Against Forced and Child Marriages

Here is my speech against forced marriages and child “marriages” given at a January 2015 event organised at the Swedish parliament by the brilliant Sara Mohammad​ who organised a series of events to mark the 12th Anniversary of Fadime Sahindal’s honour killing in Stockholm, Sweden. She is founder of Never forget Pela and Fadime National organisation- GAPF. 

Here is video footage of a panel discussion which followed our individual presentations with myself, Chaz Akoshile of the British Forced Marriages Unit and Houzan Mahmoud, Iraqi Kurdish women’s rights campaigner.

On the disgusting pro-Islamist Left

Watch this week’s Bread and Roses TV with Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya in English. Persian is below.

It’s on the disgusting pro-Islamist Left and includes an interview with Reza Moradi, Director of Bread and Roses, who blasted an Islamist at his university recently

Shocking news of the week is on the lynching of Farkhondeh in Afghanistan for reportedly burning a Koran
Insane fatwa of the week is Khamenei’s fatwa against Chaharshanbeh suri
Good news of the week is that rhe world did not end as one pastor had warned due to the eclipse
Background: The “anti-imperialist” and pro-Islamist Left use multiculturalism, charges of racism and Islamophobia, amongst others, to defend the far-Right Islamist movement. This politics betrays the dissenters and victims of Islamism and also the very principles that the Left has historically defended (from social justice, egalitarianism, secularism, universalism, and human liberation, including from religion).
Director: Reza Moradi
Translation: Khosro Gharib

در نقد چپ طرفدار اسلام سياسى؛ برنامه نان و گل سرخ با مريم نمازى و فريبرز پويا
۲۵ مارس ۲۰۱۵
مصاحبه با رضا مرادى کارگردان نان و گل سرخ
اخبار شکه آور اين هفته: جنايت وحشيانه عليه فرخنده ۲۷ ساله در افغانستان
چپ ضد امپرياليستي و هوادار جنبش اسلامي دفاع از جنبش افراتي و دست راستي اسلامي را در پوشش چند فرهنگي،اسلام ضدايي و مقابله با راسيسم پيش ميبرد.
اين سياست با زير پشت كردن به مخالفين و قربانيان اسلام سياسي و همچنين زير پا پشت كردن به اصولي كه تاريخا چپ با ان شناخته ميشود مانند عدالت اجتماعي ، برابري ، سكولاريسم ، جهانشمولي و رهاي بشر بخصوص از مذهب پيش برده ميشود.
فتواى احمقانه: از خامنه اى عليه چهارشنبهسورى
خبر خوب: دنيا به پايان نرسيد!
کارگردان: رضا مرادى
ترجمه: خسرو قريب

Free Jafar Azimzadeh now

The following is the translation of the statement by the Free Union of Workers of Iran (Ettehadieh Azad e Kargaran e Iran) following the sentencing of Jafar Azimzadeh, the President of the Free Union, for his trade union activities. Our campaign condemns this blatant attack by the government in Iran on the Free Union and worker activists, and demands the immediate revoking of these sentences, and the release from prison of all worker activists currently in prison for defending workers’ rights. We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world to condemn this latest attack on the Free Union and Jafar Azimzadeh and to demand an immediate end to the persecution of workers and labour activists in Iran.

Free Them Now! – Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

Six years in prison and a two-year ban on trade union activity for Jafar Azimzadeh

Statement by the Free Union of Workers of Iran

Jafar Azimzadeh, the President of the Free Union of Workers of Iran, and one of the coordinators of the 40,000-signature minim-pay rise campaign, has been sentenced by Branch 15 of the Revolution Court to a total of six years in prison: five years on the charge of gathering and collusion with intent to act against national security and to disturb the public peace, according to Article 610 of the Islamic Penal Code, and one year in prison on the charge of propaganda against the Islamic Republic, according to Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code. He has also been banned for two years from membership of political parties and groups and of activity on the cyberspace and the media on the charge of illegal activities, according to Article 23 of the Islamic Penal Code.

The five-page ruling by Branch 15 of the Revolution Court is based on the following instances: the building of the Free Union of Workers of Iran, the National Union of Unemployed Workers and the Committee to Follow Up the Formation of Free Labour Organisations; taking part in the International Workers’ Day rally in Laleh Park in 2009, leading workers in the 2005 protests, organising, planning and managing workers’ gatherings under the current government and threatening to call rallies and strikes in March 2013, collecting 40,000 workers’ signatures for a petition and leading the rallies outside the National Assembly and the Labour Ministry, threatening the Labour Ministry in a letter to the Labour Minister to hold a rally on this year’s International Workers’ Day outside the Labour Ministry in protest at the announced [level of the] minimum wage, lodging a complaint, on behalf of 1,000 workers, against Saeed Mortazavi and others who have plundered the Social Welfare Fund to the tune of 3,000 billion Toman, protest at even worse anti-labour amendments in the Labour Law, meeting with other independent workers’ organisations, such as the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company, Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Workers Union, the Co-ordinating Committee to Form Free Labour Organisations, the Committee to Follow Up the Formation of Free Labour Organisations and giving interviews to the website of the Free Union of Workers of Iran and a number of international news media.

In the court ruling the attempt has been made to link Jafar Azimzadeh to a left organisation in the beginning of the 1979 revolution, when he was 12 to 13 years old, stating that “he was born with Marxist views”, so as to portray all of his legal and legitimate activities as a political action against the system, and thus as a basis for his prosecution.

This attempt by the intelligence and judicial officers of Branch 15 of the Revolution Court has been made at a time when there is not even a shred of evidence in his file or in the court ruling that Jafar Azimzadeh has acted against national security in the guise of trade union activity. According to the documents in his file, the interrogations and the instances cited in the court ruling, all that has led to the detention and trial of Jafar Azimzadeh and the six-year sentence against him is nothing but defending the right to life of workers in Iran and the right of millions of working-class families to a human existence.

The handing of such a sentence against Jafar Azimzadeh and the continuation of the policy of detaining members of independent workers’ organisations, such as Koorosh Bakhshandeh and other members of the committee, the mass trial of 28 workers of Chador Malou mine, the detention of Milad Darvish in the teachers’ legitimate protest in front of the National Assembly, the flogging sentences against Raazi Petrochemical workers, the collaboration of the Labour Ministry with the employers of Zagros Steel to lay off the workers of the company, the detention of the workers of Esfahan Polyacryl Company, the detention and threatening of the workers of Loushan Cement, the disgusting puppetry by the hired workers’ representatives in the Supreme Council of Labour, and the conniving by the [government’s] Labour House to impose a disgraceful pay on the working class in Iran, the detention of Jamil Mohammadi and the handing of a three and a half year sentence against him, the detention of Shapour Ehsanirad, Parvin Mohammadi and Tehran bus workers on May Day, the re-sentencing of jailed worker Behnam Ebrahimzadeh to a further nine and a half years in prison, harassment of labour activist Mohammad Jarahi in the central prison of Tabriz, the appointment of one of the highest ranking intelligence officers to the post of Labour Minister, and the full deployment of intelligence and security personnel in this ministry, etc., these actions mean nothing other than forcing the workers to yield to absolute slavery and declaration of an open war on the life and livelihood of the working class in Iran by the so-called ‘prudence and hope’ government of the marauding capitalists.

Undoubtedly, just as the repressions so far by the rulers against workers’ leaders, representatives and activists have failed to impede the struggle of the workers in Iran for a human life, as witnessed in the ongoing protests and strikes by thousands of workers and teachers around the country, so the sentences against Jafar Azimzadeh and Jamil Mohammadi will not dent the resolve and determination of workers and members of the Free Union of Workers in their defence of the right to life and livelihood of workers.

The Free Union of Workers of Iran, while condemning the six-year prison sentence and the two-year ban on activity against Jafar Azimzadeh, declares that it will not remain silent on such vicious sentences against Jafar Azimzadeh and Jamil Mohammadi, and will protest against these sentences both inside Iran and by taking this case to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Our Union will not let these two staunch labour activists, who are among the distinguished leaders of the Free Union of Workers and the workers’ movement in Iran, to be sacrificed to the repressive interests of a pillaging minority, who by imposing extreme poverty on millions of working-class families see no other tasks for themselves in running the country than ripping off workers of their meagre earnings.

Jafar Azimzadeh and Jamil Mohammadi have not committed any other crime than round-the-clock struggle to improve the condition of workers, and curb the raids on workers’ bare tables by the plunderers, through such campaigns as the 40,000-signature petition and legal protests for a rise in the minimum wage and by launching complaints against those who have ripped workers off. The conviction of these two activists and the passing of the six-year sentence against Jafar Azimzadeh in the space of only 13 days is happening at a time when no action has been taken after one year in response to the complaint by Jafar Azimzadeh, Jamil Mohammadi and their colleagues, on behalf of 1,000 workers, against Saeed Mortazavi and others who have ransacked workers’ savings in the Social Welfare Fund, leaving them to continue to live in their billion-Toman homes on the spoils they have pocketed.

There is no doubt that taking such brutal measures against workers who have complained against those who have robbed them of their earnings, and who are demanding an end to the economic oppression against millions of working-class families, will not only not force us workers to surrender to the existing oppressive situation, but will add to the hatred and disgust of the workers and people of Iran towards the current situation.

The Free Union of Workers of Iran
15 March 2015

Translated from the Farsi original by Free Them Now! – Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

Happy Nowrooz

Watch this week’s Bread and Roses TV programme with Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya:

Happy Nowrooz!

Celebrating Nowruz and remembering the highlights of the past year with Chris Moos, Gita Sahgal, Imad Iddine Habib, Mersedeh Ghaedi, Pragna Patel and Sirvan Ghaderi
17 March 2015
Shocking News: Quran teacher in Turkey telling children who don’t wear hejab, they deserve to be raped
Insane Fatwa: Khamenei and his criticism of existing policy on contraception, describing it as an imitation of western lifestyle turning Iranian women into baby-making machines
Good News: Sweden tore up arms deal with Saudi Arabia due to human rights situation and Raif Badawi’s case
Background Briefing: The Persian New Year called Norooz marks the first day of spring. It is partly rooted in the Zoroastrian tradition, but is an ancient holiday that was celebrated thousands of years ago. When the Islamic regime of Iran first took power, it tried to ban the pagan celebration but couldn’t stop the celebrations. The advent of another year is a good time to reflect on the past and renew hopes for a future that will see positive changes in Iran beginning with an end to the Islamic regime and its brutality.

نوروزتان مبارک
۱۸ مارس ۲۰۱۵
ياد بهترينهاى سال با کريس موس؛ گيتا ساهگل؛ عماد الدين حبيب٬ مرسده قائدى؛ پراگنا پاتل و سيروان قادرى
اخبار تکان دهنده از معلم قران در ترکيه است که به شاگردهاى ۱۳ ساله گفته بود حقشان است تجاوز بشوند چون حجاب نمى پوشند
فتواى احمقانه از خامنه اى در مورد وسايل بيشگيرى
اخبار خوب از سوئد و لغو قراردادهاى اسلحه به خاطر وضعيت حقوق بشر
در مورد تم برنامه
جشن باستانى نوروز٬ پيام آور بهار و سال نو ميباشد؛ ساليان درازى است که مردم اين روز را فرخنده ميدارند؛ مرتجعىن اسلامى از همان روز نخست به قدرت در ايران تلاش ناموفقى را براى منع کردن اين جشن غير اسلامى آغاز کردند. اما تا کنون با شکست روبرو شده اند
آغاز سال نوىن زمان مناسبى براى تامل در مورد سال گذشته و نوين کردن اميد و آرزو براى آينده ميباشد
پايان حکومت اسلامي اولين قدم مثبت را براى آينده اى ايران به ارمغان مياورد

Bread and Roses: Women’s Liberation greatest threat to Islamism

This week’s Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV with Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya on Women’s liberation movement as the greatest threat to Islamism
International Women’s Day Special
10 March 2015
Shocking news of the week: “human rights organisation” CAGE justifies the beheadings carried out by British jihadi Mohammad Emwazi.
Insane Fatwa of the week: From ISIS and its directives that women mustn’t slap their thighs!
Good news of the week: Maryam Namazie’s topless action in support of women’s rights and against Islam and Islamism.
Discussion of the week: We show a film made by Femmes Filment on the historic protest against compulsory veiling in 1979 in Iran and discuss it. 8 March International Women’s Day must commemorate the 1979 protests of Iranian women against Khomeini’s compulsory veiling order which captured the imagination of people across the world. The protests were suppressed by brute force and the control of women and their bodies a basis of the regime in Iran. Nonetheless, the women’s liberation movement against the veil and Islamic rule is the greatest threat faced by the regime today.

جنبش رهائى زن بزرگترين تهديد به اسلام سياسى
برمانه ۸ مارس
۱۱ مارس ۲۰۱۵
در اين برنامه فيلمى از تظاهرات سال ۵۷ عليه حجاب اجبارى را نشان مى دهيم و حولش بحث مى کنيم
۸ مارس روز جهاني زن را نمي توان بدون سخن گفتن و يادآوري اعتراضات زنان در سال
عليه فرمان خميني جهت حجاب اجباري گرامي داشت
اين اعتراض توجه جنبش جهاني زمان را به خود جلب كرد
اين اعتراضات با خشونت بي پايان سركوب شد و كنترل زنان و بدن آنها به ستون حكومت اسلامي تبديل شد
البته بعد از ٣٦ سال حكومت اسلامي جنبش زنان عليه حجاب و قوانين اسلامي بزرگترين تهديد است رژيم با ان روبرو ميباشد
اخبار شکه آور اين هفته در مورد سازمان اسلامى در انگليس و توجيهاتش در دفاع از جهادى انگليسى
فتواى احمقانه از داعش
خبر خوب در مورد اعتراض برهنه مريم نمازى براى روز جهانى زن

UNHCR India: Marzieh and Javed need to reach safety

If you would like to support Marzieh and Javed, please sign in the comments section of this post and your name will be added to the list before being forward to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in India. Thank you.


Marzieh Hosseinpoor (case number 513-05C00255) and Javed Riazi Ahmad Saraei (case number 513-00074683) have been granted refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in India. Marzieh registered in 2005, making it nearly ten years since applying for protection.

Marzieh is an apostate from Islam having converted to Christianity. Apostasy is punishable by death in Iran.

Moreover, during her stay in India, she has been raped and assaulted and faced threats by what she believes were agents of the Islamic regime of Iran. As a result, she has been depressed and suicidal.

Her husband whom she met in India is living in pain with arthritis which he requires physiotherapy for.

After ten years of a life in limbo, we, the undersigned, call on the UNHCR to expedite their resettlement to a safe third country. Clearly, given Marzieh’s horrendous experiences, it is crucial that she be able to live in a safer and more stable environment.

Aliyah Saleem, Activist for a Secular Education
Chris Moos, Secularist Activist and Researcher
Dilip Simeon, Labour Historian
Fariborz Pooya, Head of Federation of Iranian Refugees UK and Host of Bread and Roses TV
Gita Sahgal, Executive Director of Centre for Secular Space
Hoshiar Soroush, Activist
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian
Lila Ghobady, Filmmaker
Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of One Law for All, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
Mehran Mahbobi , Children Rights Activist
Nadia El Fani, Filmmaker
Nina Sankari, Vice President of Atheist Coalition Poland
Pascal Descamps, Activist
Paul V. Dudman, Archivist for Refugee Research Council Archive, University of East London, UK
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Rumana Hashem, Post-doctoral Associate at Centre for Research on Migration, Refugee and Belonging, University of East London
Safwan Mason, Council of Ex-Muslims of New Zealand
Shelley Segal, Singer/Songwriter
Sultana Kamal, Human Rights Lawyer and Activist

Who is responsible for Paris and Copenhagen

This week’s Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV with Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya is on who is responsible for the terrorist attacks on Paris and Copenhagen. FARSI BELOW.

Following Paris and Copenhagen, the reasons behind the terrorist attacks have debated. Those on the far-Right and bigoted Right will say it is because of Muslim immigration whilst the anti-imperialist Left will blame US militarism and racism in Europe as the cause for terrorism. In fact, Islamism, the far-Right fascist movement is directly responsible for the attacks.
We show Maryam Namazie’s tribute to Charlie and others at the 2015 Secular Conference
Shocking News of the Week: Saman Nasim
Insane Fatwa: Khamenei
Good News: Mahin Alipour gets awarded as “hero of the day” by Swedish magazine

کى مقصر است براى حملات تروريستى در پاريس و کپنهاگ
۲۵ فوريه ۲۰۱۵
سخنرانى مريم نمازى در کنفرانس ۷ فوريه لندن در مورد حق و نياز انتقاد از اسلام: براى چارلى هبدو و چارى ها
در مورد برنامه: بدنبال حملات تروريستي در پاريس و كپنهاگ ، بررسي علل اين حملات به موضوع بحث و گفتگوي داغ تبديل شده است. راست افراطي و متعصب ، علت اين حملات را مهاجرت مسلمانان به اروپا ميداند. از جانب ديگر، چپ پست مدرنيست و ضد امپرياليستي، ميليتاريسم امريكا و راسيسم در اروپا را باعث و باني تروريسم اسلامي مي دانند. در واقع اسلام سياسي بعنوان يك جنبش فاشيستي و دست راستي مقصر است.
اخبار تکاندهنده: سامان نسيم
فتواى احمقانه: از خامنه اى
خبر خوب: جايزه قهرمان روز مهين علىپور

Two Brothers, Ali and Habib Afshari were executed on the same day!

See statement of International Committee against Execution below:

On Friday, February 20th the Afshari family was informed that these two political prisoners, Ali Afshari and Habibollah Afshari were hanged on Thursday morning.

ICAE News Agency: Within the past two days, six political prisoners who were on death row were transferred to an unknown location and the news of execution of two of them was confirmed this morning.

The agents of the Ministry of Information instructed the Afshari family to conduct the memorial services quietly so that it does not attract any attention.

This is happening while there is no news of Saman Nasim’s conditions. In conversation with ICAE News Agency, the attorney and family of Saman Nasim announced that they still have no knowledge of his conditions. There is unconfirmed news that saman Nasim has been executed.

It should be mentioned that there is also no news of the conditions of three other prisoners, named Younes Aghayat, Sirvan Najavi and Ebrahim Shapoori who on Wednesday February 18th were transferred to an unknown location together with Saman Nasim, Ali Afshari and Habib Afshari.

Born in 1980, Ali Afshari and his brother Habibollah Afshari who was born in 1987 were from the village of Googajloo Habilbeh, outside the city of Mahabad. They were arrested in early 2011, by the Revolutionary Guards and the agents of the Ministry of Information in the cities of Bookan and Mahabad. [Read more…]

Stop executing “apostates” and “blasphemers” and release them now!

Press Release of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain reproduced below:

On 22 February 2015, a Saudi court sentenced a man in his twenties to death by beheading for apostasy.  The identity of the man has not been made public but, according to Al-Shabaka, he was arrested last year and is charged with becoming an atheist and insulting Muhammad, Islam’s prophet, on social media.

This heinous ruling comes against the backdrop of the recent attacks on freedom of expression in Paris and Copenhagen.  Whilst the Saudi government hypocritically condemned the Paris massacre as a “cowardly terrorist attack that was rejected by the true Islamic religion”, it condemned a man to death for similar “crimes” only a matter of weeks later. This ruling follows the recent case of Raif Badawi, a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years’ imprisonment for a website promoting public discussion of religion and politics which has been deemed “insulting to Islam”.

Apostasy and blasphemy are punishable with death in Saudi Arabia and also in a number of other countries, including Iran and Mauritania.

In Iran, 30 year old blogger Soheil Arabi, has been sentenced to execution for “insulting the prophet” on Facebook.

In December 2014, a 28 year old Mauritanian journalist Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet”.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is outraged at these death sentences. “Apostates” and “blasphemers” have not committed any crime and should be immediately released. The real crime is imprisoning and executing people for their beliefs and expression.

Clearly, there is no place in the 21st century for such medieval laws. Apostasy and blasphemy laws must end. And they must end now.

To demand the release of the unnamed atheist facing execution, please contact the Saudi embassy in your country of residence or Tweet @SaudiEmbassyUK.

Sign the petition in support of Raif Badawi here.

Join Facebook page to defend Sohail Arabi here or tweet @khamenei_ir.

Sign a petition in support of Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir here.

For more information, contact:
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

Saman Nasim must not be executed tomorrow


19 February Update: Saman Nasim’s brother says his brother has not been executed according to officials. We must keep the pressure on. Listen to interview with Hesam Yousefi of International Committee against Execution here.

Saman Nasim is an alleged juvenile offender who was arrested when he was 17 years old. The Kurdish political prisoner has been transferred to solitary today raising fears that he will be executed tomorrow. He has been charged with moharabeh or waging against god (or enmity against god) for opposing regime.

You can find out more information about him here.

More information in Persian about him here.

There is not much time so please tweet @ and @ to save Saman Nasim or contact Iranian embassy nearest you.

Please do it now.

Here’s a photo of his parents hoping that the world will intervene on his behalf:


Iranian youth and their challenge to Islamic state

Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV
With Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya
Director: Reza Moradi
برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد
و فريبرز پويا با مريم نمازى
کارگردان: رضا مرادى
مترجم: خسرو قريب٬ فريبرز پويا

جوانان ايران و چالش آنان به جمهورى اسلامى
۱۸ فوريه ۲۰۱۵
مصاحبه با کيان آذر. رئيس سازمان جوانان کمونيست
٧٠ درصد إز جمعيت ايران زير ٣٠ سال ميباشد. با وجود مشكلات اجتماعي و اقتصادي و محدوديت هايي كه حكومت مذهبي به جامعه ايران تحميل كرده است، گزارشهاي بسياري منتشرة إز جانب حكومت إسلامي نشان ميدهد كه بخش جوان جامعه ايران إسلامي نشده است! جوانان بخش مهي إز جنبش هاي سياسي هستند كه ضوابط و نرم هاي إسلامي و بنيادي ان را به چالش كشيده اند و خواهان جامعه بهتر، مدرن و سكولار ميباشد.
اخبار تکاندهنده: دليل اينکه زنان در عربستان سعودى نمى توانند رانندگى کنند
فتواى احمقانه: از داعش

Iranian youth and their challenge to the Islamic regime of Iran
17 February 2015
Interview with Kian Azar, head of Communist Youth Organisation
70% of the population in Iran are under 30. Despite the difficult socio-economic conditions and restrictions imposed by a theocratic regime, it’s a segment of society that has not been “Islamicised” according to countless government reports and statements. The youth are an important part of a politicised movement which challenges Islamic norms to its core and demands a better, modern and secular society.
Shocking news: Women in Saudi Arabia can’t drive because there is concern they will be raped!
Insane fatwa: ISIS fatwa defending immolation of a Jordanian pilot

Latest Issue of Fitnah Unveiled on Sharia law and Law Society, Execution in Iran and more

A Publication of Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
November/December 2014; Volume 2, Issues 8 and 9
Editor: Maryam Namazie; Design: Kiran Opal
See PDF Version here.

In this Issue:
* Sharia law is incompatible with human rights, Interview with Chris Moos, Pragna Patel and Gita Sahgal on the victory against the Law Society
* Execution is itself the murder of a human being, Interview with Mina Ahadi
* Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed: International Committee against Execution Press Release
*News Flash: October/November 2014 By Emma Robertson
* Editorial: The Answer to Inhumanity is not more inhumanity, Maryam Namazie
* International Conference on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights a huge success
* Manifesto for Secularism

Sharia law is incompatible with human rights
Interview with Chris Moos, Pragna Patel and Gita Sahgal on the victory against the Law Society

Maryam Namazie: The Law Society has now withdrawn its Sharia-compliant guidance on wills and issued an apology. Why did you initiate a campaign against it? Was it not a lot of fuss over nothing as some initially said?

Pragna Patel: It is easy to characterise this campaign as a ‘fuss about nothing’. The same was also said about our campaign against gender segregation in universities. What both incidents have in common is the ways in which so-called Sharia laws and values are normalised in public and institutional life as a ‘way of life’. Education and the law are key sites of control that religious fundamentalists and conservatives target. If we allow these forces to capture these sites, it will become impossible for us to challenge gender discrimination and inequality. The Law Society and its supporters argue that the Practice Note merely reiterates the fundamental principle in law that testators are fee to leave their property to whomsoever they wish. This misses the point entirely that the Law Society does not exist to maintain discriminatory values in society but to challenge them. Our argument all along has been that it is a key legal institution that should be promoting a rights-based culture within the legal profession and the wider society and not a profoundly discriminatory Sharia-compliant culture. [Read more…]

You can defend your precious regime, I will defend revolution

It was recently brought to my attention that Kaveh Mousavi has written on my “misrepresentations” about Iranian politics. I don’t know who he is and haven’t followed his writings but this one post is sufficient for me to place him on the political spectrum of Iranian politics. All else is smoke and mirrors.

The crux of the matter is that Kaveh supports the “reformist” wing of the Islamic regime of Iran vis-a-vis the “Conservative” faction and therefore sees my opposition to his beloved faction and regime as “misrepresentation” and “lying”. He says there are differences between Rouhani and Ahmadinejad as if that is enough to protect the regime’s leadership from scrutiny.

Clearly, there are differences – that’s not the point. If there weren’t, there wouldn’t be infighting between the two factions now would there? But the differences are a matter of degree. Despite the differences, both factions fundamentally want the regime’s survival . Their strategies differ but the differences in strategy are on how to manage the survival of a theocractic regime that is faced with immense opposition from various sectors of Iranian society. It’s not about reforms (which in the real world means improvements in people’s lives via changes in law or public policy not mere rhetoric).

This should not be so difficult to understand even for Kaveh. There are differences between ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic regime of Iran… but fundamentally they want an Islamic state; their rule means the very same thing for people living under their boot. If there are any differences between the lives of people in Kobane, Raqqa, Tehran or Riyadh, it is not because of any “moderate” Islamists but because of people’s protests and their ongoing refusal to submit. You don’t have to have ever lived in Iran to know the role of “moderate” Islamists in normalising and strengthening Islamism; it’s evident even in the West.

Kaveh defends the “reformists” by crediting them for any breathing space in Iran. Rather, the “reformists” are the result of people’s protests. It is the dissent that has created the infighting and that has forced breathing spaces not the other way around.

Don’t forget, “reformists” like Rouhani or Khatami have been permitted to run in the so-called elections only with the approval of the “Conservative” leader Khamenei and the Council of Guardians. Only men who have shown complete loyalty to the Islamic system have any chance of entering and remaining in positions of power. The track records of these “reformists” speaks for themselves. Mousavi was Prime Minister during the notorious 1980s, a period in which Iran Tribunal has found the regime guilty of crimes against humanity. Khatami was Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance responsible for censorship during that time and the current president Rouhani has been a member of the regime’s Assembly of Experts, its Expediency Council and the Supreme National Security Council. “Reformists” indeed!

So of course I oppose both factions of the regime. I oppose its entirety, no matter how it is dressed and presented. For me, and for many others, whether they live in Iran or not, a theocracy is the end of any form of democratic politics. Call it “elections” if you want. Call it “reformist” or “moderate” if you want.

To defend the ruling elite (any segment of it) of a dictatorship where the law and public policy and the state and all its machinery still kills people for blasphemy and enmity against god and considers women half the worth of men is indefensible.

Such a regime has to end – it can’t be reformed just as you can’t reform a state based on racial apartheid or fascism. It has to end not by US-led militarism or economic sanctions that harm the public but by revolution as the only way in which people can fully intervene to be rid of dictatorships and theocracies. Of course the outcome is never guaranteed like any struggle or fight for change but I will always put my faith in social movements and people’s will to change things for the better than criminals feigning to be “reformist” in order to control and maintain Islamic rule as Kaveh does.

Yes I don’t live in Iran. I don’t think this is breaking news. I would most probably not be alive today if I did and there are enough threats from the regime, Iranian press mentions and death lists on which I am purported to be on to explain why. I, like many others, have been forced to leave our homes and live in exile because of a regime that cannot tolerate dissent. But whether I live in Iran or not is irrelevant. I don’t need to have lived in Iran or be Iranian or spent the past several decades in Iranian politics and worked with countless refugees who have fled or been persecuted by this regime to understand Iranian politics. Just as I don’t have to be South African to oppose racial apartheid or Palestinian to oppose the Israeli state’s occupation. Just as one does not have to be gay to defend gay rights or a woman to defend women’s rights.

Politics is about our values and where we stand irrespective of our identities, gender, where we live and where we were born…

Kaveh’s politics are clear as are mine.

His role is to defend the regime by defending a faction of it and to persuade people to be satisfied with a theocracy. Mine is to defend progressive social movements and people’s opposition to an Islamic state which is incompatible with the 21st century. His role is to support the “reformist” strategy calling on people to stay in their homes, not protest, scorn the opposition and only use the permissible mechanisms provided to them by a dictatorship; mine is to defend revolution, refusal and resistance.

Kaveh says that by opposing the “reformists”, I show that I do not care about the Iranian people. I am not sure how his defence of a section of a regime that murders at will shows any real concern for human life.

There are many other absurdities in his piece, which I have neither the time nor interest to respond to. I would only suggest that Kaveh step up and defend his precious regime without hiding his support behind attacks against me. He can call himself “atheist” and “liberal” all he wants. There are many examples of such “atheists” and “liberals” who have sided with the Islamists at the expense of those who refuse and resist and he is just one more of them. It’s nothing to be proud of.

Arab Spring – Revisiting the Revolution in Iran!

mostafaThe below is Mostafa Saber‘s speech delivered at The World Peace Forum Society Teach In, Vancouver, on October 25, 2014 on the Arab Spring – Revisiting the Revolution in Iran. Saber is in the Central Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran. Enjoy.

I intend to give you my assessment of the Arab Spring and its relationship with the Iranian revolutions of 1979 and 2009. I will be making three points.

The first point is that it was no accident that Ayatollah Khomeini and Margaret Thatcher came to power almost at the same time, respectively 1979 and 1980. They were, in a way, two sides of the same coin!

Everyone knows that Thatcher smashed the labor movement. That is what she was famous for and proud of.  But, it might be new to some of you to hear that Khomeini slaughtered a whole generation of labor activists, communists, women’s right activists and dissidents, and we still don’t know where many of their graves are.

In recent history, nothing has been more misrepresented than the 1979 revolution in Iran. At its heart, it was a working class revolution that was ultimately defeated by the Islamic movement, which was backed by Western powers who had lost hope in the Shah of Iran.   Meanwhile, this Islamic movement was portrayed as the revolution itself when it was a counter-revolution, and a very brutal and reactionary one.  It was labeled as a “spiritual” revolution! It was not just a falsification of concept; more importantly, it was the beginning of a practical problem not only for the workers, women and all people in countries like Iran, but for the whole world. I’m referring to the rise of political Islam, the latest product of which is ISIS. If Margret Thatcher and the crushing of the miners’ strike in the UK was the beginning of the new conservatism, so was Khomeini’s movement, and his bloody victory over the actual revolution in Iran, the beginning of political Islam.

To make my first point short: Thatcher and Khomeini were both products and agents of a shift in world history. This shift sought to end the stagnation period that had followed the Golden Age of capitalism (1945 to 1973) and to begin the New Liberal globalization era, which started in the 1980s. Capitalism after World War 2 expanded rapidly and had reached the point of over saturated accumulation of capital, especially in old industrial countries. Now it needed new blood, namely cheap labor! How did capitalism resolve this? It did so, among other things, by smashing labor movements, ending the welfare state, attacking the left and all progressive movements everywhere, moving capital and production to less saturated markets or by globalizing the production of surplus value. What was the political structure of this new globalization? Well, it was the so called “conservative revolution.”  My point is that Thatcher in the west and Khomeini in the Middle East were the pioneers of this reactionary “revolution” that has devastated our planet for the last 3 to 4 decades. [Read more…]

Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed

They killed Reyhaneh on October 25 – a day of international protest against the throwing of acid on women in Iran for “bad veiling”. Reyhaneh lives on in all those fighting against the vile Islamic regime of Iran.

Despite huge amounts of security, her funeral was held yesterday on 26 October.

Here is footage of the funeral

You can see more footage here.

Reyhaneh lives on in the daily refusal and resistance…

See the statement of the International Committee against Execution on Reyhaneh’s execution:

To the millions of people who followed the fate of this young girl, to the thousands who took to the streets to save dear Reyhaneh, to the thousands of mothers in Iran who shed tears and begged for forgiveness on the media, we sadly have to report that Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed this morning.

This is a horrific piece of news on this bloody Saturday, when people are set to come out on the streets in the cities across Iran to protest against the acid attacks on women. We hope that a magnificent protest by the people today will be a fitting response to this brutal and shameless crime of the Islamic regime in Iran.

The Islamic regime’s ideologues, its professional criminals and murderers, the real killers of Sarbandi (whom Reyhaneh was accused of killing), all banded together and despite an enormous international outcry executed this young woman.

They put Reyhaneh under pressure in prison, extracted confessions, filmed the scenes and then killed her. This is the regime of Iran’s ISIS.

The execution of Reyhaneh and the many years of dealing with the judicial system of the Islamic Republic over the fate of Reyhaneh showed to the world the hideousness and viciousness of this regime and its judicial system.

Let everyone see the kind of monsters the people of Iran are dealing with. Let the world see that the one skill the heads of the Islamic regime, from the supreme leader to Rafsanjani, the president Rouhani, the paramilitary force Sepah and the Ministry of Intelligence, have in common is this: murder, lying and barbarity.

Millions of people see this now. The regime lied to the grieving parents of a young girl who for seven years fought to save their loved one; they spread rumours and did everything they could to stop Reyhaneh’s parents from saving their daughter.

Even before telling Reyhaneh’s family that they had killed Reyhaneh, they callously announced the news of the execution through their state media, while Reyhaneh’s mum and dad, sister and grandma were waiting outside the prison gates.

This is the abhorrent regime of the Islamic Republic. This is the regime of Islamic criminals, the ISIS ruling Iran.

If they don’t kill, how are they going to deal with others like Reyhaneh? How are they going to deal with the youth shaking the ground under the feet; those who don’t give a damn for the mullahs, Islamic leaders and the loathsome Islamic Republic?

But the regime in Iran should be certain of this: by killing Reyhaneh, they will only harvest a storm.

The International Committee against Execution calls on all to turn the sorrow and pain of the loss of Reyhaneh to public rage against the foundations of the murderous Islamic regime.

In memory of Reyhaneh Jabbari

Shame on the murderous Islamic regime

The International Committee against Execution
25 October 2014

In support of 5 October: Day to Save Reyhaneh Jabbari from Execution in Iran

Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV
With Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya
Director: Reza Moradi; Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi
برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد
و فريبرز پويا با مريم نمازى
کارگردان: رضا مرادى٬ مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى

In support of 5 October: Day to Save Reyhaneh Jabbari from Execution in Iran

در دفاع از روز جهانی نجات ریحانه جباری، یکشنبه ۵ اکتبر برنامه

International Day to Save Reyhaneh Jabbari

reyhanehJoin 05 October – the international day to save Reyhaneh Jabbari from execution in Iran.

There will be actions in various cities. In London, the action will be in Trafalgar Square on 5th October 2014 from 1 to 2pm.

The Islamic Regime of Iran has announced that 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari, is to executed next week. Reyhaneh is accused of stabbing a man to death in the face of an attempted rape when she was 19. Jabbari who was sentenced to death in a sham trial in 2009 following two years of torture has always claimed that the stabbing to death of an employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence, Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, was after she met him in a café to visit his office to discuss an interior design and a business deal. While there, Sarbandi allegedly drugged and attempted to rape Jabbari, who in self-defence grabbed a pocketknife and stabbed him in the shoulder.

The Islamic regime and its judiciary are trying to execute Reyhaneh to cover up a dark secret related to the employees of the Islamic intelligence Ministry of Iran.

Reyhaneh and her mother are now appealing to the world to help save her. Many international organisations have now condemned the treatment of Reyhaneh Jabbari and have demanded her release.

We have only a few days to save Reyhaneh and force the Iranian regime to release her unconditionally. Join us on 5th of October 2014 in London from 1 to 2 p.m. to support the campaign to save Reyhaneh and bring an end to execution in Iran.

For further information please contact: Fariborz Pooya on 07861 740 999 or Sirvan Ghaderi 07446 135857
or by email:

Reyhaneh’s Letter From Prison: I do not deserve to die. Death is not for me. Please save me.

reyhaneMy name is Reyhaneh Jabari, I am twenty six (26), Iranian and I have been living in prison where I have been confined for years; having nightmares of being executed at any point in time.

Days pass by and my fear grows on daily basis as I stand being strangled with a rope around my neck. If only I didn’t defend myself, I would have been a victim of rape.  I wish that damned day did not exist in my life; the day that destroyed my life and me.

I wish I was never cheerful and outgoing, and if only…

I was sitting in an ice-cream shop, talking and laughing with my friend via cellphone. Some people where sitting around the place I was sitting and must have overhead me talk decoration with my friend on phone.

When I wanted to leave the ice-cream shop, two persons came towards me and asked if I could redecorate their offices. We agreed and exchanged telephone numbers. I was walking along the way when Morteza on his car stopped in front of me and insisted to give me a ride.

His friend was sitting in the car, too. I got in the car; I wish I never did.

Morterza was a middle-aged man. I was not suspicious of him and anything whatsoever, hence, I got on the car. A Few days after, Morteza’s friend called me to visit his office to change the decoration regarding the contract already agreed upon before. We set an appointment and I appeared on the day.  They picked me up and drove me somewhere I didn’t know.  I got scared.

Mr. Shikhi had told me before that they were security officers, but Morteza was a surgeon, too. Morteza stopped in front of a pharmacy. He bought some stuffs there and came back with a little plastic bag in his hand. I did not know what he bought.

We arrived in an apartment which was on the fourth floor of a building. Inside the building was very dirty as if nobody had lived there for years. Mr. Sheikhi did not come inside. I was terrified to close the door behind me, but Morteza asked me to close the door. He asked me to take off my scarf. I didn’t do it. He approached me and tried to touch me, but I didn’t let him. He put his arms around my waist, I ran away. He got angry and said that I cannot disobey his desire. I had a knife with me. In a second when he turned his head back to me I stabbed him in the back. He was still coming to me more angrily. He grappled me, but I could free myself from his hands.

While I was running through the door, Mr. Sheikhi came in. He got into a fight with Morteza. I did not know what was going on between them. He went to the kitchen table and took some documents from there. I ran away trying to get lost in the city. I went home very late.

At 2.00 O’clock in the morning, the police came and arrested me and since then I am in prison.

I got involved in a terrible incident. I later noticed from evidence that the plastic bag he had at the pharmacy contained condom and aesthetic and drawing inference from the items – juice containing aesthetic and the condoms, all show they wanted to rape me.
I just defended myself.  In all the court sessions, I had claimed that I am innocent and I continue to maintain that position. I did not kill Morteza even though I stabbed him to free myself. I do not know the extent of attack by the other man and what informed his intention; maybe to suppress evidence.

The court accepts neither my claim nor my lawyer’s defence. I have already declared in my last claim that I am an ordinary girl who did not allow violation of her dignity. I am a designer, I work as a designer and in line with my work, I entered into contract with them and they took me to the place where I believed reasonably that I was going to do my professional job; I never had any foreseeable hindsight of their intention as that had never happened to me before. The time for the court’s judgement came and the court’s verdict did not exculpate me and subsequently sentenced to death. Since my conviction five years ago, I am still in the death row.

The family of the deceased, the head of the judiciary and the supreme leader can only save me from death.

I do not deserve to die.

Death is not for me.

Please save me.


Reproduced and printed by the International Committee Against Execution – London
For further information Please contact: Fariborz Pooya on 07861 740 999 or Sirvan Ghaderi on 07446 135857 or email


Are gay rights a possibility in Iran or the Middle East?

Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV
With Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya
Director: Reza Moradi; Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi
برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد
و فريبرز پويا با مريم نمازى
کارگردان: رضا مرادى٬ مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى

Are gay rights a possibility in Iran or the Middle East?
30 September 2014
Interview with Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society

آيا حقوق هم جنسگرايان در ايران و خاور ميانه امکان پذير است؟
۱ اکتبر ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با ترى ساندرسن٬ رئيس سازمان سکولاريستهاى بريتانيا

Nuclear weapons are not the “right” of the Islamic regime of Iran

This week’s Bread and Roses TV – A Political Social Magazine on New Channel TV
With Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya, and Bahram Soroush
Director: Reza Moradi; Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi
برنامه نان و گل سرخ مجله ای سیاسی – اجتماعی در کانال جديد
با فريبرز پويا٬ بهرام سروش و مريم نمازى
کارگردان: رضا مرادى٬ مشاور برنامه: پونه راوى

سلاح های هسته ای “حق” رژيم اسلامى ايران نيست
۳ سپتامبر ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با اصغر کريمى٬ رئيس هئيت اجرايى حزب کمونيست کارگرى ايران

Nuclear weapons are not the “right” of the Islamic regime of Iran
2 September 2014
Interview with Asqar Karimi, Head of Worker-communist Party of Iran’s Executive Board