human rights. We stand here today facing down forces of racism and fundamentalism as we struggle for secularism.”

The pro-Sharia Al-Muhajiroun organised a counter-demonstration to the One Law for All rally. One of their members said: “We find many of these people who call for human rights and one law. They come and they say that they want equality. But what equality do you get when one man legislates over another?” In response, One Law for All Spokesperson, Maryam Namazie, said: “The fight against Sharia law is a fight against Islamism not Muslims, immigrants and people living under Sharia here or elsewhere. So it is very apt for the Islamists to hold a counter-demonstration against our rally. This is where the real battleground lies. With a few members of the far Right English Defence League also there to showcase their bigotry, it became abundantly clear to everyone why our Campaign is fast becoming the banner carrier for universal rights, equality, and one secular law for all in this country and beyond.”

MC Fariborz Pooya of the Iranian Secular Society said: “The One Law for All Campaign has brought to centre stage an important debate about the kind of society we want to live in whilst defending the rights of everyone irrespective of religion, race, nationality…; this Campaign is truly the voice of the voiceless.”

Women’s rights campaigner Yasmin Rehman said: “We Muslims have been a part of the UK for many, many years but the generations before me did not feel the need for or call for segregation in the way that is being demanded now. At the beginning of my career as a women’s rights advocate there was no need to apply for a certificate of Khula in divorce cases. Muslim women are now being told that divorces under the English legal system are not valued or recognised without a certificate of Khula – and should they remarry without this they will be committing Zina – a ‘crime’ punishable by death in many Muslim countries. This is not a view shared by all Islamic scholars but a view that is being pushed through the Islamic councils and tribunals across the UK.”

Anna Waters of One Law for All’s Legal Team said: “Any reasonable interpretation of the Human Rights Act shows us that there are certain things that it doesn’t allow – and one of the things it doesn’t allow is for a woman to have an inferior or second class status when she stands before a judge in a court of law. This is exactly what is happening…”

Sue Robson of the Gay And Lesbian Humanist Association said: “This is a human rights issue. Here in the UK, it’s an egalitarian issue; it’s a feminist issue. Elsewhere in our world, the issue is life – and death.”

Gerard Phillips of the National Secular Society said that Sharia Law was “nothing less than an attack on human rights and on equality.” He went on to say: “It undermines our democracy. It must be opposed.”

The rally also heard from others including Naomi Phillips of the British Humanist Association, poets from the Anti-Injustice Movement and singer Adam Barnett.

Protestors then joined a march organised by Iran Solidarity to the embassy of the Islamic regime of Iran. Patty Debonitas of Iran Solidarity UK said: “By coming today you are showing your solidarity with the people here who are victimised under Sharia law and people in Iran who are being victimised under the state power of Sharia.” The rally was held on 20 June to mark the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan at a protest in Tehran last year and link the fight against Sharia here with that in Iran and elsewhere.

On the day, Maryam Namazie was interviewed on BBC 1 TV’s Breakfast Programme, and some other media outlets.

Notes:

1. The new One Law for All report “Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights” can be downloaded free of charge or a paperback copy purchased from One Law for All for £5.00 plus £2.00 Shipping and Handling. To purchase the book or donate to the work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque to our address below or pay via Paypal. One Law for All wants to send the report to MPs, the Archbishop of Canterbury and others. It would be very helpful if you could buy extra copies for us to send on to others free of charge.

2. Full speeches of speakers will be available on the website soon as will video footage of the day. Photos can be found here.

3. The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable.

4. For further information contact:
Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
[email protected]
www.onelawforall.org.uk

Stand up and be counted!

Hundreds will be demonstrating in London against Sharia and religious laws and in support of secularism and universal rights today, Sunday 20 June 2010. The rally organised by the One Law for All Campaign will be held from 1400-1600 hours at Richmond Terrace junction with Whitehall opposite Downing Street (SW1A 2). (Please note venue change from Trafalgar Square made by police; closest underground: Westminster.)

After the One Law for All rally, there will be a march organised by Iran Solidarity from 1600-1700 hours. The march will move from Richmond Terrace Junction to a protest at the embassy of the Islamic regime of Iran. According to Spokesperson, Maryam Namazie, “whilst racist and far Right groups like the English Defence League and the British Nationalist Party blame ‘Muslim immigration’ for Sharia law in order to further their inhuman agenda, it is people living under Islamic laws or the many who have fled Sharia and sought refuge here who are the principal victims of Islamism, and in the forefront of the struggle against it. Within this context, the One Law for All Campaign and the fight against Sharia law in Britain is an important front in the ongoing battle of people in Iran and everywhere against Islamism and for freedom, equality and secularism.”

The march will culminate in a protest rally in front of the embassy of the Islamic regime of Iran (16 Prince’s Gate, London SW7 1PT; closest underground: Knightsbridge). The event will end at 1730 hours.

Join us.

Notes:

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); Yasmin Rehman (Women’s Rights Campaigner); Gita Sahgal (Activist); Muriel Seltman (Activist); Sohaila Sharifi (Equal Rights Now); 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. June 20 marks 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 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 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.”

3. To read responses to Frequently Asked Questions, go to:
http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/about/faq/. The responses are entitled:
The affinity between the far right and the Islamists; Islam matters because of political Islam; Secularism is an important vehicle to protect society; We will have nothing to do with the English Defence League; Criticising Islam is not racist; Laws should safeguard rights not violate them; There’s no place for Sharia law in Britain; The right to asylum is a basic human right; and many more.

4. To donate to the crucial work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque to our address below or pay via Paypal by visiting: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/donate/. We need regular support that we can rely on and are asking for supporters to commit to giving at least £5-10 a month via direct debit. You can find out more about how to join the 100 Club at the above link.

5. For more information, contact:
Maryam Namazie
One Law for All and Iran Solidarity
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
[email protected]
[email protected]
www.onelawforall.org.uk
www.iransolidarity.org.uk

http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com

Hope to see on 20 June; I will be on BBC Breakfast in the morning

I’ll be on BBC TV Breakfast tomorrow at 720am speaking about Sharia and the rally. Hope to see as many as you as possible at our June 20 rally in London against the far Right and Islamism and for universal rights and secularism. A day to mark the murder of our beloved Neda in Iran.

On 20 June – we need you there

The EDL are taking to the streets with their far Right and racist politics. See a Guardian investigative piece on them here.

The Islamists – also a far Right movement – are gaining influence as we speak. Read our report on Sharia Law in Britain if you have any doubts.

Are you going to stand by and let them take centre stage or are you going to fight back – with us – against both of them.

We can push them back and defend 21st century humanity if we unite.

We are more in numbers and in strength – we only need to stand up and be counted.

Will you stand with us on 20 June – to remember our beloved Neda murdered in Iran, to show solidarity with people eveywhere living under and resisting Sharia law, to defend universal rights, secularism and equality, asylum rights, citizenship rights and to oppose racism and fascism and cultural relativism.

Join us. We need you to be there…

For more information on the 20 June rally, click here.

Stop stoning of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani

Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani – a mother of two children – is to be stoned to death by the Islamic Republic of Iran. She has already been convicted of having an ‘illicit relationship’ and been sentenced to 99 lashes. In another trial, she was sentenced to death by stoning.

Iran Solidarity and the International Committee against Stoning are outraged at her sentence and demand her immediate release. We also call on all groups and individuals to send letters of protest demanding her release and an end to the brutal practice of stoning and the death penalty.

Again on the despicable EDL

I have been responding to comments on One Law for All website for a few days now and will continue to do so until 20 June rally. Post any comments there: www.onelawforall.org.uk. Here is one on the disgusting EDL or see below:

I am getting tired of EDL-ers saying EDL is peaceful and not racist when the evidence is clear. Look you get the supporters you deserve. There is a reason why racists, and football hooligans are drawn to your events. Because that is what you represent. The reality is that people who join you or your events have an affinity to racist politics – just as those who join the Socialist Workers Party have an affinity to Islamism. It is not enough to say one is opposed to Sharia – Islamists also say they are opposed to innocents being killed. Scratch beneath the surface – and they don’t really believe many people are innocent; in fact they target the innocent because they have no respect for humanity. You are anti-Sharia first and foremost because you are racist, anti-immigrant and anti-anyone who doesn’t look like you. Yes I know you have a Sikh and some token ‘minorities’ in your group. Well, the Islamic Republic of Iran has women in its Islamic Assembly – that doesn’t make them pro-woman now does it. Frankly I despise the EDL and the far Right as much as I despise the Islamists. Now if someone writes to me to say the EDL isn’t so bad – well all I can say is you are not welcome in our ranks. Any political movement aims to mobilise its ranks – the freedom lovers – who also want freedom for others, the secularists – who want the separation of all religion from the state not just the one they perceive as a ‘foreign’ religion, the humanists – who put people before ideologies and beliefs and religion, the universalists – who want the same rights and freedoms for everyone not just the English (and only the ones who looks white)…

I hope you are coming!

I hope you are coming to the 20 June rally to mark our beloved Neda’s murder by the Islamic regime of Iran, to protest against Sharia and religious laws and to defend humanity, universal rights and secularism. We need you there – we are a majority but must come out to show our strength. See piece on rally in Pink Paper.

New Report on Sharia Law in Britain for 20 June rally

New Report by One Law for All

“Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights”

A new report by One Law for All has found Sharia Councils and Muslim Arbitration Tribunals to be in violation of UK law, public policy and human rights.

Read the press release about the report here.

Download the full report here.

The report is being launched to coincide with a 20 June 2010 rally on the issue of Sharia law. (Please note last minute venue change made by police.

Notes:

1. The report can be downloaded free of charge or a paperback copy purchased from One Law for All for £5.00 plus £2.00 Shipping and Handling. To purchase the book or donate to the work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque to our address below or pay via Paypal.

2. The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable.

3. For further information contact:

Maryam Namazie

Spokesperson

One Law for All

BM Box 2387

London WC1N 3XX, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

[email protected]

www.onelawforall.org.uk

Imprisoned workers, teachers, and all political prisoners should be freed immediately

Worker activists have recently come under intensified pressure from the regime, and several additional worker activists have been arrested and imprisoned. These arrests serve as indicators of the regime’s fear of workers entering the scene. They serve both to confront activists’ efforts to organize workers and to intimidate the whole society. But the head of the regime should know that today, every factory is a stronghold for strike and struggle, and in each factory, tens of worker activists rise to unite and organize their fellow workers. We assure the heads of the regime that arrests, harassment, and persecution of worker activists will not obstruct the process of unifying and organizing workers.

Saeed Torabian, an official of Vahed Syndicate, was arrested on June 9. On June 12, Reza Shahabi, a member of the board of directors of the Vahed Syndicate, was arrested. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a pipe worker at Shourabad pipe manufacturing in Shahr-e Rey, a member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organizations, and a children’s rights activist, was also arrested on June 12 and subjected to intense beating; it is believed that two of his ribs are broken. In the past few days, security forces have unsuccessfully sought Habib Rezapour, an active member of Vahed Syndicate, at his home. Alireza Akhawan, a co-worker of the Foundation of Defenders of Workers Rights, was arrested on June 3rd. Pezhman Rahimi, an active worker from the Khuzestan region, was arrested on April 17, charged with disturbing the peace, and sentenced by the General Court of Ahvaz to a year’s imprisonment and 40 lashes. Rahimi had previously been accused of agitating Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane workers and the Pipe Manufacturing Workers of Ahvaz and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

Information agents and Pasdars from Kamyaran and the villages of Gashki and Gazerkhani arrested Kaveh Golmhammadi, a worker activist and member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organizations, along with his 18 year old brother Kianoush Gholmohammadi, on Thursday June 3rd. Both are students. From 9am to 6pm , they were detained in the police station in Ghazarkhani, where they were subjected to pressure and harassment. The regime’s thugs have threatened Kaveh Golmohammadi, demanding that he stop his activities; they have also tried to access information from his mobile phone.

In addition to these cases, six leaders of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane workers, Ali Nejati, Fereidoon Nikofar, Ghorban Alipour, Mohammad Heidari and Reza Rakhshan were fired from their jobs for trying to organize workers. Each has been arrested before and spent time in prison. Mansour Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, from Vahed Syndicate’s leadership, have been imprisoned for an extended period of time. Osanloo in particular has been continuously harassed, pressured, and conspired against by the regime.

A number of teachers also have been imprisoned, among them, Abdol Reza Ghanbari( who has been sentenced to death) Seyed Hashem Khastar, Rasoul Bodaghi,, Abdollah Momeni, Mahmood Bheshti Langerudi, Ali Akbar Baghani, Mohammad Davari, Ali Reza Hashemi, Hosein Bastani -Nezhad, and Gorban Ahmadi.

This provides only the broad outlines of the Islamic Republic’s oppression against workers, teachers, workers leaders, and activists, and against the arisen masses. But each incident first and foremost is an indicator of the fact that there is an ongoing vast mobilization of workers and teachers towards organizing. The Islamic Republic’s fear is grounded in their knowledge that once workers and teachers have been mobilized, no degree of suppression, arrests or lay-offs can stop peoples’ revolution.

The party calls upon all workers and workers’ organizations, all teachers and students, university students of the whole country, organizations advocating women’s rights, and revolutionary youth to intensify their struggle, confront these arrests, and demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of all workers, teachers and political prisoners, including the 22nd Khordad (June 12) arrestees.

All case files should be discarded, workers and teachers who have been laid off should be reinstated, and compensation of lost wages should be issued for those who spent time in prison or were laid off. Protests against these arrests by workers’ organizations inside Iran, as well as by international organizations, have begun and are now in need of becoming more widespread and developing into larger coordinated actions. The party calls upon all international organizations, institutions, and concerned humanitarian individuals to join this struggle.

The struggle to free worker activists, teacher activists, and all political prisoners is an important pillar to overthrow the Islamic Republic. We should everywhere, in all gatherings, resolutions, and petitions, loudly declare these demands.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
June 14, 2010

Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights

Press Release
For Immediate Distribution
17 June 2010

New Report by One Law for All

“Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights”

A new report by One Law for All has found Sharia Councils and Muslim Arbitration Tribunals to be in violation of UK law, public policy and human rights. See report here.

The report is being launched to coincide with a 20 June 2010 rally on the issue of Sharia law.

Based on an 8 March 2010 Seminar on Sharia Law, research, interviews, and One Law for All case files, the report has identified a number of problem areas:

- Sharia law’s civil code is arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular. With the rise in the acceptance of Sharia courts, discrimination is being further institutionalised with some UK law firms additionally offering clients advice on Sharia law and the use of collaborative law.

- Sharia law is practiced in Britain primarily by Sharia Councils and Muslims Arbitration Tribunals. Both operate on religious principles and are harmful to women although Muslim Arbitration Tribunals are wrongly regarded as being of more concern because they operate as tribunals under the Arbitration Act 1996, making their rulings binding in law.

- Sharia Councils, on the other hand, claim to mediate on family issues but in practice often this differs little from arbitration: they frequently ask those appearing before them to sign an agreement to abide by their decisions; they call themselves courts, and the presiding imams, judges. Their decisions are then imposed and regarded as having the weight of legal judgements.

- There is neither control over the appointment of “judges” in Sharia Councils or Tribunals nor an independent mechanism for monitoring them. Clients often do not have access to legal advice and representation. The proceedings are not recorded, nor are there any searchable legal judgements, nor any real right of appeal.

- Sharia law cannot be compared to secular legal systems because it is considered sacred law that cannot be challenged. There is no scope to look at the interests of the individuals involved, as required by UK family law.

- These legal processes ignore both common law and due process, far less Human Rights, and provide little protection and safety for women in violent situations.

- There is a general assumption that those who attend Sharia courts do so voluntarily and that unfair decisions can be challenged in a British court. Many of the principles of Sharia law are contrary to British law and public policy, and would in theory therefore be unlikely to be upheld in a British court. In reality, however, women are often pressured by their families into going to these courts and adhering to unfair decisions, and may lack knowledge of English and their rights under British law. Moreover, refusal to settle a dispute in a Sharia court can give rise to threats and intimidation, or at best being ostracised.

According to Maryam Namazie, spokesperson of the One Law for All Campaign and an author of the report, “The existence of a parallel legal system that is denying a large section of the British population their fundamental human rights is scandalous. Our findings show that it is essential to abolish all religious courts in the UK. Their very existence and legitimisation puts pressure on vulnerable women not to assert their civil rights in a British court. As long as Sharia Councils and Tribunals are allowed to continue to make rulings on issues of family law, women will be pressured into accepting decisions which are prejudicial to them and their children.”

The report recommends that Sharia courts be closed on the grounds that they work against rather than for equality, and are incompatible with human rights. Recommendations include:
1. initiating a Human Rights challenge to Muslim Arbitration Tribunals and/or Sharia Councils
2. amending the Arbitration Act under which the Muslim Arbitration Tribunals operate in a similar way to which the Canadian equivalent of the Arbitration Act was amended in 2005 to exclude religious arbitration
3. launching a major and nationwide helpline and information campaign to inform people of their rights under British law
4. proposing legislation under the EU Citizens Rights Initiative to address the issue EU-wide, and
5. strengthening secularism and the separation of religion from the state, the judicial system and education, in order to more fully protect citizenship rights.

The full report can be downloaded here.

Notes:

1. The report can be downloaded free of charge or a paperback copy purchased from One Law for All for £5.00 plus £2.00 Shipping and Handling. To purchase the book or donate to the work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque to our address below or pay via Paypal.

2. The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable.

3. For further information contact:
Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
[email protected]
www.onelawforall.org.uk

Farsi Press Release on June 20 rally and march

روز یکشنبه ٢٠ ژوئن میتینگ و راهپیمائی در لندن

همراه با نمایش فیلم، موزیک و شعر

میتینگ در لندن مقابل نخست وزیری از ٢ تا ٤ بعدازظهر علیه قوانین اسلامی و حکومت اسلامی در ایران و علیه قوانین شریعه در انگلیس و در همه جا. سکولاریسم و حقوق جهانشمول و برابر برای زن و مرد و همه مردم، دو خواست مهم مردم ایران و جریانات مترقی در همه جای دنیا است. نهاد “قانون برابر برای همه” همه ایرانیان منزجر از قوانین اسلامی و حکومت اسلامی را به شرکت در این میتینگ فرامیخواند تا جلو دست درازی جریانات اسلامی در جامعه انگلیس را بگیریم. امروز مردم ایران در خط مقدم مبارزه علیه قوانین شریعه هستند و در خارج کشور نیز باید تجارت ارزنده خود را در خدمت گسترش مبارزه علیه جریانات اسلامی که اکثرا توسط جمهوری اسلامی و سایر دولتهای مرتجع اسلامی تغذیه میشوند ایفا کنند.

راهپیمائی از ساعت ٤ بعدازظهر از نخست وزیری به طرف سفارت جمهوری اسلامی در همبستگی با مردم ایران و در گرامیداشت یاد جانباختگان راه آزادی و برابری و گرامیداشت ندا سمبل مبارزه مردم ایران برای یک جامعه برابر و انسانی شروع میشود. این راهپیمائی را ایران سولیداریتی سازمان داده است. ایران سولیداریتی ابزار مهمی برای جلب همبستگی با مردم ایران است که با شروع تظاهرات میلیونی مردم در تعدادی از کشورها شروع شد و تاکنون نقش ارزنده ای در شناساندن چهره کثیف جمهوری اسلامی و شناساندن چهره حق طلبانه و آزادیخواهانه مردم ایران به افکار عمومی در انگلیس و برخی کشورهای دیگر داشته است. در این راهپیمائی شرکت کنید کمک کنید که تعداد هرچه بیشتری از مردم انگلیس به حمایت از مبارزه مردم ایران جلب شوند.

سخنرانان و نمایش دهندگان تظاهرات لندن: ای کی 47 (شاعر خیابان)، اسد عباس (شورای اکس مسلم بریتانیا)، آر وای عالم (شاعر)، آدم بارنت (موزیسین)، اسماعیل ایناش (قانون یکسان برای همه)، دیوید فیشر (خواننده، ترانه سرا)، لیلیت (شاعر خیابان)، لیریکال ایجنت (ای ام سی) رونی میا (وکلی، حامعه وکلای سکولار)، مریم نمازی (قانون یکسان برای همه و ایران سولیداریتی)، جرارد فیلیپس (جامعه سراسری سکولاریستها)، نایومی فیلیپس (انجمن اومانیستهای انگلیس) فریبرز پویا (جامعه سکولاریستهای ایران)، برنت لی ریگان (ای ام سی)، یاسمسن رحمان (کمپینر حقوق زنان)، گیتا ساغل (آکتیویست)، سهیلا شریفی (علیه تبعیض، سازمان دفاع از حقوق زن)، موریل سلتمن (اکتیویست)، پیتر تاچل (کمپینر حقوق بشر) و … همچنین بخشی از فیلمی برای ندا به کارگردانی آنتونی توماس به نمایش گذاشته می شود.
قانون برابر برای همه
ایران سولیداریتی
ژوئن ٢٠١٠

میتینگ از ساعت ٢ تا ٤ بعدازظهر در محوطه مقابل دفتر نخست وزیری در تقاطع Richmond Terrace با Whitehall ، مقابل Downing Street (SW1A 2) نزدیک ترین ایستگاه قطار وست مینستر
راهپیمائی: ساعت ٤ بطرف سفارت جمهوری اسلامی

[email protected]
www.onelawforall.org.uk
www.iransolidarity.org.uk

http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com