Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Urgent News : Comrade Davood Bagheri Is Still in Jail

Nevertheless comrade Davood bagheri is going to be released from the jail , Turkey Goverment doesnt let him free. Comrade Davood Bagheri is still in kirklareli jail & hereby we deny his freedom. We ask all human rights activists to pursue his freedom.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Davood Bagheri has been released today, Agust 14

Davood Bagheri free from jail, at last.He was released from the prison he was in on Thursday August 14, 2008 around noon. He is believed to be in Aderne, a small town in Turkey.
Freedom and Equality Seeking Students thank sincerly everyone invloved in the attempts towards his release.

Monday, July 28, 2008

the latest news from davood bagheri

we have got news that Davood has been transfered to a high security prison, located 15 kilometer outside campe ghazi osman pasha zendane kerk el dar 15 km e edirne. he is kept in a solitary cell and apparently he's been beaten, and has been in very bad shape when the person who called us saw him.
this prison is a notorious jail and usually when refugee's are taken there, they are deported back.
we are very afraid for Davood. the person who called was afraid to reveal his identity. his strong guess was that Davood is under interrogations and is tortured.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Davood bagheri has been transferrd to an unknown place .

Davood bagheri has been transferrd to an unknown place .
campaign To save davood bagheri : yesterday 25th july 2008 at 2 oclock in the afternoon , davood bagheri has been transfered to an unknown place by foreigner department of Edirneh police & till now there is no news from him. This matter is so oppressive . despite of united nations' promise , that they wont deport davood to iran , it persumes that Turkey goverment will do it intractably or because of his hunger strike put him on impact. Hereby we ask all who endeavor for davood's freedom , impact on turkish primeministry & other united nations & human rights organizations to specify the situatuion of this freedom & equality seeking activist & for his urgent freedom & not deporting him to Iran.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sad news about Davod Bagheri from a prison in Turkey

We have just been informed that regrettably Mr Dawood Bagheri, a, member of the “Freedom and Equality Seeking Students” movement who had fled to Turkey four months ago, has attempted to commit suicide. He is now kept at the Aderneh Prison’s hospital.
The unbearable detention condition and the inhumane treatment at the hands of the Turkish detention guards pushed Mr Bagheri towards despair and suicide.
Mr Bagheri was a student activist and following the Iranian authorities’ crack down on student movements in December 2007 was forced to flee Iran.
We call on all pro-human rights organisation s and the United nations High Commission for Refugee to urgently intervene to save the life of Dawood Bagheri.
Freedom and Equality Seeking StudentsJuly 11, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Call for Supporting the Campaign to free Davood Bagheri, Iranian Imprisoned activist in Turkey

freedom and equality seeking students The Call for Supporting the Campaign to free Davood Bagheri, Iranian Imprisoned activist in Turkey
Active member of the Freedom and Equality Seeking Students Movement, Davood Bagheri was forced to flee Iran on winter 200…, after the recent wave of crackdowns on the group by the Islamic government's Intelligence Service agents. Mr. Bagheri arrived in Turkey with the intention to seek asylum where he was captured by the police before he was able to inform UNHCR about his condition in that country. He has been kept in Aderna’s refugee camp under horrific conditions since.
It is in our best knowledge and belief that the Turkey government and the police have acted against Amnesty International’s Refugee Commissary’s Laws and Regulations. Freedom and Equality Seeking Students urge all Human Rights activists and all who believe in social justice and the rights of people who under the threat of their country of origin seek refuge in safer parts of the world, to join this campaign and help us free him from the refugee camp detention center. Davood Bagheri has been treated harshly and brutally in this camp since he was taken into custody. He has attempted suicide in the camp where detainees take their own life as the shortest way to free themselves from the horrors and their hopeless situation in that center.
freedom and equality seeking students

Release Davood Bagheri from turkey's prison

Davood Bagheri , student activist, writer, chief-editor of Bee-Nahayat magazine in Tehran University, fled Iran through boarder mountains and was arrested by Turkey’s police in Istanbul, before he could report himself to UN. He is kept in Aderne’s refugee detention camp since April 5, 2008. He is under severe pressure from jail-keepers. Has committed suicide once out of desperation. A few of his friends were forced by jail-keepers to leave the camp and Turkey’s land and cross the river to Iraq. 2 of them were drawn because they didn’t know how to swim. The situation in this camp is horrible. He is beaten and pressured everyday where assaulting the refugees is considered a causal act and prisoners commit suicide almost daily and take their own life. There has been nothing done for Davood yet through international human rights organisations.

A lettre to amnesty from Freedom and Equality Seeking Students

Date: 14th May 2008
To: Head of Amnesty International –The Middle East Office
Dear Sir/Madam
As you are aware, a few months ago and in commemoration of the student day in Iran, which is held annually by students of universities across the country, more than 50 leftist students were arrested and imprisoned in solitary cells in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran. Their charge was "actions against the Islamic Republic’s internal and external policies". Many of the imprisoned students were tortured, physically and psychologically. The luckiest were kept in solitary confinement for more than 50 days. The Islamic Republic’s response to a student protest and the level of suppression that followed the event was unique in the way that the security forces kidnapped the students from their classes and took them directly to detention rooms and torture chambers.
Following this new wave of suppression of the activists of the social movements, a number of activists left Iran illegally, to save their lives and the lives of others related to them. A few of these students, Vahid Vali zadeh, member of editorial of Khak a well known student journal; Mazdak Tusinejad student activist who was arrested a few years ago for his connection and support of bus drivers union in Iran; Davood Bagheri student activist and member of Khak’s board of editors, a very well known student journal; and Hooman Kazemian student activist and well known leftist artist who has been kidnapped, detained and tortured several times by the secret police of the regime.
We the undersigned, appreciate Amnesty International efforts in supporting the imprisoned students, and request its much needed continuous support for the above mentioned who are currently seeking asylum in Turkey. They are in urgent need in terms of their asylum applications. Considering the security agreements between Iran and Turkey governments, we are gravely concerned about the possibility of deporting them to Iran by Turkey’s security forces and government’s officials.
Deportation of these activists has life threatening consequences for them. Therefore, our request is to please take necessary actions with regards to UNHCR and the Turkish Immigration authorities in order to speed up the asylum process of these activists and their immediate transfer to a safe country. Your humanitarian actions is extremely important for saving the lives of innocent individuals who have not committed any crimes but defending their basic human rights regarding freedom and equality.
Thank you in anticipation,
Yours sincerely,
-Behzad Bagheri
-Behruz Karimi zadeh
-Amin Ghazaye
-Peyman Piran
-Majid Ashraf Nejad
And other Freedom and Equality Seeking Students

Saturday, May 17, 2008

not forget we’re the result of a millennium of the war of classes(studentes for freedom and equality)

A mere question was the first encounter the Islamic Republic’s governing body, the right-wing, and the liberal affiliated media had with the radical left students inside universities. This question, asked out of sheer delirium, was rather simple: what are the reasons behind the emergent of communist students’ movement in universities? Or, considering the massacre of one generation and the vacuum of a whole decade, where did the communist students come from? Foolish answers were offered; some linked the phenomenon with the publications of Marxist Materials; some thought it was the next generation of the traditional left growing up; some were certain it was a ploy Islamic fundamentalist played to cripple the reformists and such. If anyone cared to ask why communist parties exist in the west, the response would be the account of a millennium. But the scope of the leftist students in Iran, known as The Freedom and Equality Seeker Students, established itself within four years only and gathered hundreds of members and organized tens of demonstrations and published tens of magazines. And all these took place at a time when there were no leftist-affiliated movements and no specific slogans supporting workers claims inside universities. Reformists with an eye for power and linked to the government had turned student movement into an axis for their political and election enterprises. The leftist students managed their achievements at a time when the group faced sever oppressions and the horrible ghost of apostasy and execution followed them closely.
Freedom and Equality Seeker Students are present in universities across country and are active in numerous non-governmental organizations, workers and students formations. They have members and devotees whom act in the usual way of recruiting new cells, expending the membership by invoking in people the sense to care and consider hideous reality of oppression of the masses; there is no magical skill into it. An all powerful leader is non-existent. There is noting such as financial or other means support from anywhere anyhow. The reason behind the sprouting out of communism in Iran could be found only in the fact of the social gap and the war of the classes. The group, in its entirety, is the representative of the workers class in a war of classes within universities. Why there? Because university is a tiny little crack in the suffocating oppression of the Islamic Republic of Iran. There is no way to believe in the war of the classes. What took place in Iran is a small example of an immense reality: the communist party and it’s struggle is not the reminiscence of the past traditions, it is and it must be the voice of today’s workers’, intend to build a future. In this war of classes, the movements of students, workers, and women are three very crucial fronts to conquer bourgeois stances. Until the war of classes exists, communism exists. It could be only an inspiration at one time and a powerful political party at another, but anyhow, the revolutionary communist party is the most refined manifestation of the workers class. This has been a conclusion communist students of Iran reached on their own. This conclusion was a necessity earned in the process of their struggle.
It might be interesting to know that the repression machine of the Islamic Republic of Iran, meaning the Ministry of Intelligence, did not consider the left wing of the student movement worth of attention up until the year 2006. But when on 2005 and 06 hundreds of students took to streets all of a sudden, chanting and holding communist slogans and shook the university of Tehran, when the group organized their protest on 2006 and gathered more than a thousand to attend, the regime abruptly attacked and arrested the leftist students far and wide. The likes of these arrests were un- heard of after 1998. Even though 30 of the core member of the group were arrested, the demonstration was held full force. All together there were 60 people arrested at the end and tormented by horrible middle-ages means of tortures and were kept for months in solitary cells. But the governing body of the regime failed to crush the movement. One of the arrested colleagues of mine told me that his interrogator confessed to him with these words: “Your group is like a rope, there is no end to it as much as we pull.”
It’s also significant to mention that the movement of Freedom and Equality Seeker students, although young and very recent but in no way it is un-experienced, or immature, or fanatic, or militant, or depended only on pragmatics. On the contrary, the left wing of the radical students, names such as Behrouz KarimiZadeh, Amin Ghaza’ee, Kaveh Abasian, Behzad Bagheri, Peyman Piran, … wrote extensively in Kahk Magazine and other publications and published their analysis over various social issues; their ideas still reflects widely inside Iran. But this was only to attract forces and to identify appropriate strategies and mottos. As a matter of fact this movement is not known by its extreme actions; it movement began its way slowly and timely and that was the reason the Ministry of Intelligence did not manage to notice the dangers caused by the spreading of their ideas soon enough.
At the end, I would like to add that this was not my intention to write a piece defending the communist students of Iran or to prop them up .All I wish to express is this: Let’s not forget we’re the result of a millennium of the war of classes. Let’s not forget the rightfulness of our cause. Necessity and reality of the war of classes keeps the fire of the struggle aflame, only we must become the tool for the workers’ class to reach power and therefore reach the absolute success in the end.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008

Release Ali Kantouri !

Behrouz Karimizadeh and Majid poor majed released!

Mike Bessler
We have received word that Freedom and Equality Seeking Students (DAB) Behrouz Karimizadeh and Majid Majedi are now out of jail, which is a very positive development. They were apparently released in mid-April. Of course, “freedom” in today’s Iran is a very relative term and it is important to remember that our friends continue to suffer from the physical and mental consequences of their detention and torture. Further, they are awaiting trial on very serious charges which carry significant penalties in the event that convictions are returned. Moreover, as of this date, some DAB students remain imprisoned under harsh conditions.
Our friends need our support now more than ever!
We say “NO” to repressive theocracy AND to U.S. Imperialism!
Long live FREEDOM and EQUALITY !

Thursday, April 24, 2008

About Freedom and Equality Seeking Students

April 2008
For Immediate Release
Please copy and distribute via print and electronic media

The “Freedom and Equality Seeking Students” (also known as “Daneshjoojyan'e azadi khah ,khah va barabari'talab” or “DAB”) is a group of radical Iranian university students. In 2006, the group began its opposition to Iran’s dominant classes and their ideological apparatus. Marxian analysis of contemporary society served to provide the guiding principles of their movement. The bloody repression of Iran’s leftist groups throughout the 1980’s
amounted to nothing short of a political genocide -- a matter that is largely overlooked by contemporary historians. The Freedom and Equality Seeking Students knew this and chose to forge a brave path forward despite the risks before them.

Their original objectives included the following:
1) To form a nationwide network of politically active Iranian students.
2) To fulfill the need for a students’ guild in Iran.
3) To abolish the military occupation of Iranian universities.

These goals were essential points in their organization of Iran’s Students’ Day (Azar 16)
demonstrations of 2006. The two essential slogans in the 2006 Students’ Day activities were “No to War!” and “Free Universities from Invading Military Forces!”

Continuing in their efforts to spread the word regarding the struggle, DAB promoted their opinion and their theory through articles published in university-based magazines and local newspapers from various cities in Iran. The also published work through literary sites such as Art Cult and Mind Motor.

Iranian students continued the important work of organizing demonstrations through 2007, holding events on March 8 (International Women’s Day) and May 1 (May Day). The final scheduled event of 2007 was the annual Students’ Day event, (December 6 or Azar 16 1386). The event was planned as a huge, coordinated series of demonstrations to be held at universities across the entire nation. The Iranian regime was alarmed and threatened by the political implications of these events and exercised extreme repression in an effort to disrupt Students’ Day activities. Three days before Students’ Day 2007, political leaders, organizers and students affiliated with Iranian students were arrested and imprisoned. All together, about 70 people were arrested including friends and relatives of Iranian students members.
Some of the people arrested in the second round of the crackdown were friends and relatives of DAB students. They were released after a week. About 60 of the arrested students remained in custody for 20 to 30 days, enduring solitary confinement and torture. Most of these individuals were required to post exorbitant amounts of money for bail prior to being released. They are currently awaiting trial for their alleged “crimes.” There is news that there are unbelievably heavy sentences tailored for the DAB students. We fear very heavy sentences including extended periods of imprisonment and execution for group members and DAB leaders.

These brave students have done nothing but practiced their freedom of expression in a very peaceful manner within the limits of the Iranian constitution. To date, four of the leaders of the Freedom and Equality Seeking Students remain in custody. During the course of their imprisonment, they have been subjected to horrendous mistreatment and torture . Even now, as of the date of this correspondence, this abuse continues on a regular basis. The imprisoned leaders of Iranian students remain in custody and under extreme conditions because their families cannot raise the high bail amounts imposed by the courts.

Behruz Karimi Zadeh is now kept in Ward 209 of the Evin prison. He is suffering from extreme trauma resulting in internal hemorrhages . His right ear is deaf and bleeding. His bail is set at $300,000 dollars, an amount beyond his family’s reach.

Peyman Piran is losing his eyesight. He is having difficulty walking and his shoulder blade is damaged because of being hanged by the hands for long hours. He is kept at ward 350 of Evin prison.

Ali Kantoury could not be recognized by his colleagues because he is terribly sick , suffering from skin disease, constant vomiting and difficulty breathing. All of these conditions are the direct results of his mistreatement while in custody. Moreover, he has been denied medical treatment, thus exacerbating his significant health problems. He is kept in Rajayee Shahr prison, a notorious prison for political prisoners . Conditions in the prison are very harsh and political prisoners face harassment and attack from criminal inmates at the direction of prison guards.

Majid PourMaajed was stabbed while walking in the streets of Tabriz. He was kidnapped a week later and taken to jail. In a matter of 10 days, he was taken to a hospital in Tabriz. He was found to be unconscious at the time of his admission. The specialist who visited him advised press that Pour Maajed’s arms were covered by cigarette burns and that he was repeatedly vomiting. It was also reported that Pour Maajed was urinating blood because a hot rod had been inserted into his genitals. Pour Maajed was still in coma 3 days later when intelligence service agents moved him to an undisclosed location. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Amin Ghaza’ee is currently out of jail on $50,000 bail. Both Amnesty International and PEN International issued statements expressing concern on his well being during his imprisonment. Amin Ghaza’ee is currently awaiting trial along with his friends.

These students and political activists -- all of whom range in age from 20 to 25 years old -- are facing serious sentences, including lengthy periods of imprisonment and even execution. The fabricated allegations against group leaders include charges of apostasy, attempting to overthrow the Iranian regime and collusion with opposition groups outside of the country. Each of these charges is punishable by death according to the Islamic legal system of Iran. The students fear that when the allegations are presented in the court, there will not be much time to defend against these charges. It will be difficult and to rescue these victims of the Iranian regime’s wrath from the forces of reactionary oppression.

Some DAB members are trying to flee Iran. Some are seeking asylum in Turkey and some have reached European countries and established temporary residences. They are all in need of financial and humanitarian aid permanent residences in friendly countries.

Up until now, only Human Rights Watch has expressed public concern by issuing a statement of concern regarding the torture of the imprisoned Iranian students.

The struggle of the Freedom and Equality Seeking Students of Iran deserves international attention. For far too long, religious and humanitarian organizations as well as progressives and radicals worldwide have turned a blind eye to the situation in Iran. Many comrades have faced extreme repression, torture and execution while the international Left has remained silent. This is more than unfortunate...It is a virtual betrayal of their efforts and sacrifices.

Some groups and organizations have hesitated to express solidarity with the Iranian students because they do not understand the basic philosophical tenets of Iranian students. It is possible that non-political groups might find any group operating under the principles of Marxist theory to be somewhat suspect, particularly if such organizations are operating under a “Cold War” mentality. The political and philosophical framework of Iranian students is simple: These students -- who are admittedly secular -- have engaged in a very open-minded approach towards Marxism and they are sensitive to matters regarding individual rights and civil liberties. They believe equality and freedom are essential for a nation’s well being and they hold that civil and constitutional rights for women, as well as racial, ethnic, religious, and sexually-oriented minority groups must be practiced in their motherland of Iran.

The Equality and Freedom Seeking University Students of Iran never attempted to overthrow the government of Iran. They never attempted assist foreign countries in interfering with Iranian affairs. They never attempted an insurgency against the Iranian regime. They have committed no crimes.

Our comrades are desperately in need of international media attention as well as assistance from political and humanitarian organizations.

Time is fleeting and history and the situation is urgent. History will judge us harshly should we fail to support or comrades-in-arms.


In solidarity,
Mike B. das.kapital@gmail.com
Hooman Kazemian en.freedom.equality@gmail.com
and, Friends of the Freedom and Equality Seeking Students of Iran

For more information, please visit these websites:
Nothing Can Stop Us http://english.azady-barabary.net/
Friends of the Equality and Freedom Seeking University Students of Iran (Facebook group)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Freedom and Equality Seeking students

Freedom and Equality Seeking students, related to radical left, is a group of Marxist students in Iran`s universities. Through Marxian analysis of Iranian contemporary society, the group began its activities against dominant classes and their ideological apparatus in the beginning the new millennium. After the bloody repressions of leftist groups in the early 1980`s, what can be called a political genocide (and what is largely overlooked in the contemporary history), the group began its activities on 2006. Their aim was to form a network in universities nationwide to follow up and actualize trade and political requirements of students and fill up the need for an student guild in the country and to abolish the military occupancy of the universities in Iran. The two essential slogans in the student day, Azar 16, was No to War, and Free Universities from Invading Military Forces. The students promoted their opinion and their theory through articles published in university based magazines, and local newspapers in various cities in Iran, and in literary sites such as Art Cult and Mind Motor. One of DAB’s (Freedom and Equality Seeking Students) most important undertakings were demonstrations in dates such as Azar 16 (the national student’s day), May 1, and March 8. On the last event, Azar 16 1386, 2007, the event was exceptionally huge, celebrated country-wide by university students, and very effective especially because the leaders of the group were all arrested and taken to jail 3 days prior to the event.
All together about 70 people were arrested including friends and relatives of the group members. Those not belonged to the group were let out after a week or so. 60 of the group members were released with very heavy bails and are awaiting trial for their alleged crimes. There are news that there are nubeliebly heavy sentences tailored for the members and the leaders of the group, whom had only practiced their freedom of expression in a very peaceful manner within the limits of the constitution. 4 of the leaders and the masterminds of the group are still in jail and still under horrendous tortures.
Behruz KarimiZadeh, is now kept in ward 209, Evin prison. He is suffering from anal and internal hemorrhage . His right ear is deaf, and bleeding. His bail is set on 300.000 dollars, an amount beyond his family’s dream. Peyman Piran, is losing his eyesight. He is having difficulty walking, and his shoulder blade is damaged because of being hanged by the hands for long hours, he is kept at ward 350, Evin prison. Ali Kantoury) couldn’t be recognized by his colleagues, he is terribly sick and suffering from skin disease, constant vomiting and difficulty breathing, all of which occurred while in jail. He is kept in Rajayee Shahr prison, a notorious prison were political prisoners are sent were they are regularly hurt and attacked by criminal inmates instructed by the jail-keepers to punish political prisoners. Majid PourMaajed was knifed while walking in the streets of Tabriz. He was kidnapped a week later and was taken to jail. In a matter of 10 days he was taken to a hospital in Tabriz, unconscious. The specialist who visited him said to the press that PourMajed’s arms were covered by cigarette burns, and he urinated blood because of hot-rod inserted in his genitals, he was constantly vomiting. He was still in coma 3 days later when he was transferred again by the intelligent service agents to an un-known place.
Another one of the leaders of the group, Amin Ghaza’ee, for whom the Amnesty International and PEN International have give out statements expressing concern on the wellbeing of the writer in prison, is released on a bail 50.000 dollars. He is awaiting trial along with his friends. There news that these student and political activists, all between 20 to 25 years old, are facing heavy sentences, either execution or up to 20 years in jail. The allegation fabricated for the group leaders, such as apostasy and attempting to overthrow the regime and having connection with the outside opposition groups, are each punished by death according to the Islamic laws practiced in Islamic Republic of Iran. The group fears that when the allegations are presented in the court, there is not much time to prove the allegation hoax, and to rescue these victims of the Iranian regime’s wreath against the opposition mind.
Also, there are members of the group trying to flee Iran. Some are wandering on the borders to cross over, and some are seeking asylum in Turkey, some have reached a European country. They are all in need of financial and immigration help and must be taken to safe homes or countries.
Up until now, only the Human Rights Watch has shown concern with disbursing an statement of concern over the possibility of the students being tortured.
The group needs media and international attention since because of their beliefs they are not favored by Iranian Moslims, Liberal, and not even by the leftist living abroad since 1979, the reason, the group believes is because of misunderstanding their views on Marxism. It seems that they are being boycotted by the media, and the key organization which should take action at time like this to defend such prisoners of conscience falling victim to such tortures only to confess to crimes which they have never done. The students, admittedly secular, have been taken on a very open-minded approach towards Marxist teachings and are sensitive about individual and civil rights. They believe equality and freedom is essential for a nation’s well being, they believe civil and constitutional rights for racial, ethnic, religious, gender and sexual minority groups is in line with human rights and must be practiced in their motherland, Iran.
The group never attempted to overthrow the government of Iran, never attempted to give way to foreign countries to interfere with Iran’s affairs, never attempted to attack the regime armed or not। They are in need of international media and individual, Marxist or humanitarian organizations’ attention and assistance.
Hooman kazemian

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Detained Students May Face Detained Students May Face Torture

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Detained Students May Face Torture
Authorities Should Investigate Allegations of Abuse

(Washington, DC, April 10, 2008) – Iranian authorities should immediately investigate allegations that Ministry of Information agents and interrogators tortured four detained student activists, and punish officials involved in such abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. According to sources familiar with the case, the students have suffered physical and psychological abuse during detention. Three students remain imprisoned, and the whereabouts of the fourth detainee, taken from his hospital bed on April 5, are unknown.

Iranian authorities accuse the four students of taking part in “armed activities” and “forming groups against the state।” Lawyers representing the students have not had access to their clients or their files. Human Rights Watch is concerned that authorities may have detained the students merely for exercising their rights to peacefully gather and express dissent. “Iran should either charge these students with a crime, or release them,” said Joe Stork, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Officials must investigate the reports of torture and punish anyone it finds responsible.” The four detainees, Behrooz Karimizadeh, Peyman Piran, Ali Kantouri, and Majid Pourmajid, are activists with the organization Students Seeking Freedom and Equality. The group states that it seeks to peacefully resist various forms of inequality and exploitation. The group has branches and members on university campuses throughout Iran. Since December 2007, Iranian authorities have arrested over 40 students affiliated with the group. All but the four mentioned above are free; some of the students released alleged that their interrogators tortured and ill-treated them while in detention. The arrests appear to have been triggered by demonstrations planned on several campuses to commemorate Students Day on December 7, 2007. Known by the date according to the Iranian calendar, 16 of Azar, Students Day observes the day in 1953 when police fatally shot three student protesters at the University of Tehran. The authorities began targeting members of the Students Seeking Freedom and Equality a few days before the planned events and continued to harass key members for months afterwards. The crackdown appears to be focused on the Students Seeking Freedom and Equality. On December 2, 2007, Ministry of Information agents arrested Behrooz Karimizadeh, 22, at the home of a friend in Tehran. Two days later, plainclothes agents from that ministry arrested Peyman Piran, as he was leaving Tehran University following peaceful student demonstrations on campus. Authorities are holding the pair in Units 209 and 305, respectively, in Evin prison in Tehran. Information received by Human Rights Watch suggests the authorities are subjecting the detainees to long periods of solitary confinement and various forms of physical and psychological ill-treatment. Approximately two weeks after the arrests of Karimizadeh and Piran, Ministry of Information agents arrested Ali Kantouri, also an activist with Students Seeking Freedom and Equality, in the town of Ghazvin, northwest of Tehran. Authorities transferred him to Ghezel Hesare, a prison located near the city of Karaj in Tehran province. Court officials refused to set bail for Kantouri and set prohibitively high bails for Piran and Karimizadeh (nearly US$300,000 for Karimizadeh). On March 29, 2008, Ministry of Information agents arrested Majid Pourmajid in the northwestern city of Tabriz and hospitalized him on April 2, 2008. Three days later, authorities transferred him from the hospital to an unknown location.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

British students elect jailed Iranian activist as honorary leader

On 2 April, the annual conference of the National Union of Students, attended by over 1,000 delegates from universities and colleges across the UK, voted overwhelmingly to elect Iranian student activist Anoosheh Azaadbar as an Honorary Vice-President.
Every year the conference elects one or more Honorary VPs, who remains in office for four years, as a symbol of solidarity with struggles for equality and freedom across the world. Last year, delegates elected jailed Tehran bus workers' leader Mansour Ossanlou.

The campaign to elect Anoosheh was run by Education Not for Sale (ENS), a socialist faction within the NUS. ENS member Darcy Leigh, a conference delegate from Edinburgh University, proposed the nomination with the following speech:

"Conference, last year we elected Mansour Ossanlou, leader of the Tehran bus workers' union, as our honorary vice president. This year, we can once again stand with workers and students in Iran by electing Anoosheh Azaadbar.

"Anoosheh is a student at Tehran University. She's one of 50 student activists arrested in Iran last December for organising protests against both a brutal and oppressive regime and the threat of imperialist war.

"Like most of those arrested, Anoosheh is a socialist - an activist in the group Freedom and Equality-Seeking Students, which seeks to link the student movement to the workers' and women's movements.

"Our sisters and brothers in Iran are faced by a regime that locks up and tortures both trade union and student activists; that executes LGBT people; that values women as 'half a man' in the eyes of the law and that persecutes religious and national minorities as well as anyone who speaks out against its crimes.
"They also face the threat of economic sanctions, bombing raids and invasion by the most powerful military machine on earth.

"Two of Anoosheh's student comrades have been killed in prison. Whilst Anoosheh and others have been released, four people remain in prison and they all face continued persecution.

"Conference, if you're serious about international solidarity, if you're serious about opposing war, if you're serious about freedom and democracy on campus and in society, elect Anoosheh Azaadbar as our honorary vice president."
Even though the conference did not have time to discuss motions on Iran, this election strengthens NUS's policy of combining opposition to war with support for workers', students', women's and other democratic movements from below in Iran. ENS will be fighting for that policy to be implemented vigorously.
For more information, please contact Sofie Buckland, an ENS member who sits on the NUS National Executive Committee, by emailing sofie.buckland@nus.org.uk

For the manifesto and supporters' list for the campaign to elect Anoosheh, see the ENS website http://www।free-education.org.uk/?p=442

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Will NUS conference oppose war and support Iranian students?

On Sunday 16 March, delegates from universities and colleges across the country met for NUS conference “compositing”, the process by which the various motions and amendments submitted to the conference are quite literally chopped up and reconstructed in more manageable units. Among these was a motion from the National Executive Committee, proposed by ENS supporter Sofie Buckland, and a similar one from Sheffield College, proposed by ENS supporter Heather Shaw, which commit NUS to sharply oppose war and sanctions against Iran and organise practical solidarity with students, workers and others fighting to overthrow Iran’s theocratic government from below.
Unfortunately, the composited motion, which will be discussed as an amendment under the heading “Global solidarity” in the “Society & Citizenship” debate, will be opposed by some on the left, with a formal speech being requested by Plymouth University.Plymouth was represented at the compositing meeting by one of their sabbatical officers, Alison Smith, who is a member of the SWP and Student Respect. Alison and the other Respect comrades argued that, while they do support students and workers in Iran, any sharp criticism of the Iranian regime will strengthen the hands of the US and British governments and increase the possibility of war - even if tied to a strong anti-war stance.
ENS believes this is illogical and ridiculous; the final amendment, which is reproduced below, in any case deals with similar arguments in some detail. We appeal to both the Plymouth University delegation and the Student Respect comrades to drop their opposition to supporting our brothers and sisters in Iran, and to unite with ENS to ensure that the conference adopts a strong and principled anti-war/pro-solidarity position.

Amendment to “Global solidarity” in “Society & Citizenship” debate
Proposed by Sheffield College, National Executive Committee
Conference believes
1. The American government continues to sabre-rattle against Iran.2. The Iranian government continues to repress students, workers and women engaged in pro-democracy struggles, including the repeated imprisonment and physical assault of trade unionists.3. That the arrest of over 50 left-wing Iranian student activists for organising anti-government protests in December last year - and the death in custody of one of them, Ebrahim Lotfollahi - shows the urgent need for solidarity.4. It also confirms our perspective of combining 100% opposition to war on Iran with 100% support for students’, workers’, women’s and other democratic movements seeking to overthrow the Islamic Republic from below.5. That in 1999 we elected Iranian student leader Ahmed Bahtebi as NUS Honorary Vice-President, and in 2007 we elected Tehran bus workers’ leader Mansoor Ossanlou to the same position.
Conference further believes
1. That large numbers of students participated in the 2002-2003 movement against the war in Iraq.2. That huge numbers of students have participated in radical, pro-democracy struggles in Iran.3. That while many thousands of students were involved in the campaign against war on Iraq, NUS gave formal support but stood on the sidelines. We should not make the same mistake again.4. That anti-war campaigning will be neither principled nor effective unless it makes solidarity with the people of Iran against the theocratic regime oppressing and exploiting them.5. Just because the pro-war camp might disingenuously highlight Iran’s lack of democracy in its propaganda does not mean we have to pretend the opposite is the case.6. That opposing any war, invasion or other military action by American and/or its allies against Iran does not require us to silence our criticisms of the Iranian regime or put on our hold our support for movements inside Iran working for its democratic overthrow from below.7. In fact, making this support the central aspect of our opposition to war strengthens our position by allowing us to counterpose the imperialist regime change from above advocated by Bush et al to the democratic regime change from below fought for by our brothers and sisters inside Iran.
Conference resolves
1. To oppose any military action, economic sanctions etc against Iran.2. In the event of an attack, to throw the national union into the anti-war movement and support mass actions including occupations to stop the war.3. To continue and expand our solidarity with the organisations and movements of Iran’s workers, students, women, LGBT people and oppressed national minorities.4. To organise a student contingent on the next Stop the War Coalition demonstration with the slogans “No to war, no to theocracy – solidarity with students, workers and women in Iran”.5. To create a section of the NUS website aimed at raising awareness of democratic struggles in Iran.6. To send a message of greetings to our student comrades struggling inside Iran.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Danger of Death for Communist Students in Iran

Kave Heydari
In the past 4 months, the Islamic regime of Iran has attacked and oppressed the leaders and activists of the Iranian communist movement -- namely, the "Freedom and Equality Seeking University Students।" More than 41 of our comrades have been arrested and imprisoned since December 2007। These brave people have been brutally tortured and tormented. Because of international pressures, the Islamic regime has been forced to give some of these students "conditional release" on the condition their families pay considerable amounts for bail to provide these individuals limited freedom until their trial.
There are still four of our comrades in prison in Iran. Two of them, Behrouz Karimi-zadeh and Peyman Piran, remain in jail because their family cannot afford to post bail. The amount of bail for Behrouz Karimi-zadeh is over £160,000. The Iranian government will grant no release -- even conditional release on bail -- to the remaining two comrades, Ali Kantoori and Farhad Haji Mirzaie. They are in horrible condition. Even now they are endure barbaric torture.
Behrouz Karimi-zadeh is a writer and the chief-editor of Khak Journal, a well known voice in students' movements. He is among the founders of "Equality and Freedom Seeking Students". Behrouz is horribly injured from constant systematic tortures during the past 3 month. Mentally and physically, he is ill and in great pain. He has received especially severe tortures to break him down. He has unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide with the electric cord in his solitary cell. He was taken to the prison hospital, but he received only minimal treatment and before his injuries were healed, he was subjected to further torture. He was forced to "confess" on camera and renounce his own political and social activities and announce them as actions against the country's security;. These allegations can be punishable by execution according to the legislations in Iran. Behrouz's right ear is damaged and has become deaf following insertion of hard object in his ear. He has been subjected to high voltage electric shocks on various parts of his body including his genitals, and his body has been flogged with cable, especially on the soles of his feet. This torture was carried out while Behrouz was in his solitary cell. His bail amount of US$300,000, is unprecedented and it is impossible for his family to pay it. This amount is unheard of for a bail in Iran and it is believed that the bail has been set intentionally high so that his family cannot afford it. His family was told that should the bail not get paid, Behrouz will be transferred to a prison for criminals very soon. Iran's judiciary authorities have announced that the government cannot protect his safety after his transfer to such a prison. His family believes that this is a conspiracy to have him killed by criminal inmates.
Also, I have been informed that the life of Peyman Piran is seriously in danger. He has been imprisoned since December and has endured brutal medieval torture techniques and his health condition is very bad. Peyman's right shoulder and leg are badly damaged due to constant brutal torture.
Farhad Haji Mirzaie, a member of the Association for the Protection of Children's Rights and a founding member of the "Association of Defence" of Political Prisoners and Human Rights in Iran, has been subjected to severe and systematic punishment and torture in an attempt to force him to confess to fabricated allegations. While in jail, his residence was raided by the security forces and his personal belongings were taken away.
Ali Kantoori, a famous activist leader who was abducted off the street by government agents, is in a bad condition. His rib cage has been broken down under torture. Because he refused to accept what under interrogations was asked him to confess, he has replaced to another prison ‐Ghezel Hesar ‐ as punishment. He remains in a cell in very critical condition. Ali suffers from illnesses and he is denied medical treatment. The government does not allow Ali's family to provide any bail for him. Ali's family has been advised that Ali must be imprisoned unconditionally.
We desperately need to raise money to provide bail for our comrades Behrouz Karimi-zadeh and Peyman Piran and we need INTERNATIONAL support to release from danger of death our comrades Farhad Haji Mirzaie and Ali Kantoori. The "Freedom and Equality Seeking University Students" have published an account number in their official website to provide our comrades bail. Let's prevent another human tragedy at the hands of the Islamic Republic against OUR COMRADES, the Iranian Student activists.
Name: K।H 
Sort Code: 40-04-37
Account Number: 01568604
Bank: HSBC
Iban: GB85 MIDL 400 4370 1568 604
Adress: HSBC, Muswelhill Broadway, London

release our comrades

Monday, March 31, 2008

Release peyman piran

We have been informed that the life of Mr. Peyman Piran an Iranian Student Activist who from months ago is imprisoned by the Secret Services of the Islamic Republic of Iran; is seriously in danger.Mr. Peyman Piran, who is imprisoned from months ago, has been tolerating brutal tortures of the middle ages forms used in interrogations. His health condition is terribly poor, his right shoulder and leg are badly damaged due to constant hanging of the body, and the beatings. We would like to bring this matter to Iranians and the entire humanitarian organizations' attention. Based on the latest news released by reliable sources three Iranian student activists including Mr. Peyman Piran, Mr. Berooz Karimizadeh, and Mr. Ali Kantoori have been transferred since this morning and are taken from the section 209 of Evin Prison Tehran, Iran to the quarantine section of the same prison.
Please help us prevent another tragedy by the Islamic Republic against the people of Iranian

Release ali kanturi

Arrested student, comrade Ali Kanturi is kept in worst conditions in the concentration camp no 5 salon 3 in Ghezelhesar prison. He is kept in a cell that hardly fits for six, but seven inmates are kept in it. The cell is very dirty and insect infected. cmd. Kanturi is suffering from lung infection and asthma. He was under therapy when he was arrested and the illness has relapsed in the highly infected and dirty conditions of the prison. Despite our serious perseverance, authorities have done nothing to take him to a clinic. He has only been seen by the prison doctor and that happened only ten days ago. Medication was prescribed but nothing has been delivered to him so far. Last Monday comrade kanturi's family visited him in the visitation cabin with the presence of the guards and intelligence officers.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Release behrooz karimizadeh

Dear Comrades,
On the arrival of the new year in Iran some of the Equality and Freedom Seeking University Students are still kept in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran the capital of the country, due to their families' inability to provide the incredibly high bills - US$ 400,000 dollars. The only solution remained for their families is to buy the bills,i.e., to pay one tenth of the amount of the land or house so that the owner let the property be used for that perpose. They could have so far gather about half of the amount. If you happen to be able to help in any way or know someone who may do that please do not hesitate to send your money to the HSBC account introduced in
which is the official site of these students. They are in poor health conditions and the authorities have threatened the families to send their children to the general ward where all different criminals are kept.

Monday, February 18, 2008

ISSE demonstrates in New York to demand release of jailed Iranian students

The International Students for Social Equality held a demonstration Saturday, February 16 to protest the Iranian government’s arrest of more than 40 left-wing students and demand their immediate release.
ISSE members and supporters, together with a group of Iranian students attending university in the US, rallied outside the Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in midtown Manhattan. The demonstrators carried signs condemning the arrests and put up display boards bearing photographs of a number of those who are now imprisoned by the Iranian government. The students formed a picket line, marching in front of the entrance to the building on Third Ave. in Manhattan, where the mission has its offices, chanting, “Free the Iranian students, no to war against Iran.”
After the demonstration, the Socialist Equality Party and ISSE held a meeting in which there was a lively discussion about the present political situation in both Iran and the US, the political issues posed in the development of the Iranian student movement and the struggle for Trotskyism.
Those arrested in Iran are part of the group Students for Freedom and Equality, also known as the Radical Left. In December, the group organized an independent demonstration to denounce US war plans, while also opposing all factions of the Iranian government. More than 30 students were arrested after the demonstrations, and another 10 were arrested on January 15.
Some students have been released on bail, while others have been unable to meet the extremely high bail fees of up to $100,000. Other students, including alleged leaders of the group, are not eligible for release and have not had contact with friends or family outside of prison. Some students have said they suspect that these prisoners are being tortured to elicit televised confessions. (See “Iranian government intensifies crackdown on left-wing opposition”)
At Saturday’s rally, Joe Kay, a member of the ISSE Steering Committee, addressed the demonstrators and read out a letter drafted by the ISSE to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanding the immediate release of the imprisoned students. The ISSE will be submitting this letter together with other letters sent by our readers to the Iranian government’s representatives. The WSWS calls on its readers to continue sending letters of protest to the Iranian Interests Section in the United States at
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

. Please send copies to the WSWS.
We will soon be posting a more complete report on the ISSE demonstration on the WSWS.
The text of the ISSE letter follows:
President Mahmoud AhmadinejadSupreme Leader Ayatollah Ali KhameneiPresident Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei:
We are writing to demand the immediate release of all members of the group Azady Barabary (Students for Freedom and Equality) currently held by the government of Iran. Charges against these students must be dropped. They have committed no crime but to engage in legitimate protest against war plans of the United States and the policies of your government. The freed students must be given the right to demonstrate and voice their political opinions openly on campuses.
A list of the names of those students arrested is included below. These students are not affiliated with our organization, but we, along with students and workers all over the world, are following their treatment carefully. We will continue to follow and publicize their cases until they are freed and their unjust persecution ends.
We are outraged by reports that these students have been subject to torture and myriad forms of physical and psychological interrogation. They may also be under pressure to agree to false confessions before television cameras.
These methods recall the atrocities of the Shah’s regime. It should be noted that the first wave of student arrests in December occurred after a demonstration marking Students’ Day, which commemorates the murder of four students by the Shah during the visit of then-US Vice President Richard Nixon in 1953. The killing occurred shortly after the US-sponsored coup overthrowing the government of Mohammad Mossadegh.
The ISSE speaks on behalf of students and workers in the United States and around the world who are deeply opposed to the past and present warmongering policies of the US government against Iran. The students that you have placed behind bars were engaged in protests against US imperialism. Their arrest will only damage the struggle against war that endangers the population of the entire region.
Your imprisonment and mistreatment of these courageous students is a grievous assault on democratic and human rights. It plays into the hands of the imperialist militarists, who exploit the injustice committed by your government to justify their plans for an assault against Iran.
We once again demand the immediate release and the dropping of charges against the following students:
Amin Ghazaie, Bijan Sabagh, Soroush Dashtestani, Anahita Hosseini, Morteza Eslahchi, Bita Samimizad, Behzad Bagheri, Morteza Khedmatloo, Soroush Sabet, Mohammad Pourabdollah, Mohammad Zera’ati, Farzad Hasanzadeh, Saeed Habibi, Peyman Piran, Mehdi Gerailoo, Nader Ehsani, Behrooz Karimizadeh, Ali Salem, Ali Kolaie, Abed Tavancheh, Sadra Pirhayati, Saeed Aghamali, Keyvan Amiri Elyasi, Hadi Salari, Amir Aghaie, Soroush Hashempour, Mehdi Allahyari, Majid Ashrafnejad, Reza Arab, Mohammad Saleh Aboman, Sohrab Karimi, Farshid Doostipour, Javad Alizadeh, Anoosheh Azadbar, Ilnaz Jamshidi, Roozbeh Safshekan, Roozbehan Amiri, Farshid Farhadi Ahangaran, Milad Omrani, Mohsen Ghamin, Nasim Soltanbeigi, Amirhossein Mehrzad, Mahsa Mohebi, Saeed Aghakhani, Okhtai Hosseini, Arash Pakzad.
See Also:Demonstration in New York to protest arrest of Iranian students[14 February 2008]An interview with an Iranian activist on arrests of left-wing students[28 January 2008]

Friday, February 15, 2008

Iran: a new left is emerging on the campuses

Iran: a new left is emerging on the campuses
There have been major confrontations over the last month between students and Iranian security forces. Iranian socialist Behzad of the Iranian Marxist journal Saamaan No (New Order) spoke to Socialist Worker about the new left wing movement rising in Iranian universities.
‘For students in Iran 7 December is an important date. It was on this day in 1953 that students staged mass protests in the University of Tehran at the visit of then US vice-president Richard Nixon.
Nixon was visiting the Shah (the king of Iran) to congratulate him on the coup that toppled the popular nationalist government of Mohammed Mossadeq.
This was a US and British backed coup, and although they got rid of Mossadeq, it did not crush the movement that brought him to power.
The Shah’s security forces fired on the student demonstration, killing three. Since then this date has became a celebration of resistance to dictatorship and the struggle for freedom.
Following the 1953 protests, Iranian students formed the Confederation of Iranian Students to oppose the Shah. Many activists in the confederation were socialist and participated in the revolution that overthrew the Shah in 1979.
Also among them were Islamist students who were part of the National Front – a movement inspired by Mossadeq focused on nationalising Iran’s oil.
This movement came to an end when universities were closed for two years following the foundation of the Islamic Republic and the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeni.
These were the years of the Iran-Iraq war and terrible repression. Many tens of thousands were killed or put in prison. The left was defeated.
In the early 1990s a reform movement grew in Iran. It brought to power the “reformist” president Mohammad Khatami. This movement emerged at the same time as the Soviet Union collapsed. So the left was in disarray and dominated by ideas that said there can never be revolutionary change, the best you can hope for are gradual reforms. This movement put all its faith in Khatami.
However, as it became clear that the reformist president could not deliver the changes demanded of him, this created the conditions for a new left to emerge.
One of the centres of this movement was the pro-reform student Islamist societies in the colleges. At the time these were small groups calling for democracy. They did not describe themselves as socialist or left wing.
They put their faith in small changes that would bring greater freedom and democratic rights, a free press and so on. These students became radicalised following the failure of the reform movement, and the closure of Salam, a pro-reform newspaper. Their protests were heavily attacked by the security forces. Some students began to break with the fundamentalist ideology and question reformism and the state.
Gradually through studying the history of the labour movement in Iran and internationally, they began to develop Marxist ideas. They began to organise and publish newspapers, blogs and other literature. They debated everything from art to politics.
Their demands range from improving conditions in universities through to questions of democracy. And the opposition to neoliberal policies of the government has also tapped into wider discontent across the country.
At the same time as a growing radicalisation among students there was a rise in workers’ struggles in Iran. At the heart of this were bus drivers, who established an independent trade union and found themselves in opposition to the state.
The majority of Iran’s 70 million people are under 35. There are over four million students in the country.
Two years ago, left wing students joined with reformists and the Islamic student societies to organise a major celebration of the events of 7 December 1953.
A year later these students began to raise slogans calling for socialism. They could not march in the streets, but they had good mobilisations on campus. The state responded with waves of arrests and repression.
In the first wave 30 left wing students were seized, in the second 11 – one of whom was killed. These arrests galvanised other students into protest behind student action committees.
Since then we have seen a massive growth in the socialist student societies. There are now up to 15 left wing journals and newspapers – most of which are clandestine.
These students have been debating two major political questions. The first is the opposition to imperialism, especially the threats from the US following the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The second is how to achieve real change inside Iran. They see these two positions as being important for the movement for change.
The right inside Iran has been able to use the threat of imperialism to snuff out any opposition at home. The first time was when the US supported Iraq during its war with Iran (1980-88) and now following the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel’s war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006.
Last month there were major confrontations between students and security forces. At the same time there have been strikes and other protests. The re-emergence of the student movement and left wing ideas on campus is a sign of a growing confidence and changes that are developing inside Iran.’
Join the picket to support Iranian students this Saturday 16 February, 12 noon, Trafalgar Square. For more Information about those students go to » www.13azar.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

PEN about amin ghazaii

13 February 2008

RAN 08/08

IRAN: Amin Ghazaei, writer and student leader detained; fears of ill-treatment and health concerns.
The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of writer and activist Amin Ghazaei, who has been held incommunicado without charge since 14 January 2008. He is among scores of student activists to have been detained in December 2007 and Janaury 2008. International PEN WiPC fears that he may be detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression, and calls on the Iranian authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally if held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory. PEN is alarmed at reports that he may be ill-treated in prison, and seeks assurances of his well-being and guarantees that he has access to all necessary medical care as a matter of urgency.
According to PEN’s information, writer Amin Ghazaei, who is also leader of the group Students for Freedom and Equality (Daneshjouyan-e Azadi Khah va Beraber Talab), was arrested in Tehran on 14 January 2008 by Intelligence Ministry officers along with 14 other students at a meeting, in what appears to be a worrying pattern of recent arrests of student activists. He is reported to be held without charge in solitary confinement in Section 209 of Evin Prison, and to have been tortured. There is concern for his health as he reportedly suffers from a peptic ulcer, heart problems, and asthma. Amin Ghazaei's home was reportedly searched on 15 January 2008 by the police who confiscated his computer and all of his papers. He has been allowed one short telephone conversation with his family in the presence of guards, but otherwise has not been allowed access to his family or a lawyer. Amin Ghazaei was born in 1979 and is known for his many articles published on-line on topics such as gender identity. The websites he has written for include http://www.mindmotor.com/ and http://www.poetrymag.info/ . He is the chief editor of the electronic journal ArtCult and has his own web-log (bafandeh.blogfa.com). He has also translated some banned books into Farsi, including Gender Trouble (Judith Butler), Seduction (Jean Baudrillard), and Cyborg Manifesto (Donna Haraway) which have been published either on the web or by an Iranian publisher in Europe. He has also published two collections of writings, Hich Ettefagh (Nothing Happening) and Haghighat (Truth), and has co-authored the anthology Honar-e Mossalah (Armed Art). None of his works have been submitted for publication inside Iran.

Amnesty International gives the following background information: ‘Student groups have been at the forefront of demands for greater human rights in Iran in recent years. Since the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005, there have been increasing restrictions on civil society in Iran. In April 2007, Minister of Intelligence Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie publicly accused student activists and campaigners for the rights of women in Iran of being part of an "enemy conspiracy," though neither he nor other Iranian authorities have produced evidence to substantiate this charge, which such activists roundly repudiate. ‘


Please send appeals:

· Expressing serious concerns about the detention and well-being of writer and activist Amin Ghazaei, and seeking guarantees of his well-being and demanding that he is given full access to his family, lawyers and all necessary medical treatment immediately.
· calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.


Leader of the Islamic Republic His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ˜Ali Khamenei The Office of the Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Email: info@leader.ir Salutation: Your Excellency Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi 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: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi) Salutation: Your Excellency Minister of Intelligence Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue,
Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: Via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790
(mark: "Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad")
Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir
via website: www.president.ir/email

If possible please send a copy of your appeal to the diplomatic representative for Iran in your country.

***Please check with this office if sending appeals after 5 March 2008***
For further information please contact Cathy McCann at International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email: cathy.mccann@internationalpen.org.uk

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Amnesty International about Amin Ghaza’i

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/037/2008
11 February 2008

UA 36/08 Arbitrary arrest/Torture or ill-treatment/Possible Prisoner of conscience
IRAN Amin Ghaza’i (m) aged 29, writer and prominent leader of the group Students for Freedom and Equality (Daneshjouyan-e Azadi Khah va Beraber Talab)
Amin Ghaza’i was arrested in Tehran on 14 January 2008. He is reported to be held without charge or trial in solitary confinement in Section 209 of Evin Prison, and to have been tortured. There is concern for his health as he reportedly suffers from a peptic ulcer, heart problems, and asthma.

Amnesty International is concerned that Amin Ghaza’i may be a prisoner of conscience held solely on account of the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association. He was detained along with 14 other students at a meeting, in what appears to be a worrying pattern of recent arrests. Between December 2007 and January 2008 alone, Amnesty International has recorded the names of more than 74 students who have been arrested. (See UA 331/07, MDE 13/147/2007, 13 December 2007 and follow-ups).

Amin Ghaza’i's home was searched on 15 January by the police who confiscated his computer and all of his papers. The students arrested with him have been allowed family visits. Amnesty International is not aware of any of them having been formally charged with any offence. On 30 January, Amin Ghaza’i was allowed a three minute telephone conversation with his family in the presence of guards, during which he reportedly appeared subdued. Amin Ghaza’i has not been allowed access to his family or a lawyer.

Amin Ghaza’i is the chief editor of the electronic journal ArtCult and has published many articles on the internet about gender identity. He has also written books on the subject and reportedly translated some banned books into Persian.

Student groups have been at the forefront of demands for greater human rights in Iran in recent years. Since the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005, there have been increasing restrictions on civil society in Iran. In April 2007, Minister of Intelligence Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie publicly accused student activists and campaigners for the rights of women in Iran of being part of an "enemy conspiracy," though neither he nor other Iranian authorities have produced evidence to substantiate this charge, which such activists roundly repudiate.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, English, French, Arabic or your own language:
- calling on the authorities to release Amin Ghaza’i immediately and unconditionally or else bring him to trial promptly and fairly on recognizably criminal charges;
- expressing concern at reports that Amin Ghaza’i has been tortured and seeking assurances that he will not be subjected to further torture or ill-treatment;
- calling for an immediate and impartial investigation into these accusations and for anyone found responsible for abuses to be brought to justice;
- calling on the authorities to ensure that Amin Ghaza’i has immediate and regular access to relatives, legal representation, and any medical attention he may require;
- reminding the authorities that confessions extracted under torture are prohibited by Article 38 of the constitution of Iran, which says that "All forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or acquiring information are forbidden," and that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Article 7 states that "No one shall be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment".
Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@leader.ir
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
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: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir
via website: www.president.ir/email/

Speaker of Parliament
His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel
Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami, Baharestan Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 3355 6408
Email: hadadadel@majlis.ir (Please ask that your message be brought to the attention of the Article 90 Commission)

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 24 March 2008.

Release our comrades

Four ways you can show solidarity with student activists in Iran

Four ways you can show solidarity with student activists in Iran
Since 7 December, the Iranian regime has imprisoned dozens of left-wing student activists for demonstrating, or attempting to demonstrate, against it, as well as against the threat of a US-Iranian war। Please help us make solidarity with our comrades in Iran.
For more on the struggle in Iran, see http://freeirstudent.blogspot.com/, run by activists from the left wing Freedom and Equality-Seeking Students group. It includes a post on our campaign (thanks, comrades!)1. Education Not for Sale activists and others have organised to nominate jailed Iranian socialist student activist Anoosheh Azaadbar as NUS Honorary Vice-President. Her election would be a powerful gesture of solidarity with students and others fighting for democracy from below in Iran. For Anoosheh’s manifesto, see here. For her nominators and other supporters, see here. To add your name email education.not.for.sale@gmail.com
2. Activists in Iran have called for an international day of action on Saturday 16 February. In London, there will be a demonstration from 12 to 1pm, Saturday 16 February, in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Please come along, bring banners, placards etc; or if you can’t come, email us with a message of solidarity.
3. ENS is trying to raise £2,000 in support of the Iranian student movement, including with a benefit gig on International Women’s Day (details soon). Please make a donation, however small; email us and we’ll explain how you an do it.
4। Organise a meeting or discussion in your college or university about the student movement in Iran, and how to support it. We will be happy to send a speaker, and may be able to provide an Iranian speaker too.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Iran: fortsatta studentprotester

Studentrörelsens historia av vänsterkraft • ”Länge leve frihet, jämlikhet och socialism” • Intervju med exiliranier
Den 7 december 2007 hade studentrörelsen i Iran anordnat protester runt om i hela landet। Regimens säkerhetsstyrkor reagerade starkt emot detta. Veckan innan demonstrationen började arresteringar av aktiva vänsterstudenter. Totalt arresterades 43 stycken
Johanna Evans
Den 7 december 1953 besökte den dåvarande amerikanske vicepresidenten Richard Nixon Iran। Besöket anordnades efter den CIA-stödda militärkuppen i augusti 1953, då hundratals politiskt aktiva fängslades och mördades av shahens regim. Därför möttes Nixon av en stor studentprotest.Studenternas demonstration krossades av shahens armé och tre studenter sköts ihjäl. Sedan dess kallas 7 december (16 Azar) för studenternas dag.Offensiv har träffat Farzad Samimi och Gafour Abbasnyad från Iranska flyktingars riksorganisation, som berättade om situationen i landet.
Rörelsen växerDe arresterade är fortfarande anhållna utan rättegång, men trots förtrycket växer sig studentrörelsen starkare, och tillsammans med arbetarrörelsen och kvinnorörelser blir motståndet mot regimen större. De 43 som arresterades var ledare för studentrörelsen. Arresteringarna skedde runt om i landet. Regimen är rädd för studentrörelsen som växer sig allt starkare.– Studentrörelsen har en historia av att utgöra vänsterkrafterna i landet och har en förankring bland folket, en rot som aldrig kommer att försvinna, säger Gafour.Efter revolutionen 1979 ägde demonstrationer rum där man krävde demokratiska rättigheter, studenterna utgjorde kärnan i de marxistiska organisationerna. Många aktivister dömdes till döden, långa fängelsestraff eller försvann. Regimen har tydligt visat att den är beredd att begå vilka brott som helst.
Brutaliteten avslöjadSedan 1999 har rörelsen blivit mer och mer radikaliserad, då det avslöjades att den iranska säkerhetspolisen låg bakom en rad mord som hade begåtts. Folket fick känna av den sittande regimens brutalitet, vilket ledde till att man tappade förtroendet för den.Studentrörelsen använde slagord som ”Länge leve frihet”. Idag ropar man ”Länge leve frihet, jämlikhet och socialism.”Den iranska regimen överlever sina kriser genom att arrestera och avrätta oliktänkande och slå ned varje protest, men trots förtrycket från regimen, blir motståndet allt starkare.– Den nya generationen, den nya ungdomen, har ingen uppfattning om revolutionerna i Ryssland och Kina. Det är en ny generation med sina egna åsikter, åsikter som kommer inifrån. De växer sig allt starkare och vill ha demokrati, de är emot den iranska regimens ideologi, säger Farzad.Farzad och Gafour berättar om en av dem som arresterades i protesterna i december 2007, Ebrahim Lotfollahi, som var juridikstudent. Han arresterades och hölls i förvar av den iranska säkerhetstjänsten i Sanandaj, huvudstad i provinsen Kurdistan. Där torterades han av säkerhetstjänsten och den 6 januari uppgavs han ha blivit mördad. Grunderna för gripandet av honom har inte offentliggjorts.– De som har arresterats har inga som helst rättigheter. De får inte tillgång till advokat och inga rättegångar hålls. De får heller inte träffa sina anhöriga.De som arresterades är fortfarande anhållna sedan december. För tre veckor sedan frigavs 7-8 stycken, men det följdes av att tio nya arresteringar av aktivister gjordes i olika städer.
Ledarna avrättadeTrots att många ledare har avrättats, arresterats eller försvunnit är oppositionen mot regimen välorganiserad och aktiv i många städer। Den har varit uppmärksam och sökt sig till arbetar- och kvinnorörelser för att samarbeta. Tillsammans har de vuxit sig starkare.– Regimen vill behålla makten, den kommer inte att avgå frivilligt. Regimen kommer att behöva störtas av en revolution. Varje protest besvaras med hårda straff och förtryck, men rörelsen blir starkare.– Vi vill inte ha hjälp av utländska krafter, de kan och vill inte göra något för vårt land. Vi vill inte ha hjälp från till exempel USA, se på vad som har hänt med Irak. Vi tror att studentrörelsen, arbetarrörelsen och kvinnorörelsen kommer att växa sig starkare och gå vidare tillsammans, avslutar Farzad och Gafour.Lördagen den 16 februari kommer Iranska flyktingars riksorganisation att anordna en demonstration i Luleå till stöd för de arresterade studenterna.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Iranischer Autor festgenommen

Lasker-Schüler-Gesellschaft: Iranischer Autor festgenommen Grund für die Festnahme sei möglicherweise die jüngste Internet-Veröffentlichung von Übersetzungen WUPPERTAL (BLK) – Der iranische Autor und Übersetzer Amin Ghazaei ist nach Angaben der Else-Lasker-Schüler-Gesellschaft (Wuppertal) vom Geheimdienst in Teheran festgenommen worden. Ghazaei, Mitglied der deutschen Literaturorganisation, sei am vergangenen Montag (14. Januar 2008) zusammen mit einer Gruppe von Studenten abgeführt worden, teilte ein Sprecher der Gesellschaft am Donnerstag (17. Januar 2008) in Wuppertal mit. Die Menschenrechtsorganisation amnesty international überprüft nach Angaben einer Sprecherin, sich in einer Eilaktion für die Inhaftierten einzusetzen. Vermutlich befänden sich die Verschleppten in einem Teheraner Gefängnis.
Grund für die Festnahme des Autors, der zu der jüngeren Generation von Literaten seines Landes gehöre, sei möglicherweise die jüngste Internet-Veröffentlichung seiner Übersetzungen, sagte der Verleger Ghazaeis der Deutschen Presse-Agentur dpa. Hierzu gehöre auch ein Titel des französischen Philosophen Jean Baudrillard.
Seit den Festnahmen hätten die Familien weder von Ghazaei noch von den Studenten ein Lebenszeichen erhalten, sagte der Verleger Sam Vashegi. Angesichts ähnlicher Vorgänge im Iran müsse das Schlimmste befürchtet werden. Der verschwundene Autor publiziere in Europa im Verlag Nashre (Paris).Die Lasker-Schüler-Gesellschaft hat nach den Worten ihres Vorsitzenden Hajo Jahn den iranischen Botschafter in Berlin in einem Brief zur „unverzüglichen Freilassung“ des festgenommenen Schriftstellers aufgefordert. Mit ihren international rund 1400 Mitgliedern und der Internet-Plattform www.exil-archiv.de kümmert sich die Wuppertaler Organisation um das Schicksal verfolgter Künstler und Autoren. (dpa/wip)

Anoosheh Azaadbar was nominated by students from 28 universities and colleges

Anoosheh Azaadbar
for NUS Honorary
Free the imprisoned student activists! No to war,
yes to solidarity with students, workers, women,
LGBT people and national minorities in Iran!
Anoosheh Azaadbar, a student at Tehran University, is one of the fifty activists arrested
in Iran since December 2007 – when the country’s theocratic capitalist regime began a
crack down against the student movement. The students were arrested for seeking to
organise protests on 16 Azar (7 December), the traditional Student Day on which
students once protested against the US-backed tyranny of the Shah and now protest
against the tyranny of the Islamic Republic.
One of the activists, Ebrahim Lotfollahi, is now dead, having supposedly committed
suicide, while another, Behrooz Karimizadeh, is in hospital fighting for his life.
Most of those arrested are socialists; they strongly oppose a US attack on Iran and
have sought to link their fight to those of the powerful workers’ and women’s
movements current challenging the Iranian regime. They have raised slogans like “No
to war: the university is not an army garrison” and “The student movement is an ally of
the workers’ movement.” They have drawn inspiration from struggles like those of the
Tehran bus workers, whose leader Mansour Ossanlou - the current NUS Honorary
Vice-President - has been in and out of prison for two years.
Anoosheh has now been released on bail; but by electing her our Honorary Vice-
President we can show solidarity with those fighting to build a movement from below to
smash the prison walls currently enclosing Iran’s workers, women, students, LGBT
people and oppressed national minorities.
Anoosheh was nominated by students from 28 universities and colleges; her
supporters include Education Not for Sale, Workers' Liberty students, Communist
Students and activists including Sofie Buckland (NUS NEC); Kat Stark (NUS
Women's Officer); Laura Schwartz, Teodora Todorava, Sophie Day, Jo Fried, Cat
Smith and Sam Lyle (NUS Women’s Committee); Rebecca Sawbridge (NUS Black
Students’ Committee); Aled Dilwyn Fisher, Adam Ramsay and Tim Gee (Young
Greens); Daniel Randall (NUS NEC 2005-6, Sheffield University); Laura Simmons
(Park Lane College); Heather Shaw (Sheffield College); Koos Couvee (Sussex
University Comms Officer); Darcy Leigh (Edinburgh Women of the World chair);
Stephen Wood (Hull University LGBT and Hull Labour Club) and many more...
To support Anoosheh, or if you would like to get involved in Iranian solidarity
campaigning more generally, email


Monday, February 4, 2008

Solidarity Message of Students’ Union From Italy

By means of this letter I would like to express the support of Unione drgliStudenti, the Italian School Students Union, to the petitionfor the release of the imprisoned students in Iran.It is our committment to unite all students in the world and fight for peace,justice, equality and the right to education.
Valentina Giorda
International coordinator
National Board
Unione degli Studenti

An interview with an Iranian activist on arrests of left-wing students

On January 15, the Iranian government arrested 10 students involved in left-wing protests against both the Iranian political establishment and US war plans. This followed the arrest of more than 30 students in December.
Before the recent arrests, the WSWS spoke to an individual in Tehran familiar with these developments to discuss the political and social situation in Iran. For security reasons, we are withholding this individual’s name]

WSWS: Could you describe the present conditions and situation faced by the arrested students?
Answer: At least 30 students have been arrested and held for 40 days. They have not been allowed to meet with their lawyers or their relatives. We know that some of them are on a hunger strike, and some of them have been able to have some brief phone conversations with their families. Some of them are definitely under physical and psychological pressure.
WSWS: What do you mean by “physical pressure”?
A: This is not from an authoritative source, but we have heard that some students on several occasions were referred to the prison hospital. We think that they are mostly under psychological pressure, but beating is something normal to make prisoners cooperate with the interrogators. One student has reportedly attempted suicide and was sent to the prison hospital.
WSWS: Has there been any official acknowledgement that these students are being held? Has the government provided a reason for the arrests?
A: The government has issued a statement that they have arrested “Marxist” students, and the notorious Evin Prison has acknowledged that the students are there. Being Marxist in Iran is itself a great crime, and is considered heresy against Islam. These students have been arrested on the vague charge that they have committed acts against national security. Almost all of them are kept in solitary confinement, and that part of solitary confinement at Evin Prison is run by the Revolutionary Guards [Sepah]. The students are probably under pressure to confess that they are in contact with dissident parties currently organized outside of Iran. All of these parties are declared illegal and anti-governmental. Any affiliation with them could imply great punishment.
Inside Iran, we face many obstacles to mobilize protests for the release of these students. The Security Ministry has threatened families that if they engage in protests, they will also be arrested. The father of one of those arrested, who is very active in giving interviews with independent media inside and outside of Iran, has been summoned to the Information Ministry and has been threatened by phone. Even the families are not in a position to gather and organize.
What we have been able to do so far is to stage a demonstration at Tehran University demanding their release, and we have organized a petition-gathering campaign as leverage for the release of the students.
Many working class activists in Iran—for example, the industrial workers at Asalooye Petrochemical Complex and Autoworkers in “IranKhodro”—have installed banners in support of the students at their workplace. There were some unions that have also declared solidarity with these students. Although those who support these students are not from formal organizations—there are no independent working class unions in Iran—semi-official unions that are not recognized by the government have voiced their opposition to the arrests.
WSWS: What would you say is behind this latest wave of government repression?
A: The government is faced with internal domestic as well as international crises, and so it does not tolerate any opposition to its policies. It does not even tolerate some activists that are closely associated with the so-called Reformists who do not pose a threat to the political system in Iran. Some of them are in prison as well. The reason that they did not do this before is that, first, the Islamic regime was in a situation where it was in a confrontation with the US, and it tolerated leftist activities, which were at the same time against US imperialism. This has become less important for the government recently, after the publication of the US National Intelligence Estimate report.
The most important issue, however, was the movement of these students toward a more independent organization. This year, for the first time after the repression of the leftist groups in 1980s, the Radical Left held a separate demonstration inside campuses in which they clearly delineated their group from the Reformist tendencies. In Iran, there are no student, or working class, or any other independent organizations. That is why it is very critical for the government to suppress and arrest these students. The government recently crushed a union of bus workers that had at least 9,000 members and many others as sympathizers. This happened two years ago.
WSWS: Does the move toward the formation of independent organizations among students reflect a change in the consciousness of students?
A: Yes, definitely. The first sign of changes among students was the emergence of the so-called “Critical Left.” Some members of this group adhered to the Frankfurt School of thought, and some others had Reformist tendencies, believing that capitalism should come first before any socialist movement. This was basically a Menshevik position. Later, in the past two years, the Critical Left was weakened and the “Radical Left” gained influence and established itself as the dominant tendency.
WSWS: What explains this leftward movement of students?
A: The change in the attitude of students has reflected the radicalization of society and the contradictions that have developed. At the same time as the Critical Left and Radical Left emerged, you see the formation of unofficial groups among workers—illegal, but still active. You even see the reformist movements developing—for example, the campaign for the equal rights for women, which had right-wing character in fact. This shows that there are contradictions within Iran that are finding reflection in different forms.
A second reason that the left emerged and gained support was that the Reformists failed to carry out their promises. Students have become very disillusioned with the Reformists. As a third reason, it is necessary to see this in a global context. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, left politics suffered a setback. In recent years, there has been a global re-emergence of the left. This was another reason.
WSWS: Has the economic situation also played a role?
A: When the Reformists came to power, they presented themselves as a solution to Iran’s social and economic problems. What happened in reality during the eight years they were in power was the introduction and development of neo-liberal policies. That furthered the gap between the rich and the poor, and the economic situation deteriorated. That is another reason why such tendencies grew. It is necessary to see them in the context of an increasing gap between rich and poor in Iran.
WSWS: What do you mean by the “global re-emergence of the left”?
A: We do not consider the Soviet Union to have been a socialist system. However, the Soviet Union was closely associated in the minds of the people with an alternative to capitalism. So when it collapsed and the right declared the end of history, many people moved away from socialist ideas. It discredited socialism in the eyes of the people. If you introduced yourself to someone as a socialist, they would say, ‘But the Soviet Union collapsed. It does not work.’ But this is changing today. People are more receptive to socialist ideas.
WSWS: How do you evaluate the danger of war against Iran today?
A: Based on the NIE report, the tension has subsided, but this does not mean that there is no prospect for war. The region is full of tensions, and Iran is not a conventional system of capitalism, and it does not work smoothly in the international system. The US tries to bring a system that works well within the system of capitalism. We cannot ignore the efforts of the Israeli lobbies that may lead to irrational actions by the US. Also, the US is definitely trying to change the political map of the Middle East in its interests. That is why we do not see the threat of war as something that has passed.
WSWS: How do you see the way forward for students and workers in Iran?
A: The first thing is that we need an independent organization of the working class and students. The workers themselves are following the developments in universities very carefully. The Islamic regime is doing its best to wipe out this emerging socialist movement. Because of that, it is very essential that all actions that are possible in the international arena be carried out.
The situation around the globe for the emergence for socialism is better than ever before, an attribute of modern capitalism. We definitely embrace any cooperation between students and workers in Iran and the US.