Monday, January 25, 2010
Isfahan's Steel Company
Isfahan's Steel Company is and has always been one of the largest industrial complexes in Iran. Despite this, and although workers have been involved in industrial action to improve their working conditions, Iran's Steel Company workers have never benefited from the right to form any type of trade union , workers organisation... to defend their wages and, to pursue their just rights and demands.
In the current situation, as a result of severe economic hardship and the uncertain future, at a time when workers in this complex face many backbreaking pressures, as a group of workers of Steel Company we have decided to take the very first steps in the direction of defending workers right and consolidating our dispersed ranks hereby announcing the formation of the Provisional Council of Isfahan's Steel Company Workers.
Since this step (the formation of the council) was taken in conditions of underground work, it is not based upon workers' elections.That is why the council has given itself the title "provisional" however, as a body it is committed to hold free elections with the participation of all factory workers as soon as suitable conditions arise. Until such time, this council will endeavor to defend the rights of all workers in this complex and we will keep fellow workers informed of all our decisions through
The council presents its positions and views as follows;
1 - The council considers all workers equal and alike. It believes that both the obvious and hidden discriminations between official workers and workers under contract (those employed directly by the company under contract or through contractor companies) are initiated entirely by managers and decision makers and workers are not responsible for this. The Council believes that the creation of such discriminations amongst workers is a deliberate policy to divide workers in this complex.
2 - Council believes that the right to strike is an absolute right of the work force, and, in conditions where the company's workers have not received their wages (for between two to six months) going on strike is the only means by which the workers can struggle for their demands. Therefore the council states its solidarity with courageous workers of Ehyagostaran Espadan, Nasooz Azar, Isaargarane-hadid, Nasre Bonyad and all the workers who have gone on strike to fight for the payment of their unpaid wages.
3 - The councils warns workers to be aware of the delays of official deadlines for payment of their wages and monthly bonuses, There is a possibility that management is trying to reduce or abolish monthly bonuses; that is why workers have every right to go on hunger strike, white strike (working less and disrupting production lines) and finally strike. Such actions are just and legitimate.
4 - Council finds Plant's policies of blaming workers for all the severe hardships they face , especially when accidents causes workers death or severe injuries leading to handicap as an inhumane policies and, declares that the main reasons for safety failures are severe working conditions for the workforce, worn out equipment, old technologies and pressure and expedition that the management imposes upon workers to increase production.
5 -At a time when the official line of poverty in urban areas is declared (by the state) to be 800 thousands Tomans, the council finds maximum income of 400 thousand Tomans per month an obvious oppression towards workers and their families and expects gradual, step by step annihilation of discriminations between official workers and reset of the work force.
6 - The council believes Privatising the Steel Company complex will have terrible effects upon the workers' living conditions and their labour and considers the reconstruction period for privatization as definite proof that showed the effects of this policy on workers' income and conditions; this is an experience we, Iran Steel workers are experiencing every day.
7 - Billions have been paid for expenses and hundred million Toman contracts made and spent on the Steel Company Football Team during the last few years at a time when official workers are paid with delay and rest of the workforce has incomes below the poverty line. The Council's view is that such policies are outrageous.
8 - Council considers company's weekly ATISHKAR as a management source use for self flattery and exaggerated claims. The claim that the company produced and supplied the railroad for the National Rail Company - is a blatant lie and every worker here is aware of it. The Council expects ATISHKAR's content to include reports about workers' payment conditions and their protests, covering all incidents that cause death and disability, announcing the names of workers dying at work and also monthly reports about work accidents.
9 - Due to not having aboveboard activities the council asks all workers to create their spontaneous workers nucleuses all over the Steel Company and,it believes without such units formed by workers themselves they will not have a chance develop to their struggles and advance in them. Role of such units is bringing awareness, unity and solidarity among workers and electing leaders for their struggles. Such units can be formed around team of friends, recreation groups, workers welfare boxes and so forth.
Fellow workers! We shake your hands in solidarity.
Provisional Council of Isfahan Steel Company - January 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
‘Reformists’ fear revolution
The attempt by the two wings of the Iranian regime to shelve their differences is unlikely to defuse the mass movement, writes Yassamine Mather
More than two weeks after the demonstrations of December 27 2009, the political repercussions of these events, and the reaction to the anger and radicalism of the protesters, continue. Clearly now no-one, from the government to the ‘reformists’, to the revolutionary opposition, has any doubt that the current protests are no longer about who should be the ‘president’ of the Islamic Republic, but represent a serious challenge to the very existence of the religious state.
Ashura is a day of mourning for Shia Muslims, as they commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the prophet Mohammed in 680AD. In December 2009 it coincided with the seventh day following the death of a clerical critic of the regime, ayatollah Montazeri. Throughout Iran hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets with slogans against the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. When security forces attacked, the crowds fought back. Tehran was “covered in thick smoke from fires and tear gas” and there was “hand-to-hand combat between security forces and the protesters,” with reports of street battles in other major cities.1 For the first time in the last 30 years, many women came out into the streets to join the demonstrations wearing no headscarves or hijabs.
At a number of locations in Tehran security forces were forced to retreat, as demonstrators burnt police vehicles and bassij posts and erected barricades. There are videos showing instances where police and bassij were captured and detained by demonstrators and three police stations in Tehran were briefly occupied. Demonstrators also attacked Bank Saderat in central Tehran, setting it on fire.
The government’s reaction was predictable. Since December 27 bassij and pasdaran (revolutionary guards) have been unleashed to impose further repression. Hundreds of people have been incarcerated. The summary arrest of leftwing and worker activists, the death sentences issued against left political prisoners, the sacking of workers already in prison are part of a deliberate attempt by the regime to impose an atmosphere of terror.
Ultra-conservative clerics have also called for the arrest and execution of ‘reformist’ leaders. In a speech on January 9 the supreme leader told government security forces and the judiciary to act decisively against “rioters and anti-government demonstrators”.
Despite the bravado of Khamenei, there are clear signs that the demonstrations of December 27 have divided the conservatives further on how to respond to the protests. While supporters of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad openly call for more arrests and even the execution of political opponents, the ‘principlist’ faction2 within parliament is preaching caution.
On January 9, a parliamentary committee publicly blamed Tehran’s former prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, a close ally of Ahmadinejad, for the death of three prisoners arrested during anti-government protests in June 2009. The committee found that Mortazavi had authorised the imprisonment of 147 opposition supporters and 30 criminals in a cell measuring only 70 square metres in Kahrizak detention centre. The inmates were frequently beaten and spent days without food or water during the summer.
Ali Motahhari, a prominent fundamentalist parliamentarian, told the weekly magazine Iran Dokht: “Under the current circumstances, moderates should be in charge of the country’s affairs.” He suggested Ahmadinejad should also be held accountable for the deaths in Kahrizak and for fuelling the post-election turmoil. Iranian state television is broadcasting debates between ‘radical’ and ‘moderate’ conservatives, in which Ahmadinejad is blamed by some for causing the crisis.
There are two reasons for this dramatic change in line:
1. The December 27 demonstrations were a turning point, in that both conservatives and ‘reformists’ came to realise how the anger and frustration of ordinary Iranians with the political and economic situation is taking revolutionary forms.
2. The principlists are responding to a number of ‘proposals’ by leading ‘reformists’ as a last attempt to save the Islamic Republic. Fearful of revolution, ‘reformist’ leaders from the June 2009 presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Moussavi to former president Mohammad Khatami have made conciliatory statements, and the moderate conservatives have responded positively to these approaches.
In a clear sign that ‘reformists’ have heard the cry of the revolution, Moussavi’s initial response to the Ashura demonstrations was to distance himself from the protests, emphasising that neither he nor Mehdi Karroubi had called for protests on that day. His statement on January 1 entitled ‘Five stages to resolution’ (of the crisis) was a signal to both his supporters and opponents that this was truly the last chance to save the Islamic regime from collapse.
Western reportage of the statement concentrated on his comment, “I am ready to sacrifice my life for reform.” Of course, Iranians are well known for their love of ‘martyrdom’, from Ashura itself to the Fedayeen Islam in 1946,3 to the Marxist Fedayeen (1970s-80s). Iranians have been mesmerised by the Shia concept of martyrdom, inherited from Sassanide ideals, a yearning to put their lives at risk for what they see as a ‘revolutionary cause’. But Moussavi will no doubt go down in history as the first Iranian who is putting his life on the line for the cause of ‘reform’ and compromise!
His five-point plan is seen as a compromise because it does not challenge the legitimacy of the current president and “presents a way out of the current impasse” in order to save the Islamic Republic, basically demanding more freedom for the Islamic ‘reformist’ politicians, activists and press, as well as accountability of government forces, while reaffirming his allegiance to the constitution of the Islamic regime, as well as the existing “judicial and executive powers”. The preamble to the proposal explains very well Moussavi’s message to the supreme leader and the conservative faction: it is not too late to save the regime, but this could be our last chance.
It reads: “Today the situation of the country is like an immense roaring river, where massive floods and various events have led to its rising and then caused it to become silted. The solution to calm down this great river and clear its water is not possible in a quick and swift action. Thinking of these kinds of solutions that some should repent and some should make deals and there should be some give and take to solve this great problem is in practice going off the track ... I also believe that it is still not too late and our establishment has the power to accomplish this important task, should it have insight and a respectful and kind view toward all of the nation and its layers.”
This statement was followed on January 4 by a ‘10-point proposal’ from the self-appointed ‘ideologues’ in exile of Iran’s Islamic ‘reformist’ movement: the former Pasdar, Akbar Ganji (nowadays introduced on BBC and CNN as a “human rights activist!”), Abdolkarim Soroush, Mohsen Kadivar, Abdolali Bazargan and Ataollah Mohajerani.4
Fearful that the Moussavi plan will be seen by many as too much of a compromise, the group of five call for the resignation of Ahmadinejad and fresh elections under the supervision of a newly established independent election commission to replace that of the Guardian Council. In the last few days both Khatami and another former president, Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, have publicly declared their support for the compromise, while condemning “radicals and rioters”. Khatami went further than most, insulting demonstrators who called for the overthrow of the Islamic regime.
All in all, it has been a busy two and a half weeks for Iran’s ‘reformists’, terrified by the radicalism of the demonstrators and desperate to save the clerical regime at all cost. Inevitably the reformist left, led by the Fedayeen Majority, is tailing the Moussavi-Khatami line. However, inside Iran there are signs that the leadership of the green movement is facing a serious crisis.
None of the proposals addresses the most basic democratic demand of the Iranian people: separation of state and religion. A widely distributed leaflet and web post inside Iran entitled ‘Who is the leader of the current protest movement in Iran?’ refers to comments made by ayatollah Taleghani 31 years ago,5 at the height of the revolutionary movement. Taleghani, faced with a similar question, replied that it was the shah who led the protest movement because the repression he imposed and his inability to compromise caused it to move forward day by day. The leaflet concludes that the current force leading the movement is supreme leader Khamenei, who by his words and actions is fuelling the revolutionary fervour.
Working class response
In every event Iranians see real and imaginary parallels with the 1978-79 uprising that led to the shah’s downfall. Last week the publication of Khamenei’s alleged escape plans and the revelations that senior clerics had arranged to send their fortunes abroad to avoid sanctions and the consequences of an uprising reminded Iranians of January 1979, when the shah and his entourage were busy making similar arrangements.
The Iranian left is not immune to such nostalgia. Arguments about the ‘principal contradiction’ and ‘stages of revolution’ seem to dominate current debates. While some Maoists argue in favour of a ‘democratic stage’ of the revolution, citing the relative weakness of the organised working class, the Coordinating Committee for the Setting Up of Workers’ Organisations (Comite Hahamhangi) points out that the dominant contradiction in Iran, a country where 70% of the population lives in urban areas, is between labour and capital. They point out that the level and depth of workers’ struggles show radicalism and levels of organisation and that the Iranian working class is the only force capable of delivering radical democracy.
Leftwing organisations and their supporters are also discussing the lessons to be learnt from the Ashura demonstrations. Clearly sections of the police and soldiers are refusing to shoot at demonstrators and the issue of organising radical conscripts in order to divide and reduce the power of the state’s repressive forces must be addressed. In some working class districts around Tehran and other major cities the organisation of neighbourhood shoras (councils) has started.
The current debates within the ruling circles have had no impact on the level of protests undertaken by workers and students. There are reports of strikes and demonstrations in one of Iran’s largest industrial complexes, Isfahan’s steel plant, where privatisation and contract employment have led to action by the workers. Leftwing oil workers/employees are reporting disillusionment with Moussavi and the ‘reformist’ camp amongst fellow workers and believe there is an opportunity to radicalise protests in this industry despite the fact that close control and repression has intensified over the recent period.
Last week a number of prominent labour activists, including Vahed bus worker Mansour Ossanlou, who are currently in prison (some incarcerated for over a year) were sacked from their jobs for ‘failing to turn up at work’, which prompted protests in Vahed depots and the Haft Tapeh sugar cane plant. In late December workers at the Lastic Alborz factory went on strike demanding payment of unpaid wages. This week workers have been holding protests at dozens of workplaces, including the Arak industrial complex, the Mazandaran textile factory, at the Polsadr metro construction and in Tonkabon.
Over the next few weeks Iranian workers will face major challenges. Even if the two main factions of the regime achieve a compromise, it will be unlikely to defuse the movement. In fact the conciliatory line of Moussavi and Khatami is certain to further reduce their influence amongst protesters. However, if the religious state is able to reunite, it will be more difficult to attend demonstrations, call strikes and hold sit-ins, etc.
Whatever happens, Iranian workers will need our solidarity more than ever. That is why Hands Off the People of Iran is currently planning a week of solidarity and fundraising actions in February - check the Hopi website for more details (www.hopoi.org).
1. New York Times December 29 2009.
2. One of the groups in the conservative faction of the Iranian parliament.
3. Fedayeen Islam was one of the first truly Islamic fundamentalist organisations in the Muslim world. It was founded in Iran by Navab Safavi in 1946 for the purpose of demanding strict application of the sharia and assassinating those it believed to be apostates and enemies of Islam.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
“Siahkal 1971 - Tehran 2010 the history of the new left in Iran”.
Boole 3, Main Campus, University College Cork, College Road.
January 28th 7.30pmYassamine Mather, Iranian political activist and writer will trace the emergence of a movement of extraordinary significance in the struggle for democracy in Iran today.
“The take over of a gendarmerie in the small village of Siahkal on 8 February 1971 by a group of revolutionaries marked the beginning of the end for the despotic rule of the Shah. Nine members of the newly formed Fedayeen, a left-wing guerrilaist group launched an attack which sparked the creation of an armed revolutionary movement in Iran. While the attack itself was easily crushed, the event and the massive repression that followed proved to be a turning point in the struggle against the Shah. It inspired a new culture of poetry, song and art for a new generation and created a momentum of resistance that would result in the overthrow of the Shah in 1979.”
“Today again the movement is on the streets of Iran. Another generation is refusing to be silenced or cowed into submission, despite the overwhelming force used against them by the Islamic regime. The anniversary of Siahkal and the movement it created has become particularly significant for today’s opposition. There has been a renaissance of the music and poetry of the 1970s. The political parallels are obvious but today illusions in Islamic radicalism have gone. The revolution begun by Siahkal remains unfinished.”
Yassamine Mather, Glasgow
Yassamine Mather is an Iranian socialist in exile in Scotland. As a young woman in Iran she became a member of the Fedayeen. In exile, she left the group and became a member of the coordinating committee of Workers Left Unity Iran. She is a member of the Centre for Socialist Theory and Movements (Glasgow University) and the deputy editor of the journal Critique. She is in active contact with the left-wing and student movement in Iran today
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Theocracy threatens bloodbath as mass movement grows
Iranian workers are one the offensive, reports Chris Strafford
2010 has begun the way 2009 ended in the Islamic Republic of Iran, with millions protesting in cities and towns across the country. But the dangers facing the Iranian people have undoubtedly increased over the last few weeks.
Further sanctions are being put in place, and Obama is holding back Israel for the time being, but has been promising “decisive action” if Iran does not halt all uranium enrichment. One Israeli diplomat was quoted in The Guardian as saying, “Obama has convinced us that it’s worth trying the sanctions, at least for a few months” (January 3). The imperialists seem to be moving towards military aggression this year - Washington has now dismissed the validity of the intelligence estimate which concluded that Iran was no longer trying to acquire nuclear weapons.
They have also been hypocritically talking about repression and democracy in Iran. Yet it was the CIA that put into power and propped up the vicious regime of the shah, under whom similar scenes to what we are seeing on the streets of Iran today were played out again and again. And today the US and Britain support regimes which are equally adept at violent oppression, such as that of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
While the alleged threat of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons is played upon, the only actual nuclear power in the region, which happens to have a history of bloody military adventures and aggression, continues to threaten Iran. Israel undertook joint war games with the US in October to test its new ground-to-air missile defence system.
Imperialist warmongering and sanctions have undoubtedly damaged the mass and working class movement in Iran, but despite that at present that movement is very much on the offensive. The funeral of ayatollah Montazeri, who died on December 20, became a focus for the latest opposition protests, with hundreds of thousands attending. A founder of the Islamic Republic, he later became a loyal oppositionist who was horrified by the mass murder that took place under Khomeini, along with the embarrassment of the Iran-Contra affair. His funeral procession and the gatherings in Qom were attacked by state repressive forces, which only fuelled the protests.
Tens of thousands of ordinary Iranians came out onto the streets on Sunday December 27. Clashes took place in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Ardebil, Arababad and Mashhad. Martial law was declared in Najaf-Abad and at least four were killed in the city of Tabriz. In every part of Iran security forces, backed up by bassij militia and Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran), resorted to violence to put down protests.
In Tehran the supreme leader’s residence was surrounded by massed ranks of Pasdaran and police. Throughout the day chants such as “This month is a month of blood! Khamenei will be toppled!” rang out in the streets. A clear indication of how far the movement has come since the initial protests against the rigging of the June 2009 presidential elections by one wing of the regime against the other.
In Tehran clashes erupted at many religious sites, as people started to gather for the planned opposition protests. The fighting was intense, with security forces being forced to retreat, as demonstrators burnt police vehicles and bassij posts and erected barricades. In a couple of instances police and bassij were captured and detained by demonstrators and three police stations in Tehran were briefly occupied. Demonstrators also attacked the Saderat Bank in central Tehran, setting it on fire.
As the day wore on, the security forces began to crack, with the first division of the special forces refusing orders to shoot protestors. There are many pictures and videos that show police retreating or being beaten back. There are also unconfirmed statements from sections of the army declaring that they will not be used to put down popular unrest.
Over a week on it is still unclear how many were killed - reports range from seven to 15, but it is known that the nephew of ‘reformist’ leader Mir-Hossein Moussavi is among them. The official cause of the deaths that have been admitted varies from ‘accident’ to ‘murder by unknown assailants’. Marxist groups and the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation (MKO) have also been blamed, although videos and pictures have been posted online of the bassij firing on demonstrators.
Hundreds have been incarcerated and 300 of those arrested during the recent protests have been moved to section eight of Gohardasht prison under the control of the Revolutionary Guards. Beatings, torture and rape of prisoners is continuing on a daily basis. Ebrahim Raiesi, first undersecretary of the judicature, said that the “rioters” will be prosecuted immediately and that charges range from “causing disorder” to “war against Islam” (which is punishable by death).
On December 30, 500 bassiji and Hezbollah attacked a gathering at the University of Mashhad armed with knives. They injured dozens of students and arrested over 200, possibly killing two. The day after, over 4,000 students and professors staged protests against the attacks and arrests at Ferdowsi and Azad universities, but were laid siege by security forces and militia.
Students, professors and parents have tried to find out information about those arrested and hospitalised. They sent a delegation made up of representatives from the university Islamic Society to meet with officials, but they were themselves arrested. Amongst them is Seyed Sadra Mirada, a relative of Khamenei.
Protestors have taken to chanting “Independence, freedom, Iranian republic” - a slogan that has been condemned by Moussavi as too radical, as the ‘reformists’ go to great lengths to try and impose some sort of control on the mass movement. Other slogans that have been used include “Not the coup government, nor America” and “No colour revolution here!”
The ongoing political crisis in Iran is compounded by the economic crisis caused by the neoliberal polices pursued by consecutive governments, the world economic crisis and sanctions. Inflation is running at over 25% and unemployment has reached 12.5% - nearing 30% for young workers - impoverishing millions of families. Workers in numerous industries have gone months without pay, and on January 4 those at the Mazandaran textile factory downed tools in protest against non-payment of wages and the laying off of workers on temporary contracts.
The economic situation and the political upheaval have fused the demands of the workers’ movement with those of students and the mass movement as a whole. More and more workers are taking part in, sometimes leading, the street protests. This has scared the authorities, who have begun rounding up known left and worker activists across Iran.
The regime aims to scare the movement off the streets with dire threats. On January 2 the Revolutionary Guard released a statement saying: “The devoted bassijis of Greater Tehran will smother all the voices that come out of the throat of the enemies of the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic.” This came amongst calls by leading conservative clerics, such as the chair of the Guardian Council, ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, for the execution of leading activists. A motion has been submitted to the Iranian parliament calling for “enemies of the Islamic Republic” to be hanged within five days.
The international workers’ movement must be prepared for a new round of mass murder in Iran. We must support our comrades in any way we can. The majority of the left has indeed come out in support. To its credit the Socialist Workers Party has continued to back the movement, whilst opposing imperialism - something it previously said the anti-war movement could not do. Maybe the SWP will now permit the affiliation of Hands Off the People of Iran to the Stop the War Coalition, now that the SWP itself has taken up a watered down version of Hopi’s principled stance.
However, there remain nominal socialists who defend the mass murder and repression of the regime in Iran. Respect MP George Galloway, Andy Newman (Socialist Unity blog and Respect member) and groups like the CPGB-ML have all defended the “mature democracy” of the Islamic Republic (Newman - www.socialistunity.com/?p=5051) and poured scorn on the mass movement as an attempt at some sort of colour revolution. Such claims have clearly been disproved by what is happening on the streets and the slogans taken up by the movement. Newman has been particularly idiotic, opting to ignore the murder of thousands of trade unionists, socialists, feminists and LGBT people under the clerical regime and instead defending the miserly welfare provisions that exist in Iran.
Defenders of the regime see it as anti-imperialist, forgetting that the clerics have made deals with the imperialists before and will no doubt do so again, if they think that will maintain their rule. The Iran-Contra affair and the welcoming of the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are good indications of how consistently the theocratic regime ‘opposes imperialism’. No, the only genuine opponents of imperialism can be found on the streets: democrats, students and most of all the working class. It is these forces to whom we must give our support - in deeds as well as words.
It is essential to maintain a clear position of opposition to any faction of the Islamic Republic and to US-led imperialism. We must begin to strengthen the campaign against sanctions initiated by Hopi - Stop the War Coalition needs to take up this issue in a serious and organised way, so that the anti-war movement can begin to win the argument that sanctions undermine working class struggle through impoverishing the masses. We need to state loud and clear that sanctions are not some soft option, but part of the imperialist war drive.
News From Iran: More Arrests
Activists In Danger
Here are some news updates on what has been happening in Iran. More details may be found at http://hopoi.org/PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO:
Rouzbeh Karimi a marxist activist and law graduate who wrote for the leftist magazines such as Rokhdad Magazine has been arrested along with his partner Forough Karimi who has recently been involved in defending political prisoners and is also a Marxist. They were both arrested on Friday January 1. No charges have been made yet.
There is a concerted campaign on the part of the Iranian Regime to move against the Left element of the protesters. You can help: Writ to the following Iranian officials demanding that the detainees rights be protected. Demand that all death sentences be commuted and all political prisoners be released.
Leader of the Islamic Republic:
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of iran
Email: via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English)
Head of the Judiciary:
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri,
Islamic Republic of iran
Email: Via website: http://www.dad iran.ir/tabid/81/Default.aspx
First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name;
third: your email address
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of iranMohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri,
Islamic Republic of iran
Fax 01198 21 3390 4986
Here is a report on some of the moves the regime has been taking against known leftwing activists and the threats that leading officials have been giving on state television. This report was sent to us by Anahita Hosseini of the ‘Independent Leftist Students’ who represent an anti-imperialist socialist tendency within the student movement in Iran
After the mass protests of Sunday December 17 the regime is showing its fear of people uprising by going to well known activists homes one by one and arresting them. This morning armed plain cloths forces went to Mahin Fahimis home who is a member of the organization of: mothers for peace and arrested her and her son Omid Montazeri who is a known leftist student activist. Omid is Hamid Montazeriz son a known communist activist who was executed by the regime during the mass murders of the leftists and Mujahadeen in prison in 1988.
Ardavan Tarakameh another leftist student activist who was staying in Omids home this morning was arrested, afterwards the plain cloths forces went to Ardavan’s parents home and searched it all and took some books and notes, and told his mother she is not allowed to ask any questions about what they are doing or where her son is. Zohreh Takaboni one of the mothers for peace whose husband was also executed as a leftist in 1988 has also been arrested.
Full report at: http://hopoi.org/?p=942
On December 30 two students were critically wounded and scores injured by knife wielding members of Ansar-e Hezbollah and Basij militia, up to 500 thugs were brought in to attack students at Mashhad University after they staged anti-regime protests during Ashura. One of the students professors was also attacked and sustained knife wounds, whilst a young female student was badly injured after being struck repeatedly over the head with a piece of wood. Students at the university were holding silent mourning ceremonies for the Ashura were they opposed the repression of popular protests. The police aided the Basij and Hezbollah by blocking the roads leading up to the University and attacking crowds of students with tear gas and batons. Around 210 students and youth were arrested by the state-repressive forces throughout the recent Ashura protests.
vid at http://hopoi.org/?p=948
In a clear display of desperation the Revolutionary Guard has released a statement saying: “The devoted Basijis of Greater Tehran will smother all the voices that come out of the throat of the enemies of the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic.” (Persian2English blog) this comes amidst further calls from clerics, members of the Iranian parliament and chair of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati for the severe treatment and death to those who "insulted religious sanctity". Ali Saremi who was arrested in 2007 for attending a memorial ceremony for the 19th anniversary of the massacres that took place in 1988 and spent 23 years in the Shah’s prisons has warned that the regime is preparing to carry out further mass killings of political opponents. He was condemned to death on December 29 where he wrote “It is clear that my death sentence lacks a legal basis and their only goal of hanging me is to intimidate the people and youths of this country, and scare them away from pursuing their demands.” His full statement can be read here.
Many protestors who were arrested during the Ashura protests are being indicted for trial with some possibly facing death. According to Iran Khabar News Agency over 300 people arrested on the day of Ashura have been passed on to the Judicature. Ebrahim Raiesi who is the first undersecretary of the judicature said that the “rioters” will be prosecuted immediately and that charges range from “causing disorder” to “war against Islam (Moharebeh)” which can be punishable by the death penalty. On December 28 Anahita Hosseini of the Iranian anti-imperialist socialist student organisation Independent Leftist Students (link) warned that the regime is preparing to murder political prisoners and those arrested for participating in protests since the disputed June elections.
For more details of Hands off the People of Iran contact Anne on 0862343 238 or Anne@hopoi.info