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
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. 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 »

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 and . He is the chief editor of the electronic journal ArtCult and has his own web-log ( 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: 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: (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")
via website:

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:

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
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: (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
via website:

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: (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, 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
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 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.

Friday, February 1, 2008

16th February 2008 the International Day

16th February 2008 the International
Protest Day against the Islamic Republic of Iran!

A Call from Freedom &
Equality Seeking Students:

Freedom –lovers of the World!

The persecution, arrest, imprisonment and brutal torture of the freedom and equality seeking students in Iran continue. While more than 40 students are still detained, the security forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran arrested ten more students who were gathered in Tehran to discuss their joint actions for the release of their jailed comrades. In their recent attacks, the security forces of the Islamic republic of Iran have persecuted, abducted and imprisoned a number of students in the cities of Mashad, Mariwan, Ghazvin and Isfahan.

The Islamic regime tries to terrorise the newly arrested students by showing them how savagely it has tortured the previously arrested student leaders and activist of the freedom and equality seeking student movement. The Islamic Republic has murdered Ibrahim Lotfollahi under torture in the city of Sanandaj. The regime shows to our recently arrested comrades, the student leaders Peyman Piran, with broken leg and shoulder and Behruz Karimi Zadeh with deep fresh wounds on his body in order to terrorise them. The torture machinery of regime works heavily to make students under torture to confess on TV shows to actions they have never taken. They try to make our comrades whose crime is nothing but defending freedom and equality to confess to connection with the opposition parties abroad.

Under the international pressure, the Islamic Republic has had to release a few of our comrades on very heavy bails. The Islamic regime has terrorised and tortured the few released students before releasing them in order to suppress our movement. The families of our jailed comrades are under immense pressure from the Islamic regime.

Freedom – loving People!

Today, we, our jailed comrades, their families and the movement for freedom and equality need your support more than any other time. You warmly responded to our calls for support on 22nd and 28th December 2008. The freedom and equality seeking students appreciate your support. The international actions on 28th December 2008 were a great success in sending the voice of freedom and equality in Iran across the world. This is not enough as the students are still in torture chambers and freedom and equality movement is suppressed by the security forces of the Islamic regime. We must push this wave of suppression back and free the students. To achieve this, we need all your support.

Therefore we call the 16th February the international day to put pressure on the Islamic republic of Iran to release all jailed students. We call you wherever you are to join this effort to empower this movement for freedom of all our comrades, and to put an immediate end to all torture and suppression of freedom and equality seeking people in Iran.

Future is Ours!
Long live Freedom!
Long live Equality!

Freedom & Equality Seeking University Students across Iran