Archive for the ‘iran’ Tag

Neda Agha Soltan, killed 20.06.2009, Presidential Election Protest, Tehran, IRAN

Warning: graphic.

Advertisements

Iranian bus workers’ statement on the demonstrations

Iranian bus workers’ statement on the demonstrations

Statement of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company about the recent unrest sparked by discontent with the claimed results of the 2009 election.

Vahed Syndicate – Any Suppression or threat of civil liberty condemned

In line with the recognition of the labour rights, we request that June 26 Action Day – Justice for Iranian workers – to include the human rights of all Iranians who have been deprived of their rights.

In recent days, we continue witnessing the magnificent demonstration of millions of people from all ages, genders, and national and religious minorities in Iran. They request that their basic human rights, particularly the right to freedom and to choose independently and without deception be recognized. These rights are not only constitutional in most of the countries, but also have been protected against all odds.

Amid such turmoil, one witnesses threats, arrests, murders and brutal suppression that one fears only to escalate on all its aspects, resulting in more innocent bloodshed, more protests, and certainly no retreats. Iranian society is facing a deep political-economical crisis. Million-strong silent protests, ironically loud with un-spoken words, have turned into iconic stature and are expanding from all sides. These protests demand reaction from each and every responsible individual and institution.

As previously expressed in a statement published on-line in May of this year, since the Vahead Syndicate does not view any of the candidates support the activities of the workers’ organizations in Iran, it would not endorse any presidential candidate in the election. Vahed members nevertheless have the right to participate or not to participate in the elections and vote for their individually selected candidate.

Anonymous in Iran

Anonymous – the online subculture/movement/group/meme noted by many for its fight against the Cult of Scientology – has recently turned its attention to the popular uprising in Iran. WhyWeProtest.net and The Pirate Bay have joined up with others in creating an anonymous discussion forum for the situation as it unfolds, describing itself as follows:

This forum aims to be a secure and reliable way of communication for Iranians and friends. Use it to discuss what is happening in Iran. Post in the forum either anonymously as a guest, as a registered user, or login with your facebook-account. We are not a government agency, nor are we Iranian. We are simply the internet and we believe in free speech. Read here for more: http://iran.whyweprotest.net/showthread.php?t=29

This forum is backed by thepiratebay.org, Anonymous, and numerous other internet-friendly forces.

On a related note, the Pirate Party now has a seat in the European parliament. Which will not be news for anyone reading this but somehow I managed to miss it.

Iran: Workers flogged for union activities

As reported by the Iranian Workers Solidarity Network:

On Saturday 21 February Abdollah Khani and Ghaleb Hosseini were summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office in Sanandaj (in Iranian Kurdistan). The two labour activists were then arrested so that their sentences could be carried out.

The two activists were arrested last year for taking part in the 2008 May Day rally in Sanandaj. They were sentenced as follows: Ghaleb Hosseini, six months in prison and to receive 50 lashes, and Abdollah Khani, 91 days in prison and 40 lashes.

At 11:00 a.m. they were flogged and at 1:30 p.m. the two activists were taken by the security force of the Prosecutor’s Office to serve their custodial sentences in Sanandaj’s central prison.

The flogging of Abdollah Khani and Ghaleb Hosseini follows that of two female labour activists, Ms Kheyrabadi and Ms Razani, on 18 February. Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network utterly condemns this medieval and reactionary punishment that was carried out for the workers merely exercising what is their undeniable right. May Day is Labour Day for all workers across the world and they should all commemorate it without any harassment from the police and the courts.

Updates can be found via LabourStart, which also allows readers to send solidarity messages via their website.

Harry Potter part of Zionist conspiracy, Iranian film claims

Harry Potter part of Zionist conspiracy, Iranian film claims

Harry Potter, part of a Zionist conspiracy? That’s the message that went out on Iranian news network IRINN. MCT

Not everybody has fallen under Harry Potter’s spell.

A short Iranian documentary recently translated by the Middle East Media Research Institue and published on the Jerusalem Post’s website claims that the teen wizard hero of J.K. Rowling’s best-selling books and movies is being used to promote Zionist propaganda.

The five-minute segment (video below), which aired on Iranian news channel IRINN on December 15, shows clips from 2002’s “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” while several commentators offer their explanations of the symbolism in the series.

“Now more than ever,” the Iranian film’s narrator says, “this tool serves to spread the dark and evil essence of Zionism and its goals.”

The commentators point to several different elements of the story as evidence of a Zionist agenda – pointing to the themes of witchcraft and wizardry, which the documentary ties to Kabbalah, the study of Jewish mysticism.

Unions condemn Christmas arrests in Iran

Unions condemn Christmas arrests in Iran

Trade unionists and human rights activists are sending a strong warning signal to the international community following the detention of trade unionists by the Iranian secret police over the holiday period.

The latest arrest occurred yesterday, 27 December when the Ebrahim Madadi, Vice President of the ITF-affiliated Tehran Bus Workers Union (Vahed Syndicate), was taken into a police custody from the North Tehran Branch of the Employment Office by plain-clothes security personnel. Madadi is believed to be in a police station tonight and was due to appear before the judge this morning, 28th December. Meanwhile, two Executive Board members of the union have also been verbally summoned by the secret police.

Madadi’s arrest brought the total of trade unionists arrested over the past two weeks to three. Yesterday the ITF released and disseminated a protest statement, demanding that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran immediately release the three trades unionists as well as bus union leader Mansour Osanloo and education worker Farzad Kamangar.

More information, including a protest letter, can be found here.

Rick Warren supports call for Ahmadinejad assassination?

Rick Warren is an evangelical pastor in the US and author of a number of Christian books. He has attracted controversy for both his political and theological views.

Still, this is a new one. Earlier this week he appeared in a Faux News segment hosted by Sean Hannity. Here’s a clip:

Hannity: Can you talk to rogue dictators? Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, wants to wipe Israel off the map, is seeking nuclear weapons. I think we need to take him out.

Warren: Yes.

Hannity: Am I advocating something dark, evil or something righteous?

Warren: Well, actually, the Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped. And I believe…

Hannity: By force?

Warren: Well, if necessary. In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers. Not good-doers. Evildoers.

(Bolding mine.)

The mind boggles. One can only assume Warren has access to the DVD version of the New Testament – the one with the alternate ending where Christ, rather than peacefully submitting to Pilate, paid off a few sicarii to do the bugger in the night before.

More commentary:
The Wonk Room
Washington Monthly

Farzad Kamangar, Iranian unionist

From LabourStart:

Please join with the thousands of trade unionists and human rights defenders around the world who are mobilising in defence of Farzad Kamangar, an Iranian Kurdish teacher and trade unionist who is at risk of execution.

Education International received information from reliable sources that on 26 November Kamangar was taken from his cell 121 in ward 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison in preparation for execution by hanging. However, the latest information is that he is still alive and was able to meet with his lawyer on 27 November for the first time in over two months. His situation remains precarious nonetheless.

Kamangar, aged 33, was sentenced to death by the Iranian Revolutionary Court on 25 February 2008 after a trial which took place in secret, lasted only minutes, and failed to meet Iranian and international standards of fairness. His lawyer, Kahlil Bahramian, said: “Nothing in Kamangar’s judicial files and records demonstrates any links to the charges brought against him.” Indeed, Kamangar was initially cleared of all charges during the investigation process.

Education International, the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Transport Workers Federation, Amnesty International and LabourStart are appealing to the Iranian authorities to commute the death sentence and ensure his case is reviewed fairly.

Note: the above link also contains a form with which to send a protest e-mail.

More information about this case can be found:
Workers’ Struggles in Iran
British TUC protest letter
Indybay

Iranian teacher unionist still alive, but remains at risk

Iranian teacher unionist still alive, but remains at risk

Teachers, trade unionists and human rights defenders around the world are mobilising in defence of Farzad Kamangar, an Iranian Kurdish teacher and trade unionist who is at risk of execution.

http://ei-ie.org/en/news/show.php?id=918&theme=rights&country=iran

Education International received information from reliable sources that on 26 November Kamangar was taken from his cell 121 in ward 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison in preparation for execution by hanging. However, the latest information is that he is still alive and was able to meet with his lawyer Wednesday. His situation remains precarious nonetheless.

Kamangar, aged 33, was sentenced to death by the Iranian Revolutionary Court on 25 February 2008 after a trial which took place in secret, lasted only minutes, and failed to meet Iranian and international standards of fairness.

The death penalty was met with widespread protest, and Education International, the global union federation representing 30 million teachers, took up Kamangar’s cause, along with other trade union and human rights organisations. Through an online campaign, thousands of letters have been sent to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Kamangar’s behalf.

Education International, the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Transport Workers Federation, Amnesty International and LabourStart are discussing a joint campaign to shine the spotlight on Kamangar’s plight.